Sagicor Bank encourages digital transformation by local businesses

Sagicor Bank encourages digital transformation by local businesses

Friday, December 04, 2020

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Sagicor Bank is encouraging local business operators to consider information technology solutions that can propel their businesses forward in the digital economy.

This was the main theme of the bank's recent online forum.

The webinar delved into the topic 'Organizational Transformation Through Advancement in Information Technology' and featured a panel of local and international experts who advised business leaders on how to effectively innovate to sustain business operations during this period and remain viable.

In addressing attendees, Michael Willacy, vice-president – retail, SME and corporate banking at Sagicor Bank, noted that the onset of the global pandemic expedited the need for digital transformation among the local business sector and advised of the importance of businesses incorporating technology in order to survive.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is now. As business operators we must adapt to the changing tides and rethink how we serve our clients and meet their needs. For a business to thrive in this era, they will need to incorporate the use of technologies within their business model to provide a convenient and simple service,” he explained.

His sentiments were echoed by Dr Maurice McNaughton, director, Centre of Excellence and Innovation at The University of the West Indies, who informed business operators that a sustainable business model in the digital economy must combine the physical and digital aspects of a business. He outlined business strategy, organisation and talent, culture and capabilities as pillars of focus for business leaders to target when transforming.

McNaughton encouraged entrepreneurs to embrace technology as an enabler of business agility. He highlighted American streaming service, Netflix, as an example of a business that has been strategic in transforming and redefining the home-entertainment sector.

“In this digital world, it is not so much how big you are as a company but how fast you are; and that is how organisations need to think in this era to remain relevant and thrive. In this new world, it is not the big fish which eats the small fish, it's the fast fish which eats the slow fish,” he said.

Camille Sterling, chief operating officer at Vertis Technology Solutions Limited, shared tips on how businesses can begin the transformation process and the factors to consider when doing so. She said that for a successful transformation to occur, organisations must implement a plan that focuses on training its people, digitising its processes and selecting suitable technology that adds value to clients.

The business leader underpinned the importance of digital transformation in the current economy by citing a recent study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which predicts that between 25 to 36 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises could close permanently if they fail to transform during the pandemic.

“This pandemic has affected many organisations, with some still struggling to adapt. Adapting quickly to market changes is a key aspect of business transformation. Customers are expecting that the products and services being delivered to them are done in an efficient manner,” she said.

The panel of experts also included Andrew Burke, vice-president, innovation, assurance, projects at Sagicor Bank, who reminded business leaders of the value of innovating to satisfy their clients' needs, and Maria J Barreiros de Juste, director – product management, commercial products, Latin America and the Caribbean at Mastercard, who shared the company's innovations to assist businesses to change their business models. Howard Smith, manager – SME business banking, Sagicor Bank, acted as moderator for the forum.

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