Canadian organizations have had to change the way they engage their customers, stakeholders and employees. Not only have organizations been forced to adopt digital solutions to enable remote operations, but many have also had to accelerate plans to move to Cloud solutions. They are facing the challenge of learning to integrate strategic, forward-thinking digital Cloud transformation solutions, and the results are promising.
In 2021, thrice as many Canadian enterprises reported having a digital transformation strategy that is fully integrated into their business compared to 2020. However, the path to becoming an intelligent enterprise can be challenging.
In British Columbia the government is taking this digital transformation seriously. The majority of government sector organizations have stated a desire to move some of their operations to the cloud, which is a critical aspect of any successful business transformation. In preparation for this, BC’s Data Transfer Policy for Public Entitles will help provide guidelines to both public and private organizations to ensure they are undertaking appropriate security risk assessments relating to potential data transfers and protecting their data cloud data.
As public and private sector organizations look to digital transformation to help them support BC’s five focus areas – wellbeing, sustainability, people, innovation and growth – how do these priorities and requirements impact BC businesses?
The province is investing $500 million to expand services addressing mental health and substance abuse. BC companies need to complement this investment and do their part to contribute to this goal by doubling down on resources to support employee well-being. To do this effectively, digital human resource and experience management tools are key to empower and support employees, as well as learning and performance management tools that keep them motivated. Many companies have already adopted digital solutions since employee experience became a crucial aspect of retaining talent amid the Great Resignation.
Another key focus area for the BC government this year is around people and inclusion. In particular, there is a strong focus on Indigenous inclusion. The Province and Indigenous peoples are working together to develop a province-wide, whole-of-government action plan, setting out a path towards reconciliation. BC companies should lead the way to accelerate this process both within their organizations and province wide. Digital employee experience tools can help companies bring a more inclusive approach to their hiring process by eliminating the bias from the selection process. Allowing organizations to access employee sentiment towards the current state of DEI through company-wide surveys will enable them to attract and manage diverse talent as one consolidated ecosystem.
In 2018, British Columbia created the Clean BC initiative to invest in sustainability across the province and has further taken steps to modernize and expand its low carbon fuel usage regulations. A key component of this initiative is powering the electric vehicle industry. As a result, the province has witnessed the largest uptake of electric vehicles to date. The province’s actions towards a more sustainable future should be a signal for BC companies to double down on their own sustainability efforts. To do this effectively, it is important to be able to measure the environmental impact of existing business processes, especially supply chains. Organizations need to strengthen their supply chain knowledge and data to gain greater visibility into and take control of their carbon emissions as well as those of their suppliers. Digitizing supply chains is the simplest way to achieve this. Vancouver-based EV manufacturer ElectraMeccanica has already made the commitment to digitize its supply chain to support its rapid growth.
This year, BC has the opportunity to harness $25 million in potential wealth through developing a clean tech cluster. The Centre for Data Innovation is working to harness and access data in new ways to support evidence-based policy, program and service design. As the province becomes more citizen-centric, this initiative is specifically focused on improving the citizen experience. Companies in turn should be focusing on using innovative technologies to enhance the customer experience. Various digital solutions help unite once siloed customer datasets, enabling the compilation of deeper insights based on increasingly valuable first-party data increasingly valuable first-party data. The end result is a more customized and optimized customer experience. There is a direct benefit to investing into these solutions: according to a 2021 survey, 81% of Canadian organizations stated customer experience had a positive impact on their financial performance.
The province of BC is supporting technology co-op placements in BC businesses and helping companies access capital and become exporters. This support from the government will help facilitate the growth and expansion of BC businesses across all industries. Digital transformation is essential for companies looking to grow. Their business function around people, finance and supply chain can continue in a turnkey manner while the company team turns their attention to growth through innovation and customer experience. To reach their growth targets and stay aligned with BC’s priority areas, especially around sustainability, companies need to focus on Cloud solutions to ensure they optimize financial and physical and carbon footprint commitments.
Eighty-four per cent of Canadian companies that invested in their digital transformation in the last year met or exceeded their expectations. Will you be next?
Victoria DeBoon is the VP Sales, Mid Market, Western Canada & Ontario at SAP.