Enjoy our faster App experience

Digital transformation not a luxury but an inevitable necessity

The world is full of stories confirming that digital transformation is not a luxury, and it is not likely to be one. It has always been a necessity and something that is inevitable.



By Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori

Published: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 11:14 PM

I was pleased with the readership of the previous article on digital projects with no return. All in all, it is good that an article has its share of meaningful, rational debate. I excuse those who were surprised by the facts and figures reported in the article. It is not easy to accept that 70 per cent of the investments in digital transformation may have been wasted, but numbers don’t lie.

The world is full of stories confirming that digital transformation is not a luxury, and it is not likely to be one. It has always been a necessity and something that is inevitable. And today, after all the developments in the world, it has become even more imperative. While there are many digital projects that had achieved a great deal, there are also many ambitious plans that have ended up in nothing.

On paper, some countries have achieved amazing results through simple projects that cost little money. The website of the UN’s SDGs tells us that Senegal has achieved a surplus of $177 million from a single digital project of developing a mobile payment system and deploying it in urban, rural and remote areas through a serious, coordinated and comprehensive campaign.

To consider a corporate example, let’s talk about the American giant General Electric Company. It established a digital business unit costing millions of dollars, and later discovered that it had not served its intended purpose. The company wanted to get ahead of others in adopting IoT, to become a world leader in data and AI. GE’s stakeholders expected that GE Digital would generate billions of dollars, but the company barely succeeded in stopping the steep decline in its share prices and incurred significant losses. This was because the assumptions on which the project was based, was not compatible with the reality.

Something similar happened to Ford Motor Company after it launched an advanced digital service, dubbed Ford Smart Mobility. Rather than achieving the desired leap, Ford had wasted a lot of money on a hasty project that did not take into account, the integration with the company’s other systems. They had to rethink the project radically.

There are many such stories, and in each, there is at least one lesson to learn. However, those who are clever, learn from the experience of others.


More news from Opinion