If the largest challenge facing global companies was digitalization, they would have their work cut out for them.
Instead, their task is even harder: They need to design comprehensive digital operations amid a revolution in ways of working as well as significant economic and geopolitical disruptions. These external shocks have affected everything from order-to-fulfillment channels to talent acquisition strategies. Enterprises find themselves transforming operating environments, reshaping supply chains, and challenging traditional business models in a business climate that resembles nothing that has come before.
Juggling new digitalization projects in such a fraught climate isn’t easy. Even so, aggressive digitalization remains the only path forward for organizations that want to seize new opportunities as they emerge from these macro-shocks.
Customizing Transformation Journeys
According to a recent McKinsey survey, digitally adept organizations are aggressively adopting automated processes, advanced DevOps practices, and public cloud usage to enable rapid innovation and cost optimization. However, not all organizations are at this stage; many are grappling to catch up. These companies need to critically assess their readiness for change and build customized transformation journeys if they want to remain competitive. The greater their digital deficit, the more they will need to rely on collaborations with digital partners who can help define the scope of those transformation journeys and scale successful programs across all organizational touchpoints.
Navigating Global Digital Landscapes
Global organizations might face a more seamless digitalization path if national regulatory norms were converging toward something resembling international standards and best practices. Instead, the opposite is happening. Regulatory regimes vary greatly, and technology has become a new battleground as global powers vie to hold and grow their spheres of influence.
In this environment, global business expansion requires a deep understanding of in-country compliance related to privacy, climate impacts, supply chains, and other factors. Compliance with data protection regulations like the EU’s GDPR, for example, is now paramount, as non-compliance could result in severe penalties. Increasingly, regulations will also have more teeth when it comes to controlling the climate impacts of technology. In this context, organizations need a partner that comprehends the regulatory landscape in a global context and can reveal digitalization pathways that will function seamlessly across a truly global business.
Aligning with Sector-specific Changes
Keeping pace with emerging industry-specific changes and risks is crucial, and companies will need to adapt to changes in their industries at an ever-faster pace.
The pharmaceutical industry, for example, is facing increasing regulatory scrutiny due to rising drug prices, necessitating a strategic approach to regulatory compliance. Banks, on the other hand, are grappling with regulatory scrutiny around fintech partnerships and compliance with anti-money laundering rules. Meanwhile, for many manufacturing companies, including automakers, gaining a stronger grasp of the semiconductor ecosystem has recently become a paramount concern.
Increasingly, the pace of change means that global companies will need partners who can make the connections between industry-specific business models and emerging hardware and software capabilities.
Selecting the Right Partner for the Digital Journey
Today’s business climate is both fast-paced and unpredictable. To manage new upheavals, global enterprises need to ensure that their digital partners not only “talk the talk” but also “walk the walk.” The right partner will be ahead in the innovation game and cater to each customer's unique needs with customized solutions that use technology to drive core business objectives. A strong digital partner will be clear about expectations, leverage advanced CRM platforms for seamless customer interaction, and advocate for self-service technology options. Finally, a digital partner’s processes and approaches should be flexible enough to drive value while accommodating ongoing disruption.
The ultimate objective of digital transformation is not just to replace old tools with new ones. Digital transformation is about redefining business models, reimagining processes, and re-engaging people. Digital partners should be enablers of organizational metamorphosis, bringing enduring value, empowering organizations to face future challenges, and preparing global enterprises to be pioneers in their industry.