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Optimising the potential of the digital economy: Three key areas to focus on in 2016

Amit Midha, President, Dell Asia Pacific and Japan | March 1, 2016
Amit Midha of Dell discusses the key trends business leaders need to focus on in 2016 to help organisations gain maximum value from the digital economy

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The past couple of years have seen "digital transformation" as a buzzword coming to the forefront, with everyone in the business world, from CEOs of companies to business analysts, trying to dissect the challenges and opportunities that digital technologies have to offer. From security concerns to understanding the impact on big data and the Internet of Things, there are various aspects of digital transformation that have been brought to light, yet there are others that have also been understated during these discussions in the boardroom.

We have also all seen digital disruption influencing the way organisations in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region operate and conduct business today. This trend will continue to make waves this year, almost to the point of being digital tsunami. On top of this, as I have travelled around the region to meet customers and partners, I have noticed that while a growing number of businesses in APJ have embarked on the digitisation journey, most continue to struggle with fully optimising the potential of digital technologies and making digital a core aspect of their organizational culture and operations. Based on these observations, here are three key areas for business leaders to focus on in 2016 to help them gain the maximum value from the digital economy.

Keeping on the path to business transformation
Digital transformation is the ultimate challenge in change management. It impacts not only strategic positioning but tasks, activities and processes at all levels of an organisation, and even beyond to the extended supply chain. In 2016, leaders must constantly monitor and challenge their organisations to be more adaptable and adopt digitisation practices in a timely manner.

The status quo will not exist for long, either. Leaders should also understand where and how the fundamentals of their current operations must change to adapt to the emergence of more agile digital star-ups and new digital business models. No one can afford to ignore new digital disruptors. Some will partner with the upstarts, others will create similar services that are perhaps cheaper or better, while still others will reinvent themselves with a different value proposition.

The right type of talent
Digital technology has become so pervasive that employees with the skills to take advantage of it will be needed well beyond the information technology (IT) department, across all industries. Recruitment staff will increasingly look to fill functions such as operations, marketing and customer service with people who not only know how to use a desktop computer for email and document creation, but who are comfortable with using the mobile, social and analytical tools that companies need for digital transformation. Coveted skills could include understanding what data visualizations mean, coding, the art of creating good infographics, videos, and presentations, website design, and social media savviness.


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