— From Disruption to Innovation: 2020 U.S. Consumer Behavior Report – COVID-19 Study
Unfortunately, many organizational leaders use the pandemic as an excuse not to embrace digital-led business transformation. This is a mistake, because the pandemic is actually the perfect stage for such a makeover. Here’s why digital transformation should not stop with COVID-19.
Digital transformation has a strong correlation with organizational agility for many reasons. First, since digital cuts across the entire enterprise, it forces them to be more organized, and thus prepares them to deal with business disruptions such as those wrought by COVID-19. It also makes them more flexible, agile, and more willing to experiment with new ideas, processes or business models that align better with changing market realities. With such enterprise transformation, firms can also give greater autonomy to individual departments, functions or teams, improving their independent long-term decision-making ability.
Examples of digital-led business transformation include: the adoption of enterprise software such as ERP and CRM platforms like Microsoft Dynamics to manage processes and customers, implementing Power BI to gain rich business insights, and embracing AI, ML or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to improve operations. Adopting work from home (WFH) policies is another example.
Historically, business continuity has been equated to disaster recovery, and restoring business to “normal” as soon as possible. But following COVID, as companies struggle to manage and secure their information, enable their workforce, and improve productivity despite disruptive change – this definition has undergone a sea change. Digital transformation allows organizations to prepare for the unknown, and maintain business continuity. Modernizing or replacing legacy systems, digitizing information, implementing cloud solutions and business process automation, and setting up cross-functional or multi-geography teams help simplify complexities, while also improving business continuity in the post-pandemic environment.
Digitalization enables firms to become “learning organizations” skilled at creating, acquiring and disseminating knowledge, and at leveraging this knowledge to gain a competitive edge. It also helps them develop a “growth mindset”, and adapt to unexpected occurrences in the external environment. Corporate learning initiatives enable employees to develop new skills, and learn better on the job. They can also adjust to the new realities of WFH, and stay productive and engaged with their work. These advantages strengthen firms and enable them to thrive – pandemic or no pandemic.
Digital maturity has a strong correlation with both organizational leadership and culture. Strong leaders can clearly communicate the company’s strategic vision in the midst of disruption. They can also empower employees with a strong sense of purpose to keep them motivated and united. Moreover, to meet the challenges of COVID, companies are adopting digital (or digital-powered) solutions such as video conferencing, virtual customer service, and collaborative project management. This pivot to a new digital way of doing things helps them navigate the crisis and emerge stronger on the other side.
Following COVID, the speed of digital-led business transformation has accelerated all over the world. Consequently, critical changes that might have been implemented over several years are now being implemented in just a few months or weeks. But its advantages notwithstanding, it can also increase the complexities in differentiating between real data and data that needs quick action. As a result, more and more firms are turning to digital transformation experts and Business Consulting firms like Cocoon IT Services. If your goal is digital enterprise transformation, but are not sure where to start, give us a call. We can create a digital transformation blueprint for your organization, and also help you with gap analysis, solution design, and more.