Tony Saldanha’s call for business leaders to take action now or be left behind is a significant message to take note. This is not the time to be afraid, he said at the recent ConnectGov V summit. 

Companies need to go on the offensive and the best weapon to do this is digital transformation, he said. Winners separate themselves from the rest during a crisis because they find business opportunities which can accelerate profitability during and after the recession. 

To stay still in survival mode is to lose, said Saldanha who kickstarted Day 2 of ConnectGov last week as the keynote speaker. His talk Why Digital Transformation Fails is apt, coming at a time when IT leaders are using IT to open new paths for business to advance. 

He highlighted that while the pandemic has every company scrambling to survive, IT leaders must quickly take action to distance themselves from competitors and create new revenues. 

This is not the time to be afraid. Look for opportunities where IT and digital platforms can be created. He pointed to computing capacity which has improved dramatically. By 2023, it would be possible to buy the computing capacity of a human brain for just US$1000. The world’s tiniest computer is smaller than the size of a grain of rice, he said, adding that the price of each grain is a mere 2 cents. “Think what these grain of sands could do to the supply chain, to a bottle of shampoo and other every day products.” 

This is but one component that can get business and IT leaders to the 10x disruption.  “After all no amount of improvement on horse carriage led to internal combustion engine”. 

So how can IT leaders do this? One way is the 70-20-10 formula, adopted by Google: 70 per cent of capacity is spent on running operations, 20% on continuous improvement and 10 per cent on disruptive innovation. At the organisational level, all the IT programmes and digital platforms and processes must then be synchronised so that they can be leveraged as one big system. 

IT leaders should learn from history, how companies become winners. Crises present opportunities and are the best time to go on the offensive, he stressed.  What are you waiting for?