Now is a time for organisations to take bold, game-changing steps towards digital transformation rather than continuing to take small steps forward. Those that move fastest have the opportunity to set themselves apart from the rest through innovative strategies and to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.
That’s according to Pragasen Moodley, Key Accounts Director, Sage Africa & Middle East, who was speaking in a Sage X3 webinar. He says that even as some companies feel as if they are in a state of digital transformation fatigue or overload, they need to face up to the real threat of digital disruption by prioritising the right digital initiatives and investments. Moodley points towards insights from McKinsey’s Mastering The Duality Of Digital: How Companies Withstand Disruption, for a roadmap that can help companies navigate digital change. According to McKinsey, companies can only succeed in the digital world if they go beyond “making incremental changes to long-standing business models”.
Established companies “must overcome two challenges at the same time: innovating with new digital businesses while also digitalising core holdings.” Multiple McKinsey Global Surveys on digitalisation have shown that the defining elements of successful strategies and operating models are built for this duality of digital.
Sage customers and business partners joined Sage at the webinar, which focused on how innovative technology provides SMEs with the visibility, flexibility, and efficiency to manage finances, operations, and people. According to Moodley, automating repetitive, low-value activities and using powerful analytic capabilities/AI and machine learning is foundational in transformation.
Get comfortable with change
Shridhar Sampath, General Manager at Sage customer Motivaluate Consulting and Training, says every business is being disrupted. “What is critical is that business leaders need to get comfortable with the pace of change,” Sampath adds. As an example of what is possible, he cites a customer that transformed its supply chain to enable remote management by executives sitting miles from the logistics centre.
This kind of change requires business leaders to have financial and reporting systems that can keep pace. Andrew Moodley, Chief Digital Officer at Sage distribution partner Axiz, concurs that the pace of change dictates that organisations rethink their strategic approach and the technologies they adopt to support their business strategies.
“The challenge organisations are facing is that we may have this wonderful, beautiful idea on what change looks like for us – but we may not have the ability to execute against that idea. Or we might not necessarily be aligned because the change is somehow limited by our perception and funds.”
He adds that change will be a long road for some organisations and will happen at different speeds for different businesses. To succeed, companies will need to stay the course and build intelligent partnerships. They will also need to focus their transformation efforts on serving and delighting their customers.
Meet customers at their point of need
Meeting customers at their point of need is one of the best reasons to deploy technologies, keeping in mind the impact of technology on the people who will use it as the measure of success. Organisations should not buy the latest software or technology for their own sake. True transformation requires a combination of people and the tools they will use.
Resilient organisations will have leaders who acknowledge change can be difficult for their teams. They will encourage others to be open-minded, create a safe environment, and support the people through change. This is not the role of the CIO alone. The entire leadership team needs to cross that digital divide.
Pragasen Moodley emphasises the importance of ecosystem partners in bringing about successful change. “Sage works with an extensive network of partners, who contribute to our mutual growth and our ambition to build customers for life,” he says. “We are a trusted business partner to our customers and a passionate advocate for the entrepreneur and the business builder.”
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