The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation and it has become critical for all businesses, large or small, to undergo digital transformation to remain relevant and continue to succeed.
Here are ways highlighted by industry leaders on how your company can identify digitalisation priorities, get started on your digital transformation journey, and adopt best practices from others’ success stories.
Firstly, digital transformation entails the use of digital technology to transform your business in three key aspects: the way you engage your customers, the way your business operates, and the way you compete with other businesses.
Ms Wynthia Goh, head of NEXT Digital, NCS Pte Ltd, shared that there are three main digital transformations:
Critically, as resources and time are not unlimited, you need to identify the key problems to be solved in your business. This can be done through finding potential digital transformation areas and gathering feedback from customers, employees and competitors:
Start planning your Digital Transformation Roadmap. There are three main sections of digitalisation:
For support on your digitalisation journey, you can leverage existing government programmes such as IMDA SMEs Go Digital and the Digital Leaders Programme.
Turning towards successful SME digitalisation stories, X-Inc Pte Ltd is one such business which overcame the challenges of digital transformation over the years. It stated as a trading and food distribution family business in the 1930s. The third-generation owner Ms Nichol Ng, joined in 2002 and began the company’s modernisation and business sustainability process.
At that time, the food services industry was still using manual processes. Ms Ng implemented their first Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to collect customer orders. She also incorporated both a toll-free hotline and fax number for customers who could not completely convert to digital ordering.
Other digital initiatives that X-Inc implemented are:
At the end of the day, Ms Ng reflects that digitalisation is an inevitable and necessary step to take for business continuity and resiliency. It is critical to the success of your digital transformation journey to adopt a digital-first mentality, be prepared to encounter changes and challenges along the way, drive the initiatives in collaboration with your team, and keep people at the core of the change.
Within the industry of digital solutions providers, there are not many large local industry players, but many small vendors from an investor’s perspective. Mr Gerald Chiu, Partner, Dymon Asia Private Equity, recommended that it is the right time for small service providers to explore partnerships and mergers with other tech companies. Whether it is through pooling strengths with companies with similar expertise, or providing contrasting and complementary services, there is much to gain from scaling up. With support coming from both customers and government programmes, the time is ripe for the emergence of a strong digital transformation challenger.
Interested to find potential partners as a technology vendor? You can check out SGTech’s TechPartner, a complimentary service exclusively for SGTech members which brings together technology vendors to collaborate and establish new partnerships.
To conclude, the journey of digital transformation is an ongoing and long-term process – and every journey begins with a single step. With these insights and best practices from industry experts, start taking the first steps in planning your digitalisation roadmap for the success of your company.
SGTech’s Digital Transformation Chapter gathers like-minded companies with various specialities, with the common aim of accelerating innovation to drive the successful digital transformation of Singapore businesses.
Please contact [email protected] if you'd like to find out more about the Chapter.