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Defining and Prioritizing Competitive Digital Strategies Post-COVID

Reduce the technological deficit, accelerate the integration of the operational ecosystem, accelerate the distance versus competitors, expand the automation of the governance of digital identities and revalidate the value chain of business-critical suppliers.

As we see the exit from the crisis tunnel and following the previous reflections on the winning and losing segments during the pandemic, the decision-making process becomes more critical, as the time and speed factors have acquired a new dimension. As a comparison to the cycle of the last major crisis of 2008-09, the drop in turnover was six (06) times greater in financial terms, being very likely the biggest sudden interruption that our generation will face. Projections from major banks and the International Monetary Fund point to an average global recession this year of 7.6% while in the previous crisis it was 1.7%.

In my daily interactions with CISO’s and CIO’s I see on an increasing scale the re-prioritization of identity governance projects as one of the prerequisites for other initiatives involving the extremely rapid need to digitize business. Throughout the detailing of the scope of these projects, however, multiple integration difficulties arise for various reasons. Gaps between incompatible systems and applications, different versions of products in operation in certain departments, but not at the corporate level, depending on the still surviving legacy systems that in many cases jam all or a significant part of the gear needed for the company to really accelerate its digitization .

These limiting factors are called “technological deficit.” In an analogy, the simplified financial management would be equivalent to the need to carry out new investments having to live with a debt that derives from the principal amount and its consequent interest burden. The absolute necessity and speed imposed by the business lines for the rapid digitalization of processes impose unprecedented pressure on the technological areas for the solution and not only the mitigation of this problem.

Incorporate analytical technologies and use of artificial intelligence at the same time that they coexist with a mosaic of outdated, underutilized, or even inactive systems and applications, without clear and automated visibility of those who access them or why. This extends to suppliers in the value chain, generating numerous vulnerabilities and security holes resulting from this disconnected environment.

In a survey of 50 CIOs conducted by the Mackenzie consultancy, these questions became evident. 60% of these executives understand that the technological deficit has increased in the last 3 years and between 6 to 20% of technology budgets are derived in 70% of cases for the costs of remedying these complex environments instead of being used to acquire new technologies. IT teams consume up to 50% of their productive time in activities not associated with technological innovation or effective use of more recent acquisitions using artificial intelligence algorithms and machine learning, whose main objective would be to make the company more agile.

The leading and most resilient companies in the crisis-winning segments have significantly increased their competitive advantage over direct competitors, either by limiting capital for new investments in digitization or by conservative attitudes of freezing all new acquisitions and maintaining operations with existing systems to wait for the end of the crisis cycle (which at first would be short-term) and only then to reevaluate its modernization projects.