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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONTINUES IN 2021

January 21, 2021
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONTINUES IN 2021

The COVID 19 virus is mutating and it doesn’t look like we’re going to have much of a change in 2021. I know most of us hoped that 2021 would be a different year from 2020. However, digital transformation continues to be a necessity in 2021.  

I came across a Newsday article- PM’s push for digitisation, but he has never used an ATM published on December 22nd, 2020, written by Rachael Espinet. Rachael interviewed our honorable Prime Minister who spoke about the push for digitization in Trinidad and Tobago. The Prime Minister highlighted some surprising points. He admitted that he himself does not use much technology at all, not even ATMs. Instead, he always has cash available. Even with this in mind, he is the one that is leading the charge to digitize our government and our public sector, and he understands the importance of steering the country toward the digital space. We live in a global economy that is pushing for digital transformation. The global economy is going digital, so we cannot be left behind. This is something the Prime Minister understands quite clearly.  

Despite his personal views on the use of technology use Dr. Rowley is making himself well equipped to deal with transitioning the country digitally. He spoke about creating a Digital Public Sector. Now let’s think about that for a minute, what does that mean for us as business owners?  

WHAT IS A DIGITAL PUBLIC SECTOR? 

How we operate now is very important. If the government sector is digitally transforming, and we (the private sector) are still operating with analog (paper), how do we interface with them?  

There are going to be some problems and we are going to have some compatibility issues when we have to interface with these various institutions. They will be requesting information to be shared digitally such as documents to file your tax returns, quotations for the procurement processes, and other such documents. This means that we (the private sector) have to look at our systems. 

The government is moving forward based on our honorable Prime Minister’s plan for digitization. Why aren’t we moving forward as a private sector? What is the hindrance? Although the Prime Minister has an aversion to digital technology which he admits, he doesn’t use it. This shows that you do not have to be the person utilizing technology, but what you have to focus on is the bigger picture, it is having an understanding of the benefits associated with the use of digital technology and the impact it is going to have on your organization.  

WHO LEADS THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONVERSATION? 

You need to have someone in your organization to lead the charge and the conversation around digital transformation.  

How do you do that?  

You get someone on board who understands the strategic objectives of your business, someone who understands your current operational state and your future state. Get someone who understands what is needed to digitally transform your company to meet those strategic objectives. That person will show you how to transition your business in 2021.  

We must stay compatible and competitive in order to stay abreast with our global competitors. We no longer compete just in the local arena. Everyone must embrace digital transformation. It’s no longer, “maybe I should…” or “probably I would…” it has now become a “have to”. It is critical for technology to be in place for 2021. 

I know a lot of organizations are working on finalizing budgets currently and we urge you to consider carving out space in your budgets to include your digital transformation process. There are some key points that the honorable Prime Minister raised.  

He says, “whether we like it or not, because of what technology allows, we will be drawn in. And the question is how soon, how deep, and how well prepared we will be to participate”. This is precisely what we need to understand as business owners. How prepared are we to transition our business digitally?  

Options to digitally transform your business  

  1. We’ve hosted a webinar in December 2020 utilizing our E-Flow system – 15 minutes to create a Digital Business Process  
  2. We also utilize Office 365 to create a seamless digital environment.
  3. You can also choose a custom-built solution to digitize your business.

There are many professionals in Trinidad and Tobago that can help you transform your business digitally. Reach out to someone to help you implement these systems. If you are a Managing Director or a CEO, I’m talking to you. Do not be the stumbling block in your business. I know it’s a daunting task. I know sometimes change is difficult, and I know at times you’re going to be fearful of transitioning.  

You may be asking: 

What are these new technological environments I’m going to be operating in? 

I’m not that tech-savvy, so how do I manage a company that is based on technology and run by technology?  

I know it can be scary, but the fact is, this change is necessary. Using digital transformation, your reports and processes are organized so that your business can see any gaps present and make quick decisions to bridge those gaps. Digital Transformation makes these reports and processes more easily accessible when done right.  

You are still going to be able to run an efficient business. Things may change on how you process information, but the core of your business remains the same. The efficiency of your service will improve drastically.  

WHAT WILL CHANGE WITH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION? 

  • You will be able to provide greater efficiency to your clients  
  • You will improve on your product quality 
  • Your delivery time will improve 
  • Your client satisfaction will improve  
  • You will realize that you can now focus on problematic areas in your business that you did not have time to focus on before.  

Technology provides a lot of advantages. Like our honorable Prime Minister, we must be willing and ready to take the leap of faith by putting it into the hands of professionals that understand what that transition would look like, and who can show you how to transition your business in 2021.  

The hardest part in transitioning your business is firstly, understanding your company culture and building supporting technology to enhance the experience. Secondly, understanding your company’s strategic objectives. Once we understand those 2 elements, then digital transformation can be easily implemented.  

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS AND SOLUTIONS 

Some would argue that digital transformation is a huge financial undertaking. But, while financing does play a part, it does not have to be an expensive transition. An organization can phase its digital transformation over a period of 6 to 12 months to spread the cost over time.  

Instead of saying, “I don’t have the finances to spend on technology right now”, just pause and give it some thought. If you don’t implement this technology in 2021, where is that going to leave your business? What’s going to happen with your business at the end of 2021? Would you still be in operation?  

It is evident what has happened to some of our local restaurants that were not prepared. Those that were slow to respond in implementing technology to treat with takeout orders when we had that lockdown in 2020. A lot of them were scrambling to introduce that layer of technology to ensure their business survival, that is just one example. There are many other examples that companies could utilize to see that without technology in a world like this, you are going to have a difficult time surviving and competing.  

In 2021, my hope for us all is that we would read this article in the Newsday and take the government’s lead. Further, if the government is going in the direction of digitizing the public sector, and we are all impacted in some form or the other, by whatever government policies are implemented, shouldn’t we as a private sector, also follow suit and digitize our businesses so that we can have seamless integration with the public sector?  

If you need any assistance, we at 800-Tech offer free one-hour consultations to help guide you along the way, contact us at 223-8324. 

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