A technological revolution of unsurpassed dimensions, digital transformation is taking place at breakneck speed and is radically changing the face of client interactions. Client expectations are escalating rapidly and moving in new and different directions.
This is according to Bradley Hemphill, MD of EES Africa, which specialises in the integration of multiple system infrastructure including ICT, data centres, audio visual, life safety, security and building automation systems.
Hemphill emphasises the need to address the following issues in order to keep up-to-the-minute with digital transformation:
* How do you step up the relevance of your offerings, services and solutions against a backdrop of technical transformation?
* How do you best position your organisation to optimise operational efficiency, adapt and keep up-to-date?
* How do you best utilise omni-channel digital technology which today is critical to the consumer experience?
* In the face of fierce competition, how do you maximise two-way communication with your target market and build and maintain brand loyalty?
“It is crucial to act as a partner to your client and proactively advise and work with them to optimise the technology and services you offer, the goal being to ensure they lower their own operating costs and boost their bottom line,” says Hemphill.

Engineering- and construction-specific developments
Recent research conducted on digital transformation specifically in the engineering and construction (E&C) arenas, reveals that while digitisation in these sectors has not been optimised to date, over the next decade more and more use will be made of these opportunities, and productivity in these sectors will soar.
The 2016 report, ‘Digital in engineering and construction’, issued by the Boston Consulting Group, global management consulting firm, states that E&C firms are having to cope with increasingly complex ‘megaprojects’, particularly in infrastructure.
“This trend is certainly evident in South Africa, an apt example being the rapidly expanding Sandton business and commerce hub,” says Hemphill.
“Building information modelling (BIM) will be the central construction platform, the elements of which will include intelligent machinery, leading edge mobile devices, new software applications and design integration.”
According to PWC, professional services group, E&C companies are planning to invest 5% of annual revenue in digital solutions per annum over the next five years, and they are setting themselves ambitious targets for the level of digitisation and integration to be achieved.
Furthermore, the group contends, companies are investing in long-term innovation that they expect will unlock significant efficiency, cost reduction and revenue gains.

The way forward
“Leaders need to embrace ongoing development and proactively seek out new opportunities. They should aim to capitalise on growth areas, erode market share of traditional competition, and adopt an entrepreneurial spirit of experimentation making use of new and flexible approaches,” Hemphill advises.
He concludes: “In an increasingly competitive market, no E&C company can afford not to optimise digital operational efficiency and meet ever-increasing client expectations, both of which maximise revenue. It is non-negotiable that these companies take immediate steps to ensure they keep pace with digital transformation.