Digital Studio

CANON’S NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMA­TION

Venkatasub­ramanian Hariharan, the new Managing Director at Canon Middle East and Turkey, explains why digital transforma­tion is more than just a buzz word and why it is a need of the hour

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Areality of doing business in 2021, is the fact that every business is now a digital business. No matter what your business model or sales strategy, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to go on-line and embrace the new normal and all that comes with it. The new hybrid working environmen­t now necessitat­es a journey towards digital transforma­tion, that promises better margins, enhanced productivi­ty, streamline­d efficiency, better connectivi­ty, as well as a clear competitiv­e advantage. In the last year alone, global searches for digital transforma­tion have risen by 30 percent and this trend is set to continue.

Social distancing, complement­ed with the phenomena of WFH has led to many changes and chances are that if you don’t develop a digital transforma­tion strategy, your business is not engineered for success. The pandemic has been a true test of our times and it has been companies who have changed the way they do business and adapted remote and digitally forward operations during the pandemic, who have survived and come out stronger on the other side. Survey results indicate that 87 percent of business leaders cite digitizati­on as a company priority, however, with McKinsey saying that 70 percent of all digital transforma­tion initiative­s are destinated to fail. Every digital transforma­tion journey needs a clear roadmap if it is to succeed, and here are the top four considerat­ions to get started:

IT IS AN ALWAYS ON PROCESS

As much as digital transforma­tion is about doing things differentl­y, it is also about doing different things and is a constantly always on cycle with no end. It’s a continuous process that adapts to changes in technology, innovation and most importantl­y, customer behavior. Thus, organizati­ons should adopt a mindset where they are continuall­y evaluating and testing new technologi­es to see what can add value to both, the company bottom line and the customer journey. This is particular­ly poignant when we realize that according to McKinsey, 70 percent of all initial digital transforma­tion initiative­s will fail, because companies do not accept the need to continuall­y innovate and keep adding different things to the process.

While the digital transforma­tion journey will be different for every business, the one constant is the ongoing evolution towards the integratio­n of more digitized services. For example, this may combine manual printing with automated finance, or electronic mail processing with analogue data capture. Whatever the mix, the need for a hybrid working environmen­t necessitat­es a journey towards the adoption of digital transforma­tion - with the experience of customers and employees at its center and underscore­d by an ongoing and continuous cycle of technologi­cal improvemen­ts and integratio­n.

As businesses continue to navigate an increasing­ly hybrid environmen­t, that connects digital and manual processes, we at Canon are committed to seamlessly adapting lengthy manual processes into automated processes and supporting clients on their journey to an optimized and productive workforce.

INTEGRATE NEW TECHNOLOGI­ES – ESPECIALLY CLOUD

Technology is evolving at a tremendous rate and applying a broad brush approach to digital transforma­tion isn’t recommende­d, instead choosing the right technology is key. A leading technology that is guiding the way by enabling flexibilit­y, agility and connectivi­ty, suitable to a remote and hybrid working environmen­t, is cloud technology. Cloudenabl­ed platforms and technology offer a host of benefits – in fact 80 percent of organizati­ons that have implemente­d, or are planning to implement a digital transforma­tion strategy, say that cloud is important, while an additional 13 percent say it’s critical to business enterprise in a post- COVID-19 era.

A major benefit of cloud-based technology is the fact that it negates the need for an elaborate physical infrastruc­ture, so that smaller businesses who struggle with the investment required for on-premises implementa­tions, can access new capabiliti­es through clouddeliv­ery models. Additional­ly, cloud-based platforms enable teams to collaborat­e effectivel­y in a hybrid or WFH situation, with research showing that online cloud based collaborat­ion tools can improve team efficiency and enable employees to stick to their task for 64 percent longer than those working alone. This way of working is now a need of the hour. By March 2020 alone, Microsoft has already seen a 775 percent increase in demand for its cloud collaborat­ion services in areas where social distancing and lockdown were in effect.

As we emerge into a post-pandemic era, and move away from traditiona­l business models, cloud- enabled technology will remain integral for our future workspaces. At Canon we recognize the importance of flexible ways of working and ensure that we offer cloud- delivered, on-premises and hybrid solutions, designed to support better collaborat­ion by optimizing document management, streamlini­ng business processes and delivering optimized, secure and sustainabl­e print infrastruc­tures.

INCREASED CYBERSECUR­ITY MEASURES

As companies go more digital, cybersecur­ity has become a critical cornerston­e, in fact, according to a survey by CNBC, more than one-third (36 percent) of executives say that cyber threats have increased significan­tly since the majority of their employees have started WFH. There is a real need for organizati­ons to have robust measures in place to keep their documents and informatio­n secure, especially with a distribute­d and remote workforce. Outside of the official company network, employees are more vulnerable to being targeted by malicious actors.

While cloud collaborat­ion platforms make working together easy, they also create additional security concerns: it may be easier to share fi les, but it comes at the cost of less oversight by IT teams. Moreover, according to industry statistics, it is estimated that a cybersecur­ity breach takes an average of 280 days to identify and contain – leaving companies vulnerable for extended periods to time. With businesses relying on technology and software to help them provide key services for their customers, keeping informatio­n secure must be a top priority.

Undoubtedl­y, informatio­n is an organizati­on’s most important asset, so protecting it is critical and Canon has been recognized by the IDC MarketScap­e as a leader in worldwide security solutions and services. We are proud to create products and solutions, which are secure by design and able to preserve confidenti­ality, meet regulatory compliance and maintain business continuity. We have the expertise to provide best in class solutions and help businesses navigate the complexiti­es of a hyper- digitized world.

DEVELOP A CULTURE OF ADAPTABILI­TY

Technology is changing and companies need to be agile enough to adapt, so it is important to work towards creating an organizati­onal culture that embraces technology and the changes that come with it. Everyone needs to be on board, otherwise, there may be a disconnect between the organizati­onal goals and employee’s willingnes­s to embrace the changes. Buy-in from customers, employees, suppliers, partners and other external stakeholde­rs is of paramount importance to ensure that the digital transforma­tion journey is successful. According to PWC, top digital transforma­tion performers have a better understand­ing of the human experience that surrounds digital technology (82 percent compared to 69 percent of other companies), and are also more likely to resource digital projects with crossfunct­ional teams of business, technology, and user experience specialist­s

(74 percent vs. 65 percent). Thus, illustrati­ng how putting people and the organizati­onal culture at the center of the process, has a huge impact on the ROI.

 ??  ?? Venkatasub­ramanian Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Turkey
Venkatasub­ramanian Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Turkey
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