HKPC Releases Study on Digital Transformation in Hong Kong Enterprises - SMEs keen on digital transformation but lack overall implementation strategy

(Hong Kong, 25 September 2019) The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) today released the results of a new study on digital transformation among Hong Kong enterprises, which found that while most of them have taken the first step towards it, they lack the overall strategy and thinking to lead and raise staff awareness, hindering the pace of transformation.

The study, named “Research on Digital Transformation in Hong Kong Business Sector”, found that those company managers participating in the focus group discussions believed digitalisation to be an important strategy, with switching hardcopies of documents to digital format being the first step of digital transformation. Yet, in the telephone survey, only 15% of companies surveyed approve with electronic method solely. Also, the majority (72%) expects digital transformation to save costs and improve business processes, solving issues like rigid internal approval process, lack of systematic management in the work process, and non-interoperability of internal data.

Budget constraint and lack of talents with the relevant knowledge are the main barriers to digital transformation in businesses. In the telephone survey, 49 per cent of enterprises polled said they were unable to change due to restriction from legacy systems, followed by awareness of management (44%) and employee (42%), with such situation more noticeable among large enterprises. Those in the focus groups explained that these might have to do with the lack of management vision and overall strategy in digital transformation, employees' reluctance to change, and insufficient talent and skills.

By integrating the study results, the research team has put forward five recommendations to accelerate digital transformation in enterprises. These include formulating a digital transformation strategy, building two-way communication for employees to participate in the process, effective use of available resources to nurture skilled talent, embarking on cloud migration to lessen reliance on a single system, and actively reviewing cyber security and data backup policies to protect the company's valuable data assets.

Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC, said, “With digital transformation becoming a global trend, how the management is leading such change in the company will have a significant impact on business development, efficiency and competitiveness which is an important strategic move that cannot be ignored. HKPC is committed to assisting the local business sector to embark on digital transformation. With our experts' wealth of experience and professional knowledge, HKPC offers advisory services, training courses as well as diverse and cost-effective technologies to help companies identify their pain points, improve their business processes, and even develop new business opportunities, in maintaining their local and international competitiveness.”

Ms Aris Leung, Director, Business Development of Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd., said, “Human, Idea and Technology are the core elements for achieving the success of Digital Transformation. It is not hard to find various technologies providers in the market; however, they lack professional teams to customize the comprehensive Digital Transformation plan and provide staff trainings for the enterprises, which greatly reduces the effectiveness. Thus, the companies providing One-stop Digital Transformation Solutions suit the needs of the enterprises, especially the SMEs which lack Digital Transformation talents.”

Independently conducted by HKPC and sponsored by Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd., the “Research on Digital Transformation in Hong Kong Business Sector” aimed to gain a better understanding of the perspectives of enterprises towards this phenomenon, with a view to help them formulate the relevant strategy to accelerate their march towards “Enterprise 4.0”. The study was conducted between March and May this year, and included three focus group sessions with company management or IT-related decision makers and a telephone survey of 104 companies from eight industry sectors. The full report is available from: http://u.hkpc.org/dxreport

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Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC (right) and Ms Aris Leung, Director, Business Development of Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd. introduced the key findings and recommendations of the Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC (right) and Ms Aris Leung, Director, Business Development of Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd. introduced the key findings and recommendations of the "Research on Digital Transformation in Hong Kong Business Sector".