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Tata Communications boss sounds warning to digital laggards

There is only one way things are heading and the slower you get there, the more chances there will be that the competition has already stolen a march

The boss of Tata Communications has warned that customers must do more to unlock the digital potential of their businesses and hinted that those that fail to do so will face a bleak future.

Tata has released its Leading in a digital-first world: enabling success with the right mindset, ecosystem and trust report with the headline findings indicating that there is a long way to go for most firms with their digital transformation journeys.

The headline finding was that 90% of enterprises have yet to hit their digital-first goals, with some suffering a productivity drop during the pandemic because of connectivity issues. Just under half of the users quizzed also put security at the top of the list of current concerns.

Tata looked to divide customers into segments of digital trailblazers, migrants and aspirants. Only 10% were in the first category, with 52% in the second as they embraced more digital, and 38%, who were looking to do more, were placed in the final category.

“A digital-first operating model is a must for enterprises in the new world order,” said AS Lakshminarayanan, managing director and CEO of Tata Communications. “As economies open, trust and security are core to the competitiveness and agility of enterprises seeking growth. The scale of digitisation will be the new barometer of success for enterprises, irrespective of size or industry.”

The report had some suggestions for those that were looking to improve the situation, making it clear that there are gaps that the channel could help fill.

Chief among them was the sense that enterprises are yet to roll out digital processes across the business and to establish a digital-first approach for the business and its ecosystem.

There has been plenty of talk in the channel about the importance of customer experiences and many of those quizzed by Tata had to admit they were not in a position to ensure high levels of that across their ecosystem. The advice was for more to focus on being hyperconnected and to move away from legacy processes.

On a more positive note, there was a recognition by many users that security and trust were critical to underpinning a digital-first strategy. Many users rated themselves as poor at delivering an agile operating model, which also exposed an opportunity for the channel to make a difference.

There have been other signs that the pandemic has accelerated an acceptance that digital will be the way forward and that legacy approaches will not hit the mark any more.

Recent research from NFON UK into how digital research had impacted the charity sector found that the majority of players in that market were viewing digital as the future, with 90% accepting that the pandemic had underlined the need for change and, as a result, 90% were planning to increase investment on that front.

“The charity sector has been hugely impacted by the pandemic, and as we continue to live with the virus, they are continuing to struggle with addressing an increased demand for their services within existing resource,” said Myles Leach, managing director of NFON UK.

“There is huge scope for charities to invest and deploy new communications technologies in order to enhance their service delivery and conserve costs. The key is knowing where to start and what technologies will provide the quickest return on investment.”

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