Digital transformation will play a critical role in any company response to COVID-19. Not only do senior leaders need to work out how to get their companies through the pandemic, they must recognise how their companies can be positioned for success afterwards.
A challenge like no other
COVID-19 has completely upended all aspects of our lives. Long queues of newly-unemployed people outside Centrelink greet our screens every night, and the economic impact of COVID-19 is debated endlessly.
Those lucky enough to still be employed are navigating the world of remote working, with IT departments in overdrive and Zoom downloads exploding. Businesses able to operate during the pandemic have been forced to enable modern and agile ways of working.
Some businesses have even managed to reconfigure their service offering completely. Stagekings, a theatre and events prop company, had their entire income for the remainder of 2020 cancelled in the space of 48 hours. The team rallied together and came up with the idea of selling working from home furniture solutions, now selling the ‘IsoKing desk’.
Government departments are also innovating with virtual health care or telehealth being embraced like never before. On the 29th March 2020, the Australian Government expanded Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians, giving service providers an incentive to use websites and mobile applications. Through digital transformation, doctors can now offer patients consultations, referrals and prescriptions.
From health care through to education, all industries are changing the way they operate. Many businesses realise that they’re not well-equipped from a technology and workforce mobility perspective, requiring the need to innovate quickly.
If you haven’t started preparing, you may be left behind by those that have.
Opportunity in a crisis
“There’s always an opportunity with a crisis. Just as it forces an individual to look inside himself, it forces a company to reexamine its policies and practices.” Judy Smith
In a nasty winter, farmers use the opportunity to fix their machinery, so they’re ready for the spring. While maintaining and caring for equipment is done year-round, the winter months allow landowners to be more thorough since the pressure is reduced to get the machinery back into the field.
Now, we are not saying there is no pressure at the moment! However, there is an opportunity to tackle some of those nagging issues that always get sidelined. Digital transformation is something that can continue without interruption and presents a chance for businesses to prepare for the new normal.
Planning your digital transformation
To help guide you through this challenging time, we’ve put together our top four considerations for company leaders around digital transformation:
- Examine existing and future projects that can be completed, and that will be most useful once activity picks up again. Examples include cloud computing, implementing API-based connectivity or enhancing e-commerce platforms.
- Challenge old ways of thinking about your product or services and how they are promoted. Examples include improving website response times, building forums for online communities or re-imagining physical experiences.
- Reprioritise long term strategic technology investments to ensure that you are positioning your company well for the future beyond the pandemic. Examples include thorough website maintenance and audits, intranet development, content management systems and enhancing back-end processes.
- Leverage businesses that can help and take action. Research companies that have proven experience and can scale solutions quickly. It is essential to consider their locality and how effectively they can communicate.
Senior leaders must take the time to study, consider, and then move forward when it comes to digital transformation. Never before has a focus on digital transformation been so critical to ensure that you prepare your business for the new normal.
At 4mation, we are here to help. We are fortunate that our business can continue uninterrupted and want to help you emerge stronger after COVID-19. Reach out to us to get your business on the front foot post-pandemic.