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The adoption of digital systems and tools can no longer be dismissed as an imperative only for tech-based businesses. Almost every business in South Africa, from a sole trader to a listed entity, had to rapidly shift towards remote and largely digital working in the past two years. As the pandemic threats start to subside, and businesses start to revert to ‘the old normal’ in-person ways of working, the South African economy risks sacrificing the immense digital gains that were made almost overnight.
South Africa’s leading independent management consulting firm, IQbusiness, has launched a unique Digital Maturity Snapshot (DMS) for South African businesses to assess their digital transformation capabilities and readiness. Designed to provide South African business owners and industry leaders with a snap assessment coupled with immediate action steps to efficiently digitalise a business, this homegrown solution is a first in South Africa.
“The switch to a new hybrid way of working as things normalise, will be much harder than the switch to fully remote was. Local businesses simply cannot run the risk of being left behind in the digital age. Their future sustainability in a globally competitive environment depends on their ability to retain the productivity gains that were ‘forced’ on them, rather than simply ‘go back’ to the old-normal.” Explained Rafael Rodriguez, Partner and Experience Innovation Lead at IQbusiness.
The DMS helps a business take the first crucial step in assessing its level of digital maturity and ability to deepen its digital transformation. Businesses can use the data provided by the Snapshot to inform the best way forward to understand and respond to its clients and market better. Using the unique insights to make key operational decisions will be imperative if South African businesses do not want to be left behind in the non-negotiable digital business world.
“South African companies must modernise and optimise their online business platforms if they are to successfully - and rapidly - adapt to meet the shifting needs of their business, distribution channels and customers. A prioritised and agreed strategy to promote digital technological advancements will be essential for continued business growth and job creation in the digital era” said Tshepo Matjila, Senior Manager - Experience Innovation at IQbusiness.
With the DMS, businesses are empowered with the information they need to ensure that their use of digital technologies is able to grow their business in the long term.
Drawing inspiration from the seminal work “Leading Digital” by Westerman, Bonnet and McAfee, the results of the DMS are carefully charted to plot a business’ stance towards its essential digital transformation journey in the South African context. This is overlayed with the unique lens of an organisations’ level of digital maturity.
“We use our vast experience in the local market to provide a unique set of insights to allow a business to act – and fast” added Matjila.
Regardless of where a business may find itself, there are some immediate and practical steps that should be taken to improve digital effectiveness and growth.
A business “Starting Out” on their digital transformation journey, should start to develop a digital vision and shift more core competencies to digital platforms and tools. “There are so many intuitive tools available to help manage teams and workflow – using just one or two can immediately free up capacity and give unique insights into what is and isn’t working in the business” shared Matjila.
Those businesses who are already cautiously progressing with digital adoptions under a “Safety First” approach should raise their focus on enabling technologies.
And businesses with well-running and “Balanced Out” digital initiatives, as well as very advanced “Technology Led” entities, also have scope to deepen their digital capabilities and enhance their performance. By focusing on improving alignment, metrics and governance, these innovators can leapfrog even further ahead.
“By providing South African businesses with the fastest snapshot assessment of their digital transformation readiness and opportunities, we can help upskill and capacitate our labour market to make the most of global digital developments – and ensure that no business is left behind in the digital era” concluded Rodriguez.
Issued by Resolve Communications on behalf of Rafael Rodriguez, Partner and Experience Innovation Lead at IQbusiness, and Tshepo Matjila, Senior Manager - Experience Innovation at IQbusiness