By Hanjali Permalloo, Chief Officer – Operational Excellence of Rogers Capital Corporate
The pandemic has turned things upside for everyone, with technology playing an ever -increasing role in our working lives as the demand for reliable and ubiquitous home broadband goes through the roof. Against this backdrop, organisations are now seeking greater levels of efficiency and sustainability while leveraging the latest technologies.
With digitalisation becoming crucial to the way economies operate in a post-pandemic future, Gartner surveys show 91% of businesses engaged in some form of digital initiative, with 87% of senior business leaders saying that digitalisation is a priority.
At Rogers Capital, we have embarked on a digital transformation journey in 2019 and intend to keep on the path of innovation and modernisation. Read on to know more about why we believe that digitalisation has the potential to transform the world of work and why Mauritius must embrace this technological revolution towards realising its vision of becoming a FinTech hub in the region.
Why digitalisation must be core to your business
Deloitte notes that companies with higher digital maturity reported 45% revenue growth compared to 15% for lower maturity companies. The Deloitte Insights’ survey further stated that the more digitally mature an organisation is, the more likely it is to achieve targets of customer satisfaction, product quality, CSR, diversity and inclusion, long-term financial performance, and gross margin.
At Rogers Capital, digitalisation is ingrained in the very fabric of our business, and we strongly believe that all organisations must actively pursue digitalisation initiatives to reap the following benefits:
- Lowered costs: With automation and digitisation, businesses can reduce breakdowns, automate customer care or technical support through a digital transformation agency, and reduce manual errors that can prove a drain on its resources.
- Optimised processes: One of the most significant advantages of digitalisation is that it reduces the time taken to complete a task, the effort necessary to complete it, and the cost of doing it correctly.
- Maximised efficiency: A digitally mature business can work miracles when it comes to improving the customer experience, enhancing marketing strategy, and streamlining operations.
- Mining data for insights: Digitalisation empowers organisations to exploit data to seek renewed growth, stronger performance, and more meaningful customer engagement.
- Greater transparency: As digital tools and platforms make it easier to share information and connect with others, digitalisation can lead to an increase in transparency across the organisation. For example, online collaboration tools can help teams communicate better, stay connected and share project updates.
- Enhanced productivity: When you automate manual repetitive processes, you free your employees from monotonous tasks and allow them to focus on more difficult and innovative initiatives that will help your business function more productively.
- Streamlined Business Continuity Planning (BCP): Digitalisation enables improved BCP by allowing people to access the information they need much faster and more reliably. One highly effective way to streamline BCP is to embrace digital plans, such as via a mobile business continuity app that enables your team to access information at the touch of a button on a mobile phone or tablet.
Given the above benefits, it is no surprise that a recent study by the German Logistics Association (BVL) revealed that digital transformation can reduce costs by anything from 8% to 34% while increasing revenue by 23% to 34%, depending on the sector.
Digital transformation culminating in a digital culture
By providing team members with the right tools, tailored to their environment, digital transformation encourages a digital culture.
While these tools provide a more seamless way to collaborate, they also help to move the entire organisation ahead digitally. This digital culture shift is crucial for businesses to remain sustainable. It forces the upskilling and digital learning of team members to take advantage of the benefits of digital transformation. At Rogers Capital, we have to date, implemented many tools and programmes to optimise operations, reduce time spent on tasks, improve accountability, and increase traceability.
Conclusive results have already been gathered that undeniably prove the importance of digitalisation:
- In-house development of a risk scoring solution results in an approximate saving of US$20,000 per year.
- In-house development of a user-friendly debtor tracking solution leads directly to a reduction of almost 50% of time spent in follow up.
- Completion of all process flows for corporate administration culminates in an approximate increase of 40% in traceability of work done.
Challenges in adopting digitalisation
Digital transformation is not just about adopting new software, technologies, and processes that are more efficient and automated than traditional business practices and processes, but it is an entirely new, innovative way of doing something that is core to your business. That means organisations must consider every aspect when taking on a digital transformation initiative – from how people will react to the change, how it will impact customer relations, the cost, how it will align to business goals, and so on.
Given how disruptive such an adoption can be, the biggest challenges standing in the way of successfully embracing digital technologies are:
- Employee resistance to adoption: When organisations introduce digital changes, be it a new CRM software or digitalisation of physical record-keeping, not all employees will embrace it. After all, jobs and business processes may have evolved, but human resistance to change still remains a key concern while implementing new technologies that demand new skill sets and learnings from employees. The fact that employees tend to forget over 50% of the information presented within an hour of a one-time demo makes it clear why it is difficult to change mindsets about use of new technologies without investing adequate time and effort in training and capacity building.
- High investment requirements: Digital transformation may lead to cost savings in the medium to long term, but in the short run it can be a drain on the organisational budget. This makes it essential that it is planned well to begin with, as an organisation that has failed to factor in all aspects of the digital transformation strategy can find that deadlines are not met and new work is added in – all increasing the cost of a project. Throw in added strategy consultation, changes in customer needs or IT errors, and the cost of digital transformation continues to increase. Hence, at the very outset you must carefully think through the key metrics that you seek to achieve with digitalisation – be it higher customer satisfaction, improved product quality, or time savings – to arrive at an accurate ROI that justifies the budget outlay on your digital transformation initiatives.
- Training staff to use the programmes: A PwC survey in June 2019 notes that 55% of employers most worried about digital skills say innovation is hampered by a lack of key skills. Such perceptions must be addressed with relevant training and capacity building initiatives that seek to upskill employees for a digital-first future. Indeed, almost half – 46% – of CEOs globally said in the same survey that a significant retraining/upskilling (rather than recruiting new talent from outside the organisation) is the most important initiative to close a potential skills gap.
- Measuring user adoption: Measuring user adoption tells you which of your digital adoption efforts are working and which are not so you can iterate and improve. However, most companies struggle to measure user adoption for new digital apps or business processes as common enterprise tools may provide companies with statistics such as daily, weekly, and monthly log-in ratesof employees and average session times, but they provide little to no insight into how employees actually use a product. Thus, sections of the app or a new business process where employees need further handholding remain a mystery unless organisations invest in digital adoption plans that truly talk to employees’ areas of comfort or hesitation in navigating such new apps or business processes.
Cybersecurity to lie at the heart of the digitalisation process
As organisations enhance their digitalisation efficiency across sectors, we cannot emphasise enough the important role that cybersecurity plays in this process. The cyber security landscape is constantly changing, so we must also remain constantly alert.
Indeed, while a successful, growth-oriented business will necessarily implement digitalisation paths and encourage the connection of devices and people, it is imperative that it act by constantly monitoring the security of its information systems.
It is also essential that an organisation’s digital transformation journey considers the security of its digital data, products, and services.
Finally, based on the wide prevalence of cyberattacks, it cannot be stressed enough that we ought to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to protecting the privacy of our organisations and, by extension, our entire economy.
All in all, it is high time for a radical improvement of infrastructure in Mauritius and this effort can progress in the right direction and at the right pace only if organisations work in partnership with external service providers.
Future outlook for digitalisation
At Rogers Capital, we believe that our clients must be central to our digitalisation initiatives. Hence, our upcoming projects include a client portal to provide for seamless client relationships and transactions; the complete digitalisation of our fund service offerings; as well as continued digitalisation of value-added processes in the tax, compliance, and accounting departments. Finally, as for our CRM which lies at the heart of our client management initiatives, we intend to enhance our data capture module to ultimately unlock the perfect customer service formula.
All in all, we look forward to a challenging yet fulfilling journey as we navigate through the most efficient ways to digitalise our organisation with an eye to the business landscape in Mauritius that promises a continuation of the remote work culture, a wider adoption of 5G technologies (‘5G everywhere’), greater focus on AI and business process automation, and finally, enhanced Regtech capabilities.