Hong Kong is no exception and digitalization is well underway. Today, Hong Kong ranks third in APAC for digital infrastructure, no mean feat when one considers that the likes of South Korea, Japan and Singapore are all neighbors. Hong Kong also ranks fifth for industry connectivity, another proof point that the country is fully committed to reaping the benefits of digital transformation. But have the government’s efforts been enough to get companies and workers to go digital?
Where is digital transformation now?
A 2017 Forrester survey of Hong Kong and Singapore companies found that digital maturity is still lacking. The poll covered 15 key practices in five areas of competency and found that the large majority of companies are only in the early stages of digital transformation, and that there is still much work to be done.
So, while companies in Hong Kong recognize the need for digital tools, they need to ramp up their investment and deployment of them.
New workers, new ways
Along with digital transformation, companies have realized the need to transform their workplaces to not just be more digital, but to also suit a new generation of employees.
This new generation of employees – the millennials or Gen Y and the upcoming Gen Z – are entirely at home with digital solutions and techniques, having grown up with such tools. They take ‘sharing’ data and information with peers as a given – they love collaborating! They think of it as second nature, they do it on social media every day in their personal lives, and so would expect not only to do it at work, but demand that the workplace has the digital tools to enable them to share and collaborate with their peers and colleagues. The modern workplace today could thus be home to apps like Slack, Chatter, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups, Trello, Office Planner and many more, all designed to make them more productive, flexible and content in their work.
We are also seeing more and more employees spend less time at their fixed desks, expecting to be able to carry out their work on the move, elsewhere in the office, in creative spaces in the workplace, or even from home.
Collaborating for the benefits
Using technology in a collaborative workspace can, of course, help increase employee productivity, but it also it has a knock-on effect of helping change the culture of a workplace for the better and drive further digital adoption. According to a PwC report commissioned by Orange Business Services, corporates throughout APAC are allocating a higher percentage of their revenues towards digitalization, at 15 percent compared to their peers around the world at 11 percent.
We are already seeing companies in Hong Kong embracing technology-driven design of workplaces, where digital technology is used in the architectural design of buildings and collaborative workspaces are the norm. Backed by enhanced security, employees can have access to Wi-Fi and can work from anywhere, walls can be converted into multiple video screens, events can be streamed live to the entire workplace and videoconferencing on the move can become commonplace.
With millennials and Gen Z set to make up over half of the Asian workforce by 2020, the time is now for Hong Kong companies to really embrace the new workplace demanded by them. Research conducted in Hong Kong by recruitment company Robert Half has in fact found that Hong Kong businesses are adjusting their hiring practices to catch the attention of leading millennial talent and get their tech-savviness and appetite for collaboration on board.
As companies in Hong Kong leverage the smart workplace and adopt an organization-wide strategy for digital transformation, they will be able to reap the benefits of a technology-powered collaborative workplace and increase their ‘digitally-driven’ revenues.
Brenda Chan is General Manager for Orange Business Services Hong Kong & Taiwan. She is responsible for developing and managing Orange Business Services' portfolio of business solutions for multinational enterprises, and provides strategic direction to support the growth of Orange Business Services as the leading integrated communications provider for the country.
Brenda has over 20 years' experience in IT and telecommunications with various providers including Orange Business Services, BT, AT&T and PCCW. She has in-depth telecoms experience and strong customer-centric focus that lets her enjoy trusted partnerships with customers.