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Experts rally businesses on digital disruption to cushion COVID-19 effect

Business and organisations have been urged to take full advantage of the evolving Information and Communications Technology (ICT) landscape and embrace digital technology capable of positively disrupting their business model to survive the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Experts in the technology space, who made this advice, said that the pandemic had wiped away so much gain for business growth, but had also created immense opportunities for organisations to explore ICT for survival.

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The experts, who spoke in Lagos, at the weekend, during the 2021 Nerds Unite yearly conference themed: “Digital disruption for sustainability and growth,” organised by MainOne, stressed that digital disruption is the change that occurs when digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services and the outbreak of COVID-19 sparked a new era in the application of ICT to business development and expansion.

Managing Director of MainOne, Funke Opeke, in her presentation, noted that the major cause of digital disruption is the rapid advancement of technology and globalisation, which allows new business models to be introduced at an ever-increasing rate and with rapidly declining costs of adopting technology.

She said COVID-19 improved technology innovation, growth in broadband penetration, ease millennial with digital platforms, ensure growth in social media, growth in mobile penetration and the shift to working from home.

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Opeke added that digitally-enabled companies had outperformed in all categories during the pandemic and the ability to leverage digital technologies had made the difference for the survival of certain sectors and events.

According to her, companies in traditional industries are also discovering that process automation, remote testing, access to real-time data and decision support, among many digital techniques, are proving critical to their ability to stay afloat in the changing markets.

Co-Founder, Co-Creation Hub, Bosun Tijani, however, stressed the need to carefully sort through information as talks around digital transformation could crash some companies and lead to the growth of others.

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He urged tech companies to look towards partnership within their ecosystem as a way to scale up in the industry.

MTN Nigeria Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Dr. Olubayo Adekanmbi, said every institution must master and own its digital transformation to survive, saying that these days, most businesses are going digital, stressing that COVID-19 has made it inevitable.

To the Founder, Interswitch Limited, Mitchell Elegbe, the technology industry has seen a lot more solution-oriented projects aimed at creating better societies in recent times.

He, however, stressed the need to have the right business model, as not all business models would survive in the digital era.

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