By Edward Mukaro
BUSINESS has been urged to adapt and fully utilize Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) or risk perishing, in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19) that has disrupted the traditional operation of businesses and resultantly leading many organisations to their waterloo.
While most intervention methods to curb the spread of the Covid-19 are commendable, business-wise, issues such as social distancing mean some businesses cannot operate effectively.
Government has for many years implored businesses to make use of the available and latest technologies to boost production, while minimising costs, but the majority of local businesses have turned remained firmly, stuck in the traditional old ways of doing business, which may probably see some companies facing closure, as a result.
However, for the tech-savvy, the Covid-19 has also come as a blessing in disguise, as ICTs continue to innovate and shape the future conducive and cheap ways of conducting business, be it meetings and payments, all of which restrict movements, like what has been the norm for centuries.
Speaking in an interview with The BusinessConnect, Cernic Finance Group chief executive and economic analyst Mr. Chamu Chiwanza said business had no option, but to adapt to technologies that have always been at their disposal and the latest ones that even more cost effective, especially during this period when the globe is faced with a menacing nemesis, the Covid-19 bug.
“For a very long time, business has been called to embrace ICTs because technology has got a way of saving costs and overheads.
“The world is now going into a global ‘ICT Arena’, where everything is now being done online, such as, meetings, invoices, payments and even taxation is done online. We must accept as business that even after Covid-19, in this pandemic, things have shifted, the paradigm has shifted, and things are not going to be the same.
“If you are in business and you don’t adapt quickly, I rest assure you, we are in a adapt or perish type of situation,” said Chiwanza.
Also commenting on need for business to adapt to more efficient ways of doing business through adaptation of ICTs, economic analyst and Cottco Company of Zimbabwe acting managing director Pious Manamike said the coming in of Covid-19 has seen businesses that have been resisting change (ways of doing business in light of ICTs), changing their operations in order to suit the prevailing business climate as effects of the Covid-19 continue to be felt.
“The coming in of Covid-19 has jolted the business community to utilize ICT solutions that have always been there, but due to resistance to change, business continued using systems and methods that they were used to.
“In my view, business will save a lot of money by adopting ICT solutions for transacting and handling of meetings. I believe new innovations will come soon, a society adapts to the new normal,” said Manamike.
Another prominent analyst, Mr. Luxon Zembe said in a world that is digitising, it is essential that business move with time and use ICT platforms for e-business solutions.
“Think of Zoom platform today. People have e-face-to-e-face meetings, conversations, conferences, education and training programmes.
“The benefits are immense, including huge reduction in operational costs, increased, increased production and productivity, competitive pricing and healthy and decent work environment. Those who remain clutching to traditional ways of doing business will be history in no time.
“Winners are those who adapt to markets dynamics,” said Zembe.
Business needs to embody ICTs in order to stay relevant in the modern market.
By Edward Mukaro