The digital transformation will be irreversible, and we must take the lead

The digital transformation will be irreversible, and we must take the lead

In the midst of the global quarantine, business leaders are confronted with the challenge of navigating the “VUCA world” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity). The uncertainty regarding the duration and nature of recovery prompts questions about social behaviors and the restructuring of diverse industries. Given this scenario, the pressing need to spearhead digital transformation emerges as essential for securing business survival in a rapidly evolving world.

Today, there are hundreds of millions of people worldwide under mandatory quarantine. Above all, we must prioritize the health of ourselves, our families, our employees, and our fellow citizens. However, as business leaders, we also must safeguard the survival of our companies and the jobs of our employees. This time, we find ourselves fully immersed in the much-anticipated “VUCA world,” characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

We don’t know how many months the transition will take. We don’t know how long it will take for the economies of different global markets to recover. We don’t know how long it will take to fully restore our commercial, productive, and logistical capabilities.

One question we are all facing is how social behaviors and customs of the citizens and consumers we serve will evolve. How will the various global economies and structures of the industries relevant to our local production reality reshape?

Everything is changing at an unprecedented speed. Education, healthcare, retail, tourism, and many other industries will change. Most likely, nothing will ever be the same again. We are all experiencing a rapid adoption of digital life habits. What percentage of sales does a pharmacy chain have online today? What percentage of their sales will be online on the 3rd of September? Was it really necessary to travel to Lima for those business meetings? Nothing will be as it was.

As business leaders, we must ensure the survival of the company and the jobs we have created. But we must also reduce costs. We cannot passively head towards bankruptcy. This will be essential in the exercise of our responsibilities. It will be a necessary condition, but not sufficient.

We cannot wait for the future to dictate the new rules of the game. As leaders, we must take responsibility for creating the future. Once the cost containment plan is agreed upon, it is now our responsibility to lead – decisively and swiftly – the digital transformation of our companies and even our industries. If we don’t do it, our competition will, or new competitors will emerge out of nowhere. At this precise moment, thousands of innovators and entrepreneurs are already shaping the future. Our digital transformation will be irreversible, and we must lead it now. When the transition is over, it will be too late.

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