It is said that every crisis is also an opportunity. The countless challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to drive an unprecedented wave of technological innovation trying to provide answers for our dramatically altered reality. As everyone struggles to adjust to the new circumstances, many businesses understand the necessity of change but don’t see a clear path forward. Over the following lines, we will examine the pillars of digital transformation in the post-COVID world.
Despite the fact that the outbreak of COVID-19 is a tragedy that will have a long-lasting impact in all areas of human endeavor, including the global economy and business, it has also showcased the true value of digital innovation and strategy. There has been more innovation in the last 9 months than over the last couple of years. In the face of disruption, many businesses were “forced” to completely reinvent or speed up their digital and organizational strategies in order to survive the shock wave caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s Harvey Nash survey reported that COVID-19 resulted in the biggest surge in technology investments in the history of humankind. It is reported that companies spent around 15 billion dollars per week on technology alone during the first wave of COVID-19.
While the natural response to a crisis is caution and protection, there is a strong case to be made that focusing on innovation yields greater benefits, both in the short and long term. Furthermore, with so many businesses across virtually all industries already racing to harness technology to dampen and counter the effects of the pandemic, the question of digital transformation may not be an option, but a necessity.
As we are all dealing with an ongoing situation with unforeseeable outcomes and further developments, there are no tried and tested solutions and ready-made answers. There are, however, strategic organizational choices and policies that can enable a swift and effective transformation required by our pressing times. What are the key focus areas of digital and organizational transformation that can make or break the success of an organization’s innovative impetus?
Three key areas of digital and organizational transformation
As we’ve said, there are no recipes for innovation. By definition, innovation creates new answers instead of relying on existing ones. There are, however, key areas that organizations need to examine in order to try and devise innovative solutions that will fuel their future growth. Here are the three key areas for our pandemic-affected times.
Adoption of new technology to address the changing market
Many industries have rapidly transformed — some permanently, resulting in the adoption of new technology in order to adapt to new business environments. Organizations need to redefine digital and organizational strategies in order to respond to unprecedented challenges that await them in the post-COVID world.
The global shift to remote work and the broader implementation of online communication and collaboration tools is the one obvious example of embracing technologies to circumvent the pandemic-imposed work conditions, but many businesses are going far beyond that to ensure both safety and productivity. We are witnessing the emergence of a more flexible and agile workplace with a heavier reliance on AI and automation technology. The present-day businesses must seriously reassess their internal processes and find the right technological solutions that will enable them to operate successfully while protecting the workforce.
Reassessing internal organizational digital priorities
With the adoption of new technologies and redefining strategies due to the changing market, industries had to reassess their internal organizational priorities. Recent studies unanimously predict that digital and organizational transformation initiatives will be on top of the companies’ priority investments in 2021.
With the many emerging digital, organizational, and technology trends, many organizations are reassessing and reconsidering their priorities. Here are some of the key considerations in this process:
- How to manage increased digital risks, that have been on the rise during the COVID-19 outbreak with the nature of the threats ever-changing as cyber attackers exploit uncertainty and unprecedented situations.
- How to empower people with the right skills in the post-COVID world. Boosting employee upskilling at scale and organizational transformation will be the defining factors for most industries.
- How to enhance digital and online presence of the individual brand or company, as many of them will need to break out of the traditional business models, no longer sustainable in the post-COVID world. Having an effective online and digital presence will be essential.
- Embracing supporting technology and infrastructure such as data, analytics, and cloud-based technology to enable remote work, without reducing workforce productivity and ability to effectively work from home.
Transformation of internal policies
As the world seemingly begins to open up, slowly but surely, many internal policies will prove to be irreversible. In the dawn of the “new reality”, how companies will train their employees, communicate the benefits of changes to all key stakeholders, and adopt digital trends and technology to accelerate success factors will be key for survival in the post-COVID world.
In order to succeed and develop effective changes to internal policies, organizations will have to ensure a form of digital working practices, with a strong sense of trust that new evolving risks may occur and need to be well managed. A comprehensive understanding of digital principles around data and analytics, automation, online collaboration, cloud-based technology, and cybersecurity will be required and imperative in developing digital transformation of internal policies when it comes to training the workforce. The way companies communicate their new business strategies to their employees, customers, clients, and business partners in the post-COVID world will be more important now than ever before, as there will be an enhanced need to ensure understanding of the changing market environment and predicted benefits.
Move forward with digital transformation
Success in the post-Covid world will largely be about how organizations deal with their culture and engage with their people. While searching for a digital transformation strategy in the current global pandemic, many businesses have learned or are still coming to terms with the fact that there is no one, single digital transformation strategy for every company, which means companies who wish to overcome and reinvent themselves for the post-Covid world must tailor their digital needs to the market conditions they are navigating at the moment.
At HTEC Group, we have the technical expertise, domain knowledge, and business know-how to help organizations steer through the uncertain waters of a drastically different industry landscape. We enable digital transformation, productize and develop innovation, help scale and accelerate organizations to maximize their capacity for success in the post-COVID world. We stand ready as a digital transformation partner that can devise and implement a fully customized approach to make your business future-ready.