“Investing in social apps has many benefits”

– Many companies and administrations have been forced to act quickly and find digital solutions during the pandemic. How much will this acceleration hurt business owners and managers?

– Successful digital transformation is closely connected, first of all, with the head of the company and the developed strategy. Many companies and administrations have chosen quick and cost-effective solutions without thinking about future strategy and consequences. Most companies do not have skilled or digitally trained staff and have had to either buy these resources or rush to train a few people.

In addition, there are risks associated with IT security and lack of infrastructure and tools. Costs and risks were not controlled, and no one could make decisions.

In addition, rigid industry regulations and funding structures are not suitable. Therefore, companies are content with a minimal base of use cases and are cautious about digitization. This automatically affects results and performance compared to other competitors in the market and can sometimes be detrimental to brand image.

– What inventory do you make on the use of social applications in Moroccan companies and what are the main permanent obstacles to their development?

– Moroccan companies tend to be profit oriented. Social apps have a reputation for being unprofitable and costly. Moreover, there are fewer success stories to encourage these companies to invest and work in this direction. The situation is different in Europe or the US, where companies have already realized that investing in social applications brings many benefits.

As a result, the image of the company or brand is strengthened and the reputation of the company is improved. This attracts new customers, especially people who are interested in making sense of their savings and spending. The main obstacles are usually prejudice or ignorance. However, I think that consumers set the direction even if there are cultural changes.

How is digital technology transforming companies today?

– Digitization guarantees efficiency and stability in the event of a major crisis. Companies have digitized at least part of their processes. They have developed online services and established their online presence. The new era of remote work and online meetings is also changing the organization. This new organization of work obviously differs depending on the field of activity. The human factor played an important role and showed the difference.

Learning appears to be an important lever for the proper integration of digital technologies, not only technical learning but also cultural learning, in the face of the associated job transformation and resistance to change.

– To what extent is digital transformation obligatory for companies and administrations?

– The digital transition is a serious economic and social problem. This represents a strategic need for companies in all sectors. Their main motivators are increased productivity, improved business agility, and enhanced data security. Thus, it brings many opportunities, closeness to the client, ongoing and constant communication. It opens up new markets, new methods and ways of working.

– What are the challenges of digital transformation?

– Digital transformation is a complex topic. Success depends on many factors, the two most important of which are skills and financial resources. In many cases, standard solutions and software can cover business needs and do not require new developments. Difficulties arise when no solution exists or when companies operate in sensitive areas such as healthcare or finance. The tools and technologies used should be evaluated.

If the solution is not suitable or does not meet the needs, it must be replaced and the help of specialists in this field should be sought. Quick and easy solutions can cause a lot of problems and be costly. They can even put a business out of business.

Additionally, companies need to think about security and non-functional needs such as usability and responsiveness.

– At the level of the global artificial intelligence market, which is experiencing explosive growth and should reach at least $90 billion in 2025, are Moroccan companies ready to take the plunge?

– Until a few decades ago, the use of AI in business was in the “pioneer stage” and its potential was still somewhat theoretical. Since then, AI technologies and applications have continued to evolve and add value to businesses.

Today, businesses are enjoying an ever-growing set of tangible benefits of AI-driven systems. The technological shift in artificial intelligence could lead to significant efficiency gains for companies as it can quickly sort through large amounts of data, as well as organize it and make it usable in the long run. It also makes it possible to offer customers a quick and personalized response, as well as predict the consumer’s potential online purchases.

Despite these many benefits and applications, most businesses in Morocco still lag behind the rest of the world. Specialists are in demand all over the world and are very well paid, Moroccan companies are not ready to spend so much on them. Moreover, companies are at an immature stage when it comes to technology and digitization.

– The position of Morocco in the field of cybersecurity is not very comfortable, as evidenced by the “Global Cybersecurity Index 2020”, in which the Kingdom ranks 50th. How can Morocco secure its digital sovereignty and guarantee its cybersecurity?

– Morocco remains relatively unimportant for the hacker scene. This does not mean that we are safe. We have certainly been the victims of hacker attacks, but they are not usually reported publicly. Universities and learning centers should bring in experts and offer these courses to a new generation.

In addition, we should follow good examples, such as the Swiss army, which trains its cyber warriors to protect military data centers and communications systems from electronic attacks. At the same time, recruits are trained in hacking. In the future, they will be ready to carry out cyberattacks themselves in case of conflict.