The journey from traditional to digital transformation in Hong Kong

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Digital transformation has played a significant role in Hong Kong’s economic development for years. In 2018, Hong Kong ranked fifth in the IDC-Workday Digital Agility Index Asia/Pacific 2022 report proving its outstanding financial leadership and digital transformation capabilities. However, it was not until the global pandemic that traditional businesses in Hong Kong started unleashing their true digital potential.

COVID-19 has prompted many companies in Hong Kong to adapt to new conditions, and many businesses took the opportunity to diversify their customer base and generate new revenue streams. As a result, the region saw a 15.4% increase in total exports from 2020 to 2022, according to HKTDC Research. What could be driving Hong Kong’s success? Let’s have a look at its digital transformation strategy: 

How Hong Kong’s digital transformation policies help businesses

The primary purpose of digital transformation is to help businesses adopt digital technology. That way, they can create new business models and revenue streams, ultimately enhancing customer experience. In this context, many countries adopt digitalisation strategies to facilitate local businesses’ development.

In Hong Kong, the Digital 21 Strategy (initially conceived in 1998) established an impressive ICT infrastructure. The primary aim was to facilitate the digitalised economy and promote advanced technology and innovation. 

In 2015, the country launched an Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) to focus efforts on formulating holistic  policies related to innovation and technology. For instance, the ITB launched a HK$500 million Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living (FBL), which subsidises projects aimed at improving lives through innovation and technology.  

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Why early digital transformation is key

Even though digital transformation used to be a “nice-to-have”, many businesses now perceive it as a crucial step in keeping operations afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a McKinsey global research in 2022, nine in ten C-level and senior leaders say their organisations have pursued at least one large-scale digital transformation and similar strategies in the past two years. Indeed, businesses that have yet to digitise their operations are missing out on the many benefits of early digital transformation.

According to Fan Wai-kit, Consulting Partner (IT and Digital Risk, South China Region) at Deloitte, consumer companies have generally achieved better results in digital innovation since the onset of COVID-19. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) have reported benefits from digital adoption, especially in increasing market share.

How traditional businesses can transit

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for digital business transformation, innovative data strategies are a must-have for traditional companies. Digital tools are another crucial step towards training employees in new skills to ensure optimal adaptation to the new conditions. Ultimately, they must be open to new and innovative tech like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), digital marketing, and other solutions.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are some of the most prominent enterprise digital transformation trends. For example, AI automation is driving transformation across various applications, including fraud detection, shipment tracking and product customisation. Increasingly, AI will become a critical tool for efficiency and productivity.

Supporting businesses with digitalised logistics solutions

Hong Kong’s post-COVID-19 economy is all about e-commerce. While physical retailers faced deafening silence in the past two years, web-based businesses exceeded all expectations. According to PwC’s 2022 survey, consumers today look forward to a frictionless experience in the digital space, with 43% of those surveyed planning to increase online shopping in the next six months.

The survey clearly showed the growing demand for digital solutions. In this regard, DHL’s digital transformation framework completely transforms how business is conducted. With the implementation of smart logistics and digital solutions like On-Demand Delivery (ODD) for flexibility, route optimisation for faster deliveries and chatbots for 24/7 customer service, DHL Express is committed to supporting businesses and driving greater efficiencies and productivity. Plus, with our integration solutions, you can easily connect to our suite of services and have them readily available for use at customer-end. These include our shipping functionality, customer service applications and order processing systems. Through DHL Express Commerce, websites hosted on Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce, for instance, can supply information about our shipping rates to customers, delivery times and pick-up schedules. For more customisable features, the DHL Express API can help you align our services with your operations more accurately.

Choose DHL Express to leverage expertise in cross-border trade

If you’re eager to scale up your business with digital transformation, consider DHL Express as part of your digital roadmap to success. With a reach in over 220 countries across the globe, we employ the latest technologies in logistics and trading to ensure optimal competitiveness for businesses of all sizes. Sign up for a DHL Express account  to join our global base of successful businesses today.