Digital Disruption: Fijian Businesses Need to Adapt to the Future.

Digital Disruption: Fijian Businesses Need to Adapt to the Future.

As mentioned in our previous articles, the world is now experiencing an unprecedented rate of technological advancement. In such a global economy, countries are largely affected by this tech boom. Fiji and her industries are not immune to this phenomenon.

Technology not only enables the instantaneous exchange of information but also provides individuals and organisations with the ability to improve systems and processes, increasing efficiency and output.

This holds true for those organisations that embrace it, but what about those that fail to move with the times?

History is filled with many stories of those who failed to adapt to the changing tech environment. Their demise stands as a warning beacon, reminding us that there may be dangers ahead if we do the same. History provides us with valuable lessons to heed in business.

Take KODAK’s example. We all know the brand. In 2012, the pioneers of the photography industry filed for bankruptcy.

By the mid-1970s KODAK accounted for 90% of film and 85% of camera sales in the US. In the 1980s it was one of the ten most valuable brands in the world and hit nearly $16 billion in revenue by 1996.

Here’s the kicker – Kodak actually invented the first digital camera.
Kodak’s failure was that they hid the product for years hoping that it wouldn’t reach the mass market as they reasoned that it would lower photographic film sales, their current revenue earner.
Fast forward to today – almost everyone uses a digital camera.

In 2015, Former Executive Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, John Chambers, predicted that at least 40% of companies would die within a decade if they didn’t prepare their company to leverage new technologies.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is the transformation of your organisation’s activities, processes and procedures, marketing strategies and other systems to fully leverage and assimilate to new and rapidly changing technology in a strategic manner.

Successful organisations adapt to change and utilize new technology in order to provide better products or services. Technology can help save time and make processes more efficient, reducing costs and increasing profits.

Many companies seek to implement new technology to gain an edge on the competition.

While digital transformation is usually associated with a business, it is also very relevant to governments, public sector agencies and any organization which deals with people.

The idea is to identify and anticipate upcoming changes, and adapt accordingly to maintain continuous optimization across your processes and systems.

Technology now enables a high level of coordination between employees and stakeholders. It improves information flow and provides companies with real-time data. It gives you the ability to rapidly and strategically make better decisions that could impact the bottom line of your business.

As we transition from dependence on legacy communication technologies like email, more and more employee communications in Fiji are done on instant messenger platforms like Viber and Whatsapp.

Technology causing massive market disruptions

Technology now poses a bigger threat to current industries than ever before.

New startups and young companies who are well versed with technology are using it to innovatively to create and deliver better services to disrupt existing players.

For example, Fijian Buy and Sell groups on Facebook have successfully disrupted the market, containing more classifieds information than legacy sources and has seen many Fijians derive successful revenue streams from this. Consolidated sales are estimated to be in the millions.

#TBT to 25 years ago, no one would have imagined that the landline, which was the primary medium of communications, would be disrupted by mobile phone technology.

Telecom, faced with this seemingly existential threat to a major source of revenue, pivoted to include other technologies in their product offering. They are now the largest information and communications technology provider in the South Pacific, providing solutions for Governments, and large multinational organisations.

Last month, Telecom successfully launched Gigabit internet, which signals the beginning of an unprecedented new era in Fijian communications.

Fiji has charted a new course in its history. One where we are moving in increasing numbers towards a digital future. Fijians are using technology such as Facebook and Instant Messenger Apps to communicate daily.

Organisations now need to catch on to this trend and adopt digital technologies quickly before the pace of adaptation in our population quickens.

The Fijian Government has already started on an ambitious digitisation plan where most Government services will be available on digital platforms but only time will tell if they are implemented successfully and are conducive to the communication habits of Fijians.

With digital technology changing so rapidly in the global context, our population is still far behind in terms of our assimilation. We need to focus on our younger demographic and train them to be technologically savvy.

In an interconnected world where innovations are made on a daily basis, this will ensure that Fiji has a future in the world’s digital age, which is only just beginning.