Digital transformation is key for post-covid enterprise resilience

07 July 2020 2 min. read

The Middle East division of global consulting firm Protiviti recently hosted a virtual session on the role of digital transformation for enterprise resilience during covid-19’. A roundup of the session’s key takeaways.

During the event, which was attended by over 350 business leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a poll of the attendees found that technology is reshaping the face of the business scene. The use of technology as an enabler for business, as well as for changing internal ways of working, has however accelerated in the past months, against the backdrop of the current Covid-19-induced economic crisis and the abrupt need for remote and virtual working. 

Pointing at the retail sector as an example, Amit Ray, a Managing Director at Protiviti, said: “The pandemic has transformed many ‘brick and mortar’ organisations to ‘brick and click’ enterprises.” 

Some companies – digital leaders – have been quick to get off their feet and have now embraced digital working as their ‘new normal’. For others, laggards in the digital domain, the transition has been painful. “They are disoriented and could end up being left behind,” said Ray.

Jonathan Wyatt, Protiviti’s Global Leader for digital transformation, added that the crisis has quickly and comprehensively revealed the digital maturity of many organisations. “The overwhelming global average as far as digital maturity is concerned, tends to be at a ‘beginner’ level,” he said. On a positive note: “this crisis presents a unique ‘burning platform’ for organisations to move towards higher levels on the maturity scale.”

Advancing digital maturity is though easier said than done. It requires adopting a wide range of emerging technologies, and equally important, making sure the IT fundament is capable of supporting the technological leaps. Intelligent automation, cloud technologies, data analytics and robotic process automation were regarded by the event’s participants as the most influential technologies for helping organisations overcome the crisis and equip them better post-covid-19. 

Cloud in particular was highlighted in detail during the event, for its ability to enable and power other emerging technologies. Yet while many Asian countries rank as leaders in the global cloud landscape, “cloud adoption in the region remains relatively low,” admitted Ray. He added that in light of cloud transitions, organisations should be considerate of a number of key interdependencies, such as regulatory implications and security risks.

Finally, the panellists reiterated a well-documented best practice: investments in technology should not made with supporting investments in people and skillsets. “Digital transformation, after all is not only about technology – people and culture are equally essential,” summarised Wyatt.