Op-Ed by: Mahday Al-Hebabi, Business Services Director, Vodafone Qatar
The Covid-19 global pandemic has triggered rapid changes for the business world and the economy. The push to ‘go digital’ has accelerated while ‘distributed’ workforces mean a greater demand to connect teams, and secure access to data and applications.
Like businesses globally, at Vodafone Qatar we are relying on big data and advanced analytics to get the full picture. We cannot predict the next crisis, but drawing on lessons learnt around the globe, we can be ready for it.
During the pandemic, Vodafone Business tested their 2019 survey of 1,813 businesses from Europe, Asia, the US and Africa with a follow up research to assess what makes a business ‘future-ready’ and shared the insights in the Vodafone Business Future Ready Report 2020.
‘Future Ready’ businesses - those most well-prepared for emerging trends and challenges - share six characteristics. They have a positive attitude to change and see crises like COVID-19 as the best possible time to experiment with new ways of working. Open to new technology and actively planning for it, Future Ready businesses, spot emerging trends, set detailed strategies for adoption and remain adaptable in the face of change.
What these businesses have in common is that they continue to embrace digital disruption. In fact, 71% have made at least one new tech investment in direct response to the pandemic and 79% see technology as a strength that will help them make changes easily. They are building underlying tech infrastructure because they understand its power to transform how they work and solve business challenges. As a result, 57% still expect their profits to recover over the medium term.
When it comes to tech adoption, Qatar is among the most digitally enabled countries in the world. Even so, digital transformation projects can often be put in the ‘too hard’ basket as executives maintain their focus on financial stability. Part of our job as a leading technology company and total telecommunications service provider, is to not only create technology solutions, but to bring simplicity to the complexities by passing on our digital expertise and experience to our customers.
As a ‘Future Ready’ organisation, Vodafone was able to run internal operations at an even higher pace, almost fully remotely, during the pandemic. We know what is possible with a portfolio of hardware, software and services that both anticipates and adapts to rapidly evolving conditions.
Adopting digital technology that simplifies business processes and creates more room for innovation is an important first step. For Executives to do this, Vodafone recommends focusing on digital solutions enhanced through fibre and 5G connections to support software-defined networks (SDNs), Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT).
SDNs makes a business’s network ‘smart’, allowing remote, cost effective management that can scale depending on business needs, fully benefitting from the wider storage and software capabilities the Cloud can bring. Smart networking also allows business to harness ‘Big Data’ and the Internet of Things (IoT) as a strategic asset to support commercial decisions. In tandem IoT and Big Data, which, when fully integrated in a company’s supply chain, fundamentally transforms the way a business works, harnessing data from connected products, services, and applications.
Leaders of ‘Future Ready’ businesses are using some of these technologies as a competitive advantage in their internal and external operations. Rather than a threat, forward-thinking leaders see disruptive change as an opportunity and innovative technologies as the means to evolve their business to be a better retailer, banker, or vendor for end customers.
Adopting new technologies is never an easy decision to take. However, as this pandemic has shown, economic changes and dynamic market needs means that adopting a ‘Future Ready’ strategy only makes this transition less disruptive and more operationally efficient, helping businesses become more resilient and adaptive to change in the long term.
Our mission is to support organisations to be ‘Future Ready’ through an array of products, services and solutions, accommodating all their business needs in whichever sector they may be. Vodafone Qatar is your Future Ready partner.