Businesses that are changing into the data-driven world cite data security as their most important challenge. Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - Businesses that are changing into the data-driven world cite data security as their most important challenge, followed by consumer trust and strong customer relations, according to a survey of company decision-makers responsible for digital transformation, that was conducted by Vodacom and Vodafone. 

The survey covered 1891 business decision-makers from Germany, Italy, South Africa, Spain and the UK. Vodacom South Africa's managing executive: products and services, Fatima Hassim, said yesterday that some 85percent of the respondents had used data to inform customers and to interact with them, she said. 

Most had already invested in machine learning and AI technologies. Physical businesses were rapidly seeking the benefits of moving processes infrastructure and customer interactions to the virtual environment in response to the need to cut costs and better meet customer expectations. 

The South African respondents in particular wanted to use less physical space in their operations. A third key trend was that as businesses pushed more of their processes online and invested heavily into digital infrastructure, they were actively taking steps to attract more talent, and training them to use these tools more effectively. 

Businesses were also investing in cloud-based productivity and collaboration technologies. Automation technologies were increasingly being harnessed to rapidly handle volumes of time-consuming work.  

BUSINESS REPORT