Professional services firm P&A Grant Thornton recently hosted a webinar on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Transformation Agendas” with guest speakers from global artificial intelligence and intelligent automation company AntWorks and digital transformation enabler Microsoft, and participated in by CEOs, CFOs, and digital transformation experts.

“The past three and a half months have compelled our organizations to go digital in many ways… Changes to our work practices during this pandemic, however, are the just of the tip of the iceberg that is digital transformation,” said Ma. Victoria Españo, chairperson and chief executive officer of P&A Grant Thornton.

Herbert Bactong, P&A Grant Thornton’s director for digital transformation services, shared highlights from the firm’s recently concluded Digital Transformation Survey which showed while  80 percent of respondents have work-from-home programs, and 66 percent started work-from-home arrangements during the quarantine, only 54 percent of these companies plan to keep the practice after the quarantine.

Bactong said SMEs have a higher percentage of ongoing or completed digital transformation projects than large companies due to their flexibility and the less complex project requirements of smaller organizations.

The top three ongoing or completed digital transformation projects of those surveyed are process automation and digitization, workforce mobility, and digital marketing.

Companies are also interested in data analytics and e-commerce implementation.

The five significant challenges of survey respondents in digital transformation include security issues, lack of budget, lack of project management tools, lack of skills, and lack of formal strategy.

Hugo Walkinshaw, chief partnership officer of AntWorks, talked on practical resiliency tools, such as digitization and automation, as we move away from the traditional systems.

Yvette Watson, Modern Work & Security Business lead of Microsoft Philippines, talked about secure remote work and enabling a secure remote setup using the tech giant’s offerings.

To cap off the webinar, Bactong said: To transform, you need a strategy. “Roadmaps help identify and communicate with stakeholders your digital strategy. It also helps reduce project risk and increases return on investment.”


As published in Malaya, dated 20 July 2020