Our Managing Partner spoke on Digital Transformation


Digital Transformation has become a talk of the town and in the recent CEO Forum the question of everyone’s mind was, “Is Corporate HongKong leading or Lagging behind in the race to Digitally Transform?” Sharing 4 of the most popular questions & responses from the panel discussion here.

Q1) Is Honkong Leading or Lagging in the race of Digital Transformation?

We are not really lagging as a Country because HK has been an open Economy for a long time and therefore we were already much ahead from other parts of the world (e.g. the Octopus service which revolutionized digital payments was much ahead of its time). However, there is a need to speed up or other Countries will take over (e.g. India is leading the race with the Digital Social ID initiative & China in terms of WeChat payments). There is a lot of talk in Hong Kong, we now need to focus on Execution.

Q2) What can corporations do to stay ahead of the Digital Transformation?

I conduct live surveys in almost every Digital Conference/ Keynote/ MasterClass, I Speak or Train. Ironically, the findings have a similar theme > “almost all Corporations are trying to transform but their bureaucratic structures ( arguably from the factory age) continue to be the biggest impediment.” I am not against breaking down offices to create open (co-working type) office environments nor am I against investing in technologies. What I am trying to stress is, changing all these aspects without creating a collaboration friendly agile Organization Structure will be of little help.

Q3) What does it mean for the future of Corporate HK?

Corporate HK (comprising of MNCs) are already trying to transform and the Global offices will influence the change that impacts Hong Kong but they need to accept the reality that lifespans of S&P 500 has gone down from 60 years to 20 years.

On the other spectrum, the largest part of Corporate HK comprises of smaller companies, which are ‘feeling’ left out, a pattern evidenced through my Business Coaching Practice. Well, here is some good news for the smaller companies, they no longer need to invest in a million dollar on ERP automation (with SAP or Oracle) as SaaS (software as a service) can help them go digital in just a few 100 dollars.

Q4) What can Companies do to Transform Digitally?

To understand Digital Transformation, visualize a triangle. In the middle of the triangle is purpose/ vision (the why & what to change) and on other 3 points lies – Technology, Process and People (the how to change). Ironically, majority of the budgets get consumed on Technology & Process, what is left is invested on changing Employee Mindset or Organization Change. Time & again I have seen this leading to failures or very little transformation (only more added process complexities).