Two major challenges that companies have to transform themselves digitally: leadership and culture. InterNexa, the Colombian multilatina that belongs to the ISA group, says that in Colombia, 19% of companies do not see the need to transform digitally or do not know how to do it and 50% of companies already have results of their digital transformation and have Consolidated the process taking the theory into action.
In a dialogue with Portafolio, the InterNexa Country Manager, Ernesto Pardo, explains the two great challenges that Latin American companies still have to overcome to succeed in digital transformation: leadership and culture. "A successful digital transformation depends on the company being aware of its importance and the need of the business," concludes Pardo.
What were the results of the recent study conducted by you?
In the study we evaluated more than 300 companies that voluntarily participated to understand how they are living the digital transformation. As a result, we found that only 19% of Colombian companies are really making changes that allow them to mature their business and address competitiveness in their markets through the use of digital tools and a different thinking within the company, through the transformation cultural.
40% of companies understand the problem, but still do not know how to start the transformation, the rest is not clear on how to take their first steps around it. Based on this, we have implemented new tools that make your business more sustainable and competitive and accelerate the digital transformation.
What do you think are those factors that prevent the digital transformation in a company?
In the same survey we find some of the factors that we see as keys to success. One of those is leadership, if the top person in charge of a company has no conscience, it is not possible to assimilate the situation, nor is it able to convince his team that something needs to be done or to hear alternatives and a vision of the transformation, chances that this company is transformed are minimal.
Leadership makes this a matter of survival or that it becomes a simply passing issue.
What is digital leadership about?
It is about having the ability to mobilize a company into the digital world without fear or managing fears. If the person who is in charge of any business, is able to visualize a future even with fears, but that is possible through digital, is able to move the company towards that tomorrow. To be able to visualize it, you have to first listen to it, see the environment, what are the problems and the risks of not being digitally transformed. That's why leadership is so key, everything starts there.
What competence should a digital leader have or develop?
The first competition to develop is digital intelligence, being open to understanding what the world of the fourth industrial revolution is, the internet of things and how they will work faster. The second is a transformative leadership, the possibility of making things happen within your company; that its essence is to manage the culture of the organization for that to happen. The third key element is its ability to create collaborative networks, search for companies that have experienced digital transformation, consult experts who can guide and contribute to their business.
How should the process of creating digital culture be?
The message that one wants to give to the market must be lived internally, not only must it seem, but be, in digital.
Strategies must be guided by all departments, it is not just about millennials or centennials but about directives and other areas.
How could the digital transformation be carried out without affecting jobs that tend to be replaced by technology?
Digital transformation can help companies to optimize costs, reducing jobs, but from our point of view that is a decision and a short-sighted view of what it should be. If you simply aim to save costs, eliminate the jobs, you may momentarily make the company a little more efficient, but even looking at the big world players, the companies that have been transformed faster or those that are natively digital straup, What they really do is that they use these jobs and reinvent them by training them to take advantage of the information, to make the function and mission of a company more intelligent.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who have not taken that step?
Turn on your radars, listen, understand, participate in events, read and ask. We as InterNexa have sat down with companies to which we have given many tips on how they can start and face the digital transformation.
We have forums, spaces in social networks where you can ask us questions and we are giving you suggestions in an objective, concrete and helpful way for companies to lose their fear and move on their way.