Hong Kong needs to do more in terms of digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Hong Kong needs to do more in terms of digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Hong Kong Productivity Council on digital transformation in the country

HONG KONG is seen as a hub of finance and technology in Asia, a gateway to the western world for Chinese companies as well as a point of access for foreign companies looking to buy from and invest in China.

Companies in the small country include some of the biggest manufacturers and traders of commodities, technology products, as well as textiles and apparels.

In the digital age, with increasing competition in the global marketplace, each of these businesses understands the need to transform digitally — but whether or not they actually manage to drive such projects isn’t fully understood.

To gain better visibility into the digital transformation agenda of businesses in the country, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) conducted an extensive study ‘Research on Digital Transformation in Hong Kong Business Sector’.

The first and most important thing that the report points out is that digital transformation isn’t limited to the adoption of new and exciting technology solutions — those aren’t going to be very helpful unless companies can leverage those solutions to improve efficiency, change people’s mindset, and move to a business model that is enabled by digital.

Analyzing the current scenario in Hong Kong, the HKPC found that a lot of companies still follow traditional approval and documentation processes which means physical documents need to be created, signed, processed, and stored, all of which are time-consuming and inefficient.

In the fast-paced global market, this is a big challenge and needs to be changed immediately.

Going digital, especially with documentation, is easy. However, since companies in Hong Kong often have aging staff who don’t see the benefits, and business leaders in the country don’t seem to understand the value of technology — transformation projects are hard to start.

Of course, financial resources are also a concern when thinking about digital transformation projects. That’s something both large enterprises as well as small- and mid-sized entities struggle with. However, businesses need to think long-term and make the right investments in technology in order to ensure sustainability.

Overall, the reality is that companies need to think long and hard about digital transformation if they want to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

With companies in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines boosting digital capabilities and producing quality products at an affordable rate, Hong Kong is under considerable pressure.

Fortunately, the government is taking action, providing support through various programs — but business leaders and staff need to make an effort to understand the value of technology in order to benefit from any of it.