It has been months since the COVID-19 outbreak cast it shadows over the world, and people resorted to staying within the confines of their homes. With life, as we know it, changed like never before, we had to adapt to the ‘new normal.’ This meant joining in the worldwide work-from-home phenomenon, social distancing, and shuttering of all non-essential services. But, as we were struggling to adjust ourselves to this unforeseen situation, IT organizations all over the world were busy catering to an increased demand from all quarters with Data Analytics Companies.
A few companies were lucky enough to already have the tools in place to support their work-from-home initiative, while continuing to serve the clients. However, many companies were unprepared and they have to adapt digital tools and move online starting from the scratch. So, has COVID-19 been the push they needed to start their journey towards digital transformation? Let’s find out!
COVID-19 to shatter the myths preventing digital transformation
As lockdown was imposed, incredible changes had started happening all over the world. Microsoft Teams and Zoom had appeared on thousands of laptops. Call centers started having virtual agents to deal with even the basic enquires as volumes increased. Entire workloads were moved to cloud for ensuring agility. Being on the frontline, healthcare centers and hospitals deployed artificial intelligence for automatically capturing patient information and lessening the administrative responsibilities of the nurses and doctors.
All of these outstanding efforts deserve a round of applause, but it would be wrong to view these as one-off situations. Important thing is to note down each of these initiatives to use them for our businesses in future. The best part is that this rapid disposition of digital capabilities has shattered the myths that held back businesses from digital transformation strategies for the longest time.
The excuses like “we don’t have the funds,” “the employees won’t be able to engage with the digital tools,” or “it’s too soon for us to start thinking about something as advanced as AI” are no longer making the cut.
Well, turns out the funds aren’t lacking, the employees are capable enough to use those tools, and it’s never too soon to rely on AI.
Three key factors fast-tracking digital transformation amid COVID-19
Three critical factors have cut through the digitalization fatigue and accelerated digital transformation amid covid 19.
Let’s assess these factors to gain better insights into the Impact of the pandemic on digitalization.
1. Disregarding the hurdles to accelerate high-stake projects at industrial scales
In the past couple of the months, major IT projects that most of the Software Development companies had categorized under the ‘too difficult’ bracket were magically and suddenly completed almost overnight. After all, it came around to a matter of survival. Companies did not start writing a business case. They also did not crib about the chosen technology or the cost involved in using the tech.
As we are slowly moving towards recovery, it is important to continue operating in a way that showcases an inherent understanding of the fact that digital capabilities are unavoidable to our survival. The problem is that no one want to spend their money on things unless the need is burning. But, it is crucial to spend the needful before everything bursts into flames.
Ask yourself : Depending on where the market will reach by the end of this year, what digital capabilities will be essential to win in this competitive scenario? Start implementing those capabilities with the level of urgency and pragmatism that the lockdown brought to your business.
It’s not the time to think about the cost and pain of leaving the legacy behind. The time is also not right for taking up digital projects in parts just to get by.
2. Focusing on enriching employee and customer experiences
The COVID projects began with similar design-based thinking and human-centric imperative. The ideas always started with “we want people to have the ability to…” We want customers to have the ability to purchase from us online or receive faster responses to their queries. We want our employees to have the ability to carry out their roles from homes. The focus was more on dealing with human problems rather than the digital.
As the world moves beyond the stage of immediate pandemic response, the focus has to be on the people who are using the digital technologies, especially the employees. To deliver great customer experiences, companies also need to invest in improving employee experiences. We can give all the tools to our employees. But, what about making sure that they are using the tools effectively? It’s time to get workplace analytics to the rescue. The need to find the areas of disengagement and fix them. It has to start with identifying the teams who are hitting it out of the park, so that their ideas can be shared with the rest of the company.
It is crucial to utilize data for optimizing and empowering employees by offering them data-driven insights that link them with smart techs. Of course, technologies are also becoming faster and easier to use by the day. Platforms are now highly dedicated towards self-service. So, business owners can themselves create dashboards to understand the different critical aspects of their business, and leverage AI to know the ‘why-s’ without going for major IT transformations.
Keeping in mind design-based thinking is also important. It means addressing silos for accessing the multi-disciplinary outlook about the real problem and then, finding solutions across processes, technology, and people. The technological side is easier in comparison. The more important role is played by the human experience being delivered.
Let’s give you a simple example to explain the situation. Even for someone employed in Digital Transformation Companies, who started working from home being familiar with all the tools, it was a learning curve to understand the best possible usage of those tools. When the small corner of a room becomes your workspace, staying on the job all the time might be easy, but it never ends well.
The HR department can come to the rescue here in alleviating the pressure. For instance, the department can make sure that employees get at a half-an-hour break after 45 minutes of meetings to refresh them, make some tea, reflect on the ideas discussed, and then, come back. The lack of such interventions would degrade human experience despite the use of the best technologies.
3. Access multiple advanced technologies to get the job done
The remarkable benefits associated with digital transformation can only be ensured when intelligence is infused in everything. There is no reason to think machine learning or AI is too advanced for the company because these have already become mainstream technologies. You will have to accelerate their adoption for the exponential growth of your digital investments.
Go by the iterative user-case approach and have clarity about the values you’re targeting. Build on your quick wins by starting small and keeping the right security practices and business administration with you.
A majority of global organizations had not mastered the art of digital transformation before COVID-19. But, going by the rate and success of the businesses’ responses to lockdown, it seems like the scenario is about to change. The only thing to keep in mind here is that the focus has to be on rapid deployment of effective digital capabilities by using enterprise-wide, industrialized platforms.