Digital transformation

Digital transformation

One of the buzz concepts of recent years is “digital transformation.” It goes hand in hand with Industry 4.0. Everybody is talking about it but few have embarked on a really transformative journey. Most people and companies are still trying to figure out what to digitize and when. My answer is that we should all digitize right now.

In general terms, we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Beyond that, it is a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure. This sometimes means walking away from long-standing business processes that companies were built upon in favor of relatively new practices that are still being defined.

Lately Turkey is feeling the effects of digitalization very closely. A few weeks ago the government made it possible to look into family records by digitizing the family tree information and making it available to all via the e-state web site. Millions of people have used the website since then. It has had significant repercussions, as applications for dual citizenship to countries such as Bulgaria and Macedonia have doubled.

The Turkish private sector is no different. Turkcell has announced that revenues have risen sharply thanks to digitizing their services. Turkcell’s CEO Kaan Terzioğlu said in a press conference that the company grew 23.4 percent last year. He claimed that services such as Bip, Upcall, Fizy and “Dergilik” would become global players on their own.

The Informatics Industry Association (TÜBSAD) have released a report entitled “Turkey’s transformation to digital economy” last week. According to the report, the Turkish Informatics market is worth 94.3 Billion Turkish Liras. By 2023, it aims to have reached 160 Billion Turkish Liras.

However this is easier said than done. Years on we are talking about using more technology in our firms, in education and in our cities but we have failed on digital transformation at all levels.

Therefore I value the TÜBSAD’s proposals in their reports. Their suggestions include increasing R&D budgets and increasing governmental spending to eradicate the digital divide. I highly recommend all of you to read the report, especially if you are interested in the Turkish ICT industry.

Of course it is difficult to speak about grand transformations when one of the biggest digital transformation projects in the World - Wikipedia - is still banned in this country. Because of these types of decisions many bright and young coders have moved to other countries where they think the general atmosphere is more tolerant.

I know our authorities are very keen on technology. Especially now that we are more actively engaged in a hotter war zone. Drones and digitization of warfare are among the hot topics of any politician these days. I just want to say that these types of technologies also require people who can think out of the box. Our companies, cities and military need people like that.

So along with TÜBİSAD’s suggestions, more tolerance can be an important key factor in the digital transformation of Turkey.

Ersu Ablak, hdn, Opinion