December 1, 2022
Hamy Anthony Hai

Hamy Anthony Hai Discusses Sustainable Digital Transformation

Hamy Anthony Hai is a CIO and seasoned change management professional. In the following article, Hamy A. Hai discusses sustainable digital transformation in business, and how it can be harnessed for future business growth.

If you had asked data analysts where digital transformations were headed three years ago, it’s unlikely that anyone could have predicted the mad rush toward digitalization that the world experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. And, although the trend has begun to slow down, it’s still progressing at lightning speed as we return to the office explains Hamy Anthony Hai.

Over the past two years, Workday has tracked how quickly businesses have embraced digital transformations and published its findings in “Closing the Acceleration Gap: Toward Sustainable Digital Transformation”. Throughout the report, questions are raised about how we can sustain such a rapid pace into the future and notes that we are slowing back down to pre-pandemic rates. Hamy A. Hai explores these results and discusses what it means for digital transformation.

Main Findings

After completing a two-year longitudinal study, Workday found that 58% of industry leaders reported slower rates of digital transformation throughout 2021 and expected slower expansion in the coming years. Of the entire sample size, only 14% of leaders expected their current efforts to expand digital transformation to continue into the next year at the same pace.

While these numbers may seem shocking, individual in-person interviews were conducted and found that the problem isn’t necessarily that businesses are abandoning digital transformations. Instead, they no longer see the need to expand as quickly now that COVID restrictions are being lifted explains Hamy Anthony Hai. They would prefer to take a measured, more sustainable approach that becomes cemented into their existing business models.

This also means implementing digital transformations in a way that accounts for the people, cultures, organizational structures, and skills needed to effectively apply new technologies. Without the necessary workforce or a culture ready to accept change, digital transformations are bound to fail in the long term.

Existing Barriers to Digital Transformations

Hamy A. Hai says that by the time the COVID-19 pandemic reached its peak in 2020, roughly 36% of businesses expected the majority of the revenues to come through digital means. Since then, that number has understandably dropped to just 13%. Given that businesses have reopened, and people can freely travel from their homes, the sudden spike in 2020 wasn’t realistically sustainable.

This has led many to question whether it’s possible to even maintain such high digital performance states Hamy Anthony Hai. After all, as the economy has returned to a level of normalcy, companies no longer seem as willing to experiment with new methods and, according to the findings reported above, businesses simply lack the trained staff needed to implement such a major shift.

The Gap Between Potential and Actualized Success

Rather than using 2020’s digital performance as a standard for what’s possible, perhaps it’s better to instead focus on whether companies are taking the steps needed to implement change. Hamy A. Hai reports that after the pandemic, it has become clear that businesses can take advantage of new opportunities to expand into new markets. But are they doing enough?

In terms of specific fields, only 49% of financial leaders felt confident in their team’s ability to plan, implement, and analyze cycles compared to a slightly higher 53% in IT. From an HR standpoint, though, the perspective is a little cheerier. Almost two-thirds of managers in HR felt confident, although, at the same time, another 43% directly stated that they lacked confidence.

For now, though, there’s no denying that any changes brought about by COVID-19 are here to stay. The trouble will be in overcoming existing barriers, training staff, and creating sustainable means of maintaining digital transformation. Hamy Anthony Hai explains that the future is sure to be just as unpredictable as the last few years and, as we have seen, digital solutions provided the backbone for economic continuity.

Hamy Anthony Hai

Transforming Business Models to Focus on Digital Transformation

Before businesses can hope to achieve a higher level of digital transformation, they must first shift their focus from traditional models. This is a difficult task and one that will take time, effort, and money. They will first have to break down existing internal silos and move away from thinking about individual departments. Instead, Hamy A. Hai says that their focus must be on the company as a whole.

This may mean rethinking how different departments interact with one another and, in some cases, it may even mean breaking down long-standing traditions. It’s a tall order but, fortunately, there are a number of software tools available to help with this transition.

Furthermore, businesses must create a customer-centric culture. This means considering how their products or services benefit the customer and, in many cases, changing the way they operate. It’s no longer enough to simply create a product and hope that customers will find a use for it. Instead, businesses must think about how they create value for customers and go above what’s expected.

The Bottom Line

Workday’s report provides a detailed look into how digital transformation has changed in the last few years and where it’s headed in the future. While the focus has shifted from expanding digital transformation to sustaining it, the overall goal remains the same. Businesses must focus on creating a customer-centric culture, breaking down internal silos, and expanding their workforce’s skills.