Digital Transformation: Threat, Need or Job Opportunity?By Andrea Villar | Wed, 08/12/2020 - 13:36
The digital transformation has become an imminent reality for all industries. However, among the most erroneous beliefs when a company is about to begin a digital transformation, are the cost, difficulty and even the concern that this process will eliminate jobs. COVID-19 has accelerated change and there is no turning back.
“In recent years, we have witnessed how various companies have ventured into this field for various purposes, such as avoiding repetitive tasks that do not require human intellect, streamline processes or allocate resources that were previously used in automatic activities to execute others that generate greater value,” said Germán Ortiz, Leading Partner of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry for Deloitte Mexico in a report.
However, when the pandemic hit the country, most companies were forced to accelerate their digitization processes. The alternatives were to renew or perish. "COVID-19, to some extent, has become a measuring instrument to know how prepared we were at the private and public level on the path to digital transformation. Different organizations have had to respond immediately by developing and implementing digital solutions, automating processes and solutions in the cloud, as well as providing the tools for collaborators to carry out remote work and thus safeguard their integrity. Those that have not done so have been forced to stop their operation,” explained Sandra Zelada, Consulting Manager at Deloitte Mexico in the report ‘COVID-19, a Digital Transformation Accelerator’.
“Although there are sectors that already have the necessary mindset for a digital transformation, others are more resistant to implementing this process. In Mexico, most companies are SMEs, which have large gaps in terms of digitalization. At present, budget is no longer a barrier for a company to start its digital transformation,” told MBN Selene Diez Reyes, Director General of Forte Innovation Consulting, a consulting company focused on innovation and technological development in Mexico and Latin America.
Another barrier is the belief that digitization will terminate human-held jobs. In 2019, the OECD estimated that 14 percent of existing jobs could disappear in the next 15 to 20 years as a result of automation, a percentage that in Mexico would be slightly higher. But in reality, Ortiz says automation creates new jobs. “The new division of labor between robots, customers using automated self-service and employees will lead to a significant reconfiguration of the workforce between 2017 and 2027. These machines and new technologies have the potential to provide necessary, complementary and beneficial assistance for human tasks,” he pointed out.
In Mexico, Siemens CEO Alejandro Preinfalk is optimistic about the reception that Industry 4.0 has had. “We started promoting this concept and these solutions seven years ago and today we are observing that the adoption curve is growing. We are seeing the results of promoting the concept and explaining what its benefits are, as well as the impact of digitalization in different industries and even at a personal level,” he said in an interview with MBN.