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A digital wakeup call for enterprises

2016-11-21 By Sally Gao, Editor-in-Chief

The digital revolution has arrived. Impacting B2B and B2C enterprises in every vertical, the online world and sharing economy are creating unprecedented possibilities. However, these possibilities lie behind a wall of intense competition.

Powered by the Internet, things have never been better for consumers. Online shopping boosted by easily searchable buying tips and vendor ratings are eroding the business-centric consumer model that not so long ago saw enterprises shape demand. Mass production and mass marketing are falling short of consumers’ expectations of individualization and markets of one, and economies of scale are losing relevance as digitalization takes hold.

Cross-industry integration and competition are becoming more common, blurring boundaries and giving rise to the sharing economy. Like the models employed by Uber and Airbnb, ownership of physical assets will decline across all verticals. Data mining and analytics will form the new tools for yielding market insights, while agility and scalability will be the fuel that propels enterprises to act on these insights quickly and at low cost. 

This all sounds great, but traditional enterprises come with a lot of baggage. And for them digital transformation is disruptive. In August, we surveyed 30,000 enterprises about their digital transformation status. Our findings are nothing short of a wakeup call for enterprises: Only 17 percent of those surveyed could be considered digital and less than 50 percent had a clear digital transformation strategy. Moreover, the majority lacked the technical architecture, personnel, or processes for transformation. 

At HUAWEI CONNECT 2016, Huawei’s three Rotating CEOs were joined by 80 partners and more than 20,000 people from the ICT industry. Together, they explored how every vertical can achieve digital transformation collaboratively in the cloud era. One thing was clear: Enterprises require workable top-down strategies that transform operations, business models, processes, staff, and corporate culture.

Harley-Davidson in manufacturing, HSBC in digital banking, and Deutsche Telekom in the telco world are examples of enterprises that are ahead of the curve. It’s our hope that collaboration will allow other enterprises to become agile, intelligent, and digital for a future that’s bright because it’s cloudy.

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