COVID pandemic propels Jordanian businesses’ digital transformation

Jordanian government has been able to build several digital platforms to meet the needs of its people

  
 

AMMAN — The Kingdom is advancing towards digital transformation, thanks to the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah, according to experts.

Recently, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship launched the "Jordanian Strategy for Digital Transformation 2020".

The Jordanian government has been able to build several digital platforms to meet the needs of its people, Marwan Juma, Oasis500 Chairman told The Jordan Times.

“Many of those platforms were hastily developed due to the pandemic’s urgency, nevertheless, they demonstrated the importance of technology, especially for those who had previously opposed the use of applications and digital portals, which bodes well for the future of government services,” Juma said.

He added that many businesses are looking to transform digitally to be able to operate remotely, increase efficiencies, and provide new products and service delivery options for their customers.

“We might have fallen behind as a country in terms of e-government, but I hope that the pandemic has created a sense of urgency for a quick response towards automation. It takes political will to improve human and financial capital, and a “Just do it” attitude”, Juma noted.

He pointed out that Jordan, as a country with little natural resources and a small economy, needs to digitally transform in order to improve decision-making, transparency, resource distribution, and the overall development of an attractive business climate for local and foreign investors.

Juma highlighted the challenges in terms of digital transformation for the government and the delivery of full e-government services, saying that “digital signature laws and regulations must be completed to enable end to end services”.

Abeer Qumsieh, Founder and CEO of Better Business, said: “Some businesses have shown their success in digital transformation since they began early. However, the process takes time due to the participation of various stakeholders such as banks, payment gateways, consumers, and others, all of whom play a significant role in a company's digital transformation success or failure.”

There are many challenges facing digital transformation, the most notable of which is whether a product can be digitally transformed, since certain products need enhancement and adaptation before going online, according to Qumsieh.

“There are both internal and external challenges that companies might face during digital transformation. Internal challenges could include the employees’ ability to adapt and understand the digital transformation process and supply chain, which is why employees must be trained in preparation for digital transformation,” Qumsieh told The Jordan Times.

She added that challenges also include the substantial capital investment that companies must put into the process of digital transformation, particularly during the challenging times of the pandemic.

With regard to external obstacles facing companies, Qumsieh said that they include payment gateways, enablers, and consumers' ability to adapt to digital change, adding that “Jordan possesses all the requisites for digital transformation”.

“Digital transformation would undoubtedly have a positive impact on the Kingdom in the long run. The entire world is undergoing digital transformation; it is no longer a choice,” Qumsieh said.

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