Digital transformation entrepreneur Gaone Tlhong has launched a farm produce online marketplace, which she says is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s severe impact on farmers and consumers.
Tlhong, a globally-acclaimed vitiligo advocate, says although agriculture falls under essential services during the national COVID-19-induced lockdown, the traditional selling of fresh farm produce has been severely impacted by restrictions. Although there are sufficient food supplies available at national level, access to farmers’ and fresh produce markets has become extremely difficult for some during the lockdown. (more…)
That everyone is trying to go digital is well established. Yet organizations continue to grapple with achieving breakthrough business impact from digital transformation programs. In my previous article, we saw that a digital business is fundamentally different from a traditional one: The customer is younger and more demanding; there is an explosion of data; velocity of change is unprecedented; technology is not a support function, it’s at the core; a “right the first time” approach does not work; and lastly, digital problems are highly interdisciplinary.
The inability to recognize that digital businesses are radically different from traditional ones leads to both failure of vision and failure of execution in digital transformation programs. It is imperative that enterprises recognize that they need a new mindset and a new approach to succeed in the digitally disrupted world, or else they risk losing unrecoverable ground to the digital natives.
I want to share five principles to achieve transformative success in your digital journey.
E-commerce : How Covid-19 is speeding up digital transformation in SA
If there’s one thing Covid-19 has shown us, it’s that the world can be shaken without notice. As a result of the country-wide lockdown, there has been an almost immediate shift from traditional methods of business and retail to a world that’s completely online.
Image credit: Erik Mcleanvia Unsplash
This proves that technological flexibility is fundamental in remaining relevant in a fast-changing world. While digesting the recent events and embracing a new reality and outlook on the future might seem challenging right now, adaptability is probably the most important trait any business can have at the moment.
Here are the four most important digital transformations we are likely to see in the coming months and years:
Mass adoption of online shopping
The coronavirus has pushed South African e-commerce forward many years in less than two months. According to a recent article on MyBroadband, South African food retailers have seen a 700% increase in web traffic volumes.
For many South Africans, online shopping has become the new norm during the pandemic. As behavioral patterns we repeat most often become etched into our neural pathways, new habits are formed. Even individuals who might not usually interact online on a daily basis, such as the elderly, have had no choice but to tech up to get their weekly supplies of essential goods.
Looking back to previous far-reaching Black Swan events, it’s safe to say they have been both havoc-wreaking and accelerating. The 2003 SARS epidemic, for instance, threatened Alibaba’s survival but was recognised later as the watershed moment for internet in China.
With the the rise of Coronavirus Digital transformation is changing every industry under the sun, and healthcare is no exception. As we move deeper into the digital technology era, we are met with a solution for not only minimizing illness but also public panic and economic crises that inevitably accompany a health epidemic.
Coronavirus has negatively affected the technology supplier chain. For past weeks i have been closely following the effect of the epidemic on digital transformation and below are some recent cases:
Traditional banks in the South African banking sector, such as Absa, FirstRand, Nedbank, and Standard Bank were among the first to react to digital transformation. Challenged by the emergence of smaller players in the field, bringing about a transformational approach to the banking service, the four global banks were urged to pursue agile transformation programmes with an enterprise-wide impact on cost and operational efficiency in order to improve investor experience and maintain their position in the market.
However, while not all digital banks deliver on their initial promise, even market leaders are far from having a smooth path forward although they serve a sizeable market segment. Without innovation, they perish.
So what has changed or is changing to disrupt the traditional South African banking model
Mobile banking users are set to reach 2 Billion by 2020! Most banking apps continue to create simplified solutions for users at the palm of their hand. Payments, loan applications, credit checks, spend tracking are just some of the current features users can enjoy currently. These and other offerings will keep evolving and quite simply put, the one with the best app wins
Mobile payments have become a ‘normal’ part of retail across the board. Snapscan, Apple pay, Flickpay, Zapper and VC Pay are just a few of the options currently available for mobile app payments that are integrated with the backend of most banks. It is that convenience that more and more users are gravitating towards.
Blockchain will continue proving to be a huge asset in digital payments, escrow services, loan processing, and just about every other area where valuable information or currency needs the utmost security.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Using advanced software and algorithms, AI bots can calculate the best investment opportunities, interest rates, credit scores, loan providers and more helping users be on top of their investment prospects. To remain competitive in this space in the industry, banks are digitizing and automating such processes.
Jobs are moving from repetition to more strategic roles that require critical thinking and/ or the creative engagement of a human. The jobs that however require repetitive tasks will most likely be eliminated. Customer support roles, data entry roles, data verification roles and many back office functions will likely become redundant.
On the upside, the digital wave has created new roles and functions. Banking is highly regulated and not everything can be automated. Some employees may require upskilling to fit these new roles. The re-skilling challenge is greater than we have ever seen in history and is approaching faster than any in the past. There is a need to assess each organization’s current talent pool, processes and determine what skills exist and what new skills will be required.
Digital banks to look out for
Digital Banking by definition, is part of the broader context for the move to online banking, where banking services are delivered over the internet. It provides the ability for users to access financial data through desktop, mobile and ATM services. A few banks have already emerged as players in this new space in South Africa to compete with the traditional big four banks.
In conclusion, the fourth industrial revolution is here and in play. Employees might have to look at upskilling to meet new role requirements. The end-user has to look for the right service offering that meets their needs. Banks have to adjust their product offerings to compete and serve their clientele better as well as work with reputable tech firms to substantiate their digital transformation.
At TNG solutions we are a digital transformation consultancy, custom software development, cloud solutions and IT Project management company that provides cutting edge IT solutions. Helping enterprise and start up clients untangle complex issues that always emerge during their digital evolution journey. Contact us for a free consultation session.