COVID-19 and Digital Transformation

June 2, 2020

COVID-19, a crisis unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Service sectors, including aviation, travel, and tourism are the hardest hit, some countries are still in lockdown and other companies are still coping with the effects of the pandemic. There is no coronavirus playbook and for many executives the toughest test is now how to bring a business back in an environment where a vaccine hasn’t been yet developed and economies are still reeling. While COVID-19 definitely had a negative impact on global economy and businesses, exposing the fragility of operations and models by which organisations where operating at the same time it had shown how fast companies had adapted to changes by taking their workforce totally remote, a wider usage of digital communication and collaborative tools and becoming more agile in adapting their operating models, understanding their customers needs and behavior which radically changed.

COVID-19 made businesses rethink their current model and created an imperative to reconfigure operations and become more technologically driven.

Governments announce plans to end lockdown and reopen the economies, some already started the process and a new phase of COVID-19 is coming and technology will play a crucial role in this as executives saw during the pandemic that digital solutions are a playing a key role as they catalyze growth, enable adaptation and flexibility. This crisis showed that every business has to be technology driven and a deep understanding of customers expectations and demands, employees, processes, supply-chain and service networks is enabled by technology. Even before the coronavirus hit companies were already on their path to digital transformation but still many of them were viewing this as a nice thing to have rather than an important part of the business that can enable growth and generate new revenue opportunities. Now companies understand that this is a must and an important part of the business not just an extension. Digital technologies will be at the forefront of the next normal and enable organisations to better meet the needs of their customers, employees and having more agile and responsive operations without increasing costs. 

Companies now have to rethink their strategy and set an ambitious digital agenda to tackle the current and upcoming challenges. 

 

Accelerate tech modernization.

Companies will need to improve their IT productivity to lower their cost base and fund flexible digital-solution development. Tech modernization at scale will improve productivity and accelerate the decline in manual and repetitive tasks and a rise in analytical and technical support. This way companies will create competitive advantage and new customer value propositions by being more responsive to shifts in demand and behavior patterns which will accelerate product-development, customer experience and customization.

Data driven decision making and analytics. 

With the use of data, AI and Internet of Things companies will be able to manage operations, respond to current changes and inform strategic and operational decisions. Additional data sources must be considered because during lockdown, we have seen rapidly evolving consumer sentiment and behavior patterns. Algorithms trained before the pandemic world and assumptions will need to be revised. Companies need to incorporate new data and create new models to enable real-time decision making that will make them more analytical and give more operative insights.

Accelerate digital transformation.

During this crysis companies become more aware of the digital competitiveness and having a more digitized enterprise helps build more resilient operations. Executives will need to draw up a technology driven roadmap to accelerate their digital transformation and adoption of technological solutions. The IT infrastructure must be secure, up to date and highly functional as well as flexible to be able to meet the emerging expectations of both customers and company’s internal needs. By adopting an agile approach and development of digital set of tools. Companies that accelerate the efforts now will likely see benefits in productivity, cost optimisation, flexibility, faster decision making, quality and end-customer connectivity.

Focus digital efforts to meet the customer changing expectations

To quickly adapt companies need to revamp customer journeys and accelerate the development of tech solutions and for each sector this will be different. Retailers have to fully review their model and create seamless and smooth e-commerce experience where customization and personalization will play a massive role as it will enable customers to do everything they need to online starting from research and product research or review continuing with purchase and return for maintenance or service. For other companies it could mean to set up digital distribution models to evolve toward more interaction with the market to grow and leverage network partners reducing both intermediate and supplier dependence and improve the information flow to and from end users. It will enable companies to streamline the customer onboarding journey, create new account and transact entirely from mobile devices and computers.

To prepare and transition to the next normal executives will look to reinvent their business models and technology will play a key role now and after. Our team is ready to support you navigate through this journey and become a more technology driven organisation.

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