Market Trends

IDC: More firms eyeing digitalization for growth

Facing multiple challenges posed by technological innovation, the COVID-19 pandemic and a changing global situation, an increasing number of companies have begun to integrate digitalization into their development strategy and to look at the digital-first strategies, pushing forward the process of global digital innovation.

Digitalization has proved its value in a pandemic-ravaged era, especially for China, which showed outstanding performance of digital transformation in 2021, with the overall production cycle shortened by 35.8 percent due to its digital shift, Kitty Fok, president of global market research firm International Data Corp (IDC) China, told China Daily recently.

Digital technologies such as QR codes have also made significant contributions to people's daily lives, and their large-scale applications have helped stimulate research and development of relevant technologies in return, Fok said.

As the key to digital transformation, data security has a core role to play, she added.

It is widely recognized that digitalization continues to be highlighted in the years to come, with more than 50 percent of enterprises worldwide believing that problems such as inflation, labor shortages and the COVID pandemic will continue to pose challenges throughout 2022, according to an IDC report. For example, raw materials supply, production and logistics have all been greatly affected due to the pandemic, leading to a situation where the supply side gains more and more control over supply chains, adding to the risk of disruptions.

As a result, a large number of enterprises have begun to establish their own supply chain systems to be better prepared for possible future uncertainties, and achieve sustainable development. Inevitably, this trend calls for advancement and prioritization in digital technologies.

According to Fok, the process of digital transformation can be divided into four stages-adapting, accelerating, gaining resilience, and eventually, going digital-first. Digital-first refers to a situation where a company prioritizes the deployment and application of various digital technologies in order to meet customer needs, improve competitiveness and achieve sustainable development.

A climbing number of companies have begun to promote a digital-first strategy, with 86 percent of Chinese enterprises already starting to implement it in their businesses, IDC said.

Generally, an enterprise implementing a digital-first strategy should think about the following aspects: what its business goals and priorities are, how to arrange the order of its digital transformation based on its own features, and whom to choose as long-term strategic partners-such as public cloud providers, enterprise resource planning providers and IT infrastructure providers-and eventually, how to carry out its digital transformation, Fok said.

She then pointed out the importance of data usage due to its innate key role in digitalization: "Digital-first remains a core strategy amid global uncertainties, while data stay at the core position for digital-first strategy. Data security ensures the implementations of digitalization."

Fok said: "Digital transformation is not always about cutting-edge technologies. It also requires a firm to make full use of its data and improve its business model, which calls for efforts of every employee involved. Companies should place data at the central position before choosing a direction for their digital transformation."

Today, the promulgation and implementation of a series of laws and regulations related to data security have provided policy support for the sector, which has become an important driving force for the rapid development of China's data security market.

For enterprises, strengthening the construction of data security can not only put users' core data and privacy under safe protection, but also effectively help enhance brand image and gain continuous trust from their clientele.

"However, data security can't be built overnight. It requires a long and continuous process, which asks for the involvement of professional data security consultancies," Fok said.

In order to promote the development of data security among Chinese companies, IDC has been introducing world-leading industry conferences to China. Along with distinguished industry experts from home and abroad, the consultancy aims to offer valuable knowledge, solutions and a roadmap for the country's building of data security and further exploration of digitalization.

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