BUSINESS Chinese companies accelerate digital transformation post-COVID-19


Chinese companies accelerate digital transformation post-COVID-19

18:30, October 28, 2020

A study by Microsoft and IDC shows Chinese organizations have matured in their cultures of innovation by 19 percent since the COVID-19 outbreak, increasing their ability to innovate. [Photo provided to]

As Chinese companies continue working hard to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak, 63 percent of local organizations said they will further speed up digitalization to ensure business resilience, according to a study by US tech giant Microsoft and market research company International Data Corp.

Chinese companies are expediting the pace of digitalization through several means, such as launching digital products, introducing digital payments and embracing e-commerce and automation, according to the study, titled "Culture of Innovation: Foundation for business resilience and economic recovery in Asia Pacific".

When it comes to the research scope in China, the study has surveyed more than 200 local business decision-makers and more than 200 local workers within a six-month period, before and since COVID-19. They are from industries including manufacturing, retail, education and healthcare.

Since the outbreak, 67 percent of surveyed Chinese organizations have found innovation to be critical or important to their performance and resilience, with the view that innovation is no longer an option, but a necessity.

Roan Kang, vice president of Microsoft Greater China, said to assess organizations' approach to innovation, the study has introduced the Culture of Innovation framework, which spans the dimensions of people, process, data and technology.

Kang said since the outbreak, organizations in China have become more mature in the Culture of Innovation dimensions, and they are planning to prioritize unlocking the potential of technology, data and people in the next year to become more resilient and recover faster.

According to him, more efforts are needed to fortify organizational resilience with technology, invest in people's capabilities and skills, leverage data to increase competitiveness and re-design processes to empower people to continuously drive innovation.

To help Chinese companies better respond to the outbreak, Microsoft has offered a string of technological solutions. Lenovo Group Ltd, the world's largest personal computer maker, for instance, has used Microsoft Teams, an online business communication platform, to form thousands of teams for remote meetings, content and plan management, and collaborative office work.

According to Kang, Microsoft's products and services have also helped Lenovo better manage its supply chain amid the outbreak, a challenging task given that Lenovo has businesses in more than 160 countries and regions, and boasts more than 100 supply chain partners.

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