OPED

Transform or die — the value and purpose of digital transformation

Not too long ago, offering mobile voice and messaging services was a game changer. Then came mobile data. Now these are simply the expected functions of a network

In Summary
  • The aim of such a transformation is three-fold: increase revenue, improve efficiency and decrease costs, and enhance the customer experience
  • digital transformation is essential for an organisation to adapt quickly to changing markets
A man walks into the offices of telecommunications company Huawei in Auckland, New Zealand, October 30, 2018. /REUTERS
A man walks into the offices of telecommunications company Huawei in Auckland, New Zealand, October 30, 2018. /REUTERS

It is not enough for business to simply stick to the fundamental products and services they have always offered. In the digital age it's disrupt or die.

According to the IDC, digital transformation is essential for an organisation to adapt quickly to changing markets. Business opportunities are fleeting, the IDC said, and if your business does not have the agility to seize them, your competition will.

The IDC said that digitally transformed organisations can react quickly to changing market dynamics, and adapt their strategies quickly and on-demand. Companies that are not transformed will miss out.

 
 

One example of this, are cellular network operators around the world.

Not too long ago, offering mobile voice and messaging services was a game changer. Then came mobile data. Now these are simply the expected functions of a network.

"They are fundamental, but not enough". To remain relevant, businesses have to adapt to new technologies and transform.

Huawei defines digital transformation as the application of new digital capabilities including tools, platforms and systems to processes, operations, product design, and services.

The aim of such a transformation is three-fold: increase revenue, improve efficiency and decrease costs, and enhance the customer experience.

When we talk about digital transformation, we have to realise it's all about how you can engage your customers. While new technology is essential to a digital transformation, it must be in support of the primary purpose of the exercise — making things better for your customers.

Huawei has partnered with several mobile network operators in Africa in their digital transformation. For instance, with Safaricom in Kenya, Huawei has helped implement financial technology in the form of serin:in box vices like M-PESA and Fuliza. These have unlocked a whole new digital economy in the country.

 
 

Fuliza was launched in January, and has been gaining popularity in Kenya where Safaricom has over 23.6 million M-PESA users. Kenyans transacted over Sh6.2 billion (R900 million) in the first month of Fuliza's launch.

It has disbursed Sh140 billion (R2 billion) since January, processing 13 loans per second.

By Lu Baoqiang, Vice President of Huawei Southern Africa Region