Since the turn of the millennium the modern office has been changing with advances in technology and IT as well as the way people think, act and work. The ability to bring all the information we have into few spaces, or one in the case of the IoT and the cloud, businesses are being forced to decide whether to stand still and risk becoming redundant or changing with the times and becoming more digital.
Many will argue what the definition of digital is, but giving employees the ability to work seamlessly from any location, quicker and in new and more engaging ways with their target audience is leading to many companies hoping to transform the way they do everything in a world that is always looking to do and make things easier.
At the end of 2019, it was estimated that around 70% of major companies were in the process of or had completed their digital transformation journey putting them in a strong position to move forward and succeed whatever situation may arise. However , with the outbreak of COVID-19 forcing many organisations to effectively sink or swim, work that would have taken years now is being forced to happen at a much quicker rate.
For those working exclusively from laptops and other mobile devices from a cloud based system holding all company data, the transition to working remotely for the foreseeable future will have posed very few issues. If not, the process of preparing your workforce, whatever size it may be, with all the tools and resources needed for an extended period away from the office will have been a mammoth task depending on the industry you are in.
As well as the need for a strong, accessible and secure cloud system, several other key areas of business life have been majorly disrupted or even made redundant. With restrictions on travel and supply chains, deliveries and services may be halted for indefinite periods. With stores and offices closing, companies need to find new ways to reach out and interact with their customer bases.
With the reduction of social interaction, telecommunications have become essential to create open dialogues between staff and other suppliers. And similarly with large gatherings being prohibited, the events industry has been forced to shift focus from physical to more virtual meetings and events.
With the outbreak causing major disruption across the world and many company’s likelihoods in danger, the EU is encouraging all organisations who haven’t already to invest in digital transformation during or after the lockdown to ensure the survival of business throughout Europe.
While fear of digital disruption has caused many organisations to hold off or outright deny the need for transformation, the COVID-19 outbreak has been a massive wake up call for those organisations who are lagging behind leading to a slowdown in productivity which may be hard to resurrect unless measures are taken quickly to galvanise their data and workforce.
While there is no definitive plan or solution to your needs, the areas which need addressing are the same in most organisations:
- Customer Focus- over product focus in technology decision making
- Internal Customer Experience- employees have consumer grade technology
- Organisational Structure- that supports a seamless customer experience
- Logistics & Supply Chain- improve efficiencies
- Change Management- and cultural transformation
- Data Security, Privacy & Data Ethics- standards are a focus
- Transformational- leadership drives technology decisions
- Evolution of Products, Services & Processes- around delivery
- Technology decisions- involve entire C-suite
- Digitalisation- of the business
- Integration- of all data systems
- Personalisation- guides the customer
Evolution is a part of life. From industrial to internet to digital, those who are able to strike early have the best chance to survive and thrive in the new world, whatever it may look like. Be sure to review your company’s digital transformation strategy to ensure you are prepared to keep moving forward as this crisis continues and eventually passes.