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Covid-19: The Digital Transformation Accelerator

Covid-19: The Digital Transformation Accelerator

Courtesy: Supply Chain Beyond

According to, Carolina Milanesi, a tech Analyst and Forbes contributor:

“The current (COVID-19) crisis is accelerating digital transformation. … The more change we see, the harder it is to believe businesses will go back to how things were before this crisis. This “no going back” attitude is not just coming from the reality that COVID-19 will impact many in-person activities and spaces from open offices, to travel and events. The desire to change is also the result of seeing the positive impact digital transformation has on a business.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has made Digital Transformation (DT) in all businesses and sectors of the global economy a necessity. Today, DT is something companies HAVE TO DO not when they want to, but because they need to do it if they’re to survive this new and challenging business environment.

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting the way we live. In many ways, it’s also disrupting our foundational way of doing business.

Today, the businesses that are operating well and in a some-what-panic-free state are those that had a tried and tested Digital Transformation plan in place or at-the-ready before the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, the ones that are going to make it through this pandemic intact are those that restrategize, invest more in digital transformation, and adopt to using smart technologies and better business processes and practices to drive business growth and revenue.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses that embrace and use the Digital Transformation process to enhance their operations, service, goods, and value delivery to the end customer are the ones that’ll make it through this in one piece. Those that entrench a cultural and operational shift that allows the business to thrive in the digital business space will outdo the competition and be in a position to perform exceptionally well once the pandemic passes.

Why COVID-19 is a Digital Transformation Accelerator

It’s clear to see why COVID-19 is accelerating Digital Transformation at such a high rate. Part of the reason why this is so clear to see comes from the apparent changes the pandemic has brought about in the business environment.

For instance:

With most economies around the globe reeling from the effects of now-standard-seeming anti-COVID measures like lockdowns and social distancing, many small and medium-sized enterprises have had to revolutionize their business models and processes to survive this new business landscape.

These COVID-19 driven changes have necessitated business environment changes that have accelerated the adoption of digital transformation practices as companies and businesses of all types and sizes think about not only how to stay afloat and profitable during this pandemic, but to stay feasibly-operational long-term.

One reason why COVID-19 is accelerating Digital Transformation has to do with what Carolina Milanesi calls the ‘new reality.’ Here’s what the new reality is:

Many enterprises are now gradually awakening to the brutal realization that they’re ill-prepared for the forced Digital Transformation precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This realization is what’s fueling the desire for businesses to integrate digitization into various parts of the value creation chain, a fact that is accelerating the rate at which companies are now willing to evolve and invest more generously in their Digital Transformation plans.

For instance, faced with COVID-19 curve-flattening measures such as lockdowns and social distancing, many businesses keen on surviving this pandemic have awoken to the realization that since customers are not coming to them, they have to innovate and serve their customers where they are.

This need to innovate has led many industries into adopting technology-driven business solutions such as innovative goods delivery via drones, remote learning, virtual conferencing, and in-housing, to name but a few. Healthcare is a fantastic example of an industry that, because of COVID-19, has had to digitize as rapidly as possible.

Today, because of COVID-19, technology-supported telemedicine has become something healthcare institutions have had to adopt as a measure to ensure that the people who need care get it without overly taxing a medical care system that’s already-taxed by the pandemic.

To illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated Digital Transformation in businesses across all sectors of the economy, and demonstrate why your business needs to focus on accelerating its digital transformation projects, consider this:

In the wake of restrictions, lockdowns, and social distancing measures, to survive, most businesses that relied on walk-in foot traffic have had to rethink their business model and approach altogether.

Where such businesses did not have a sound, Digital Transformation plan in place, now they’ve had to bootstrap their way into one as a matter of survival. For instance: Many corner store businesses that relied on walk-in foot traffic have had to pivot their business models and look into how they can offer their services through online mediums.

A case in point is hotels and cafés in jurisdictions that have disallowed in-house eating. In such cases, the businesses intent on surviving this pandemic have had to innovate and employ often-faster digital technologies such as online ordering and home delivery solutions.

Beyond this example, the COVID-19 pandemic is, without a doubt, accelerating digital transformation in many other ways:

How The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Accelerating Digital Transformation

The attitudinal business-approach changes brought on by COVID-19 is one of the most foundational ways in which the pandemic is accelerating Digital Transformation.

Today, out of understanding that innovating is the only way to make it out of this pandemic intact, many businesses have adopted Digital Transformation measures and practices.

For instance:

Today, even businesses that previously felt anxiety over giving their employees work-from-home opportunities have had to change their attitude towards this. As a matter of survival, such companies have had to provide their workers with these opportunities, not only to keep their workforce but also to ensure that they have the human resources they need to continue providing value in the marketplace.

Hard-learned business lessons are the other attitudinal change giving COVID-19 its accelerative Digital Transformation power.

According to data from the SMARP blog, today, 84% of businesses believe that Digital Transformation is integral to their survival during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courtesy: SMARP

As a means to survive the pandemic, such businesses have had to innovate and adapt to the use of digital technologies to ensure the delivery of key functions and services. This trend has made COVID-19 a Digital Transformation (DX) accelerative tool.

Given all this, going forward, every business should use the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity for digital transformation. Every business keen on long-term profitability and sustainability needs to understand that beyond stop-gap measures, Digital Transformation is what it’ll take to achieve sustainable, long-term business growth.

For businesses intent on making it to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing Digital Transformation strategies is no longer a question of choice; it has become a business necessity, something businesses have to do to survive and thrive mid and post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, for most businesses, the choice is relatively simple:

  1. Adopt Digital Transformation strategies and survive, or,
  2. Stick to the same-old, same-old routine and watch as the business perishes.

Given these choices, most businesses are opting to innovate and to adopt Digital Transformation methodologies not only to survive the COVID-19 pandemic in one piece but also to create a more resilient business system that is ready for unexpected changes in consumer behaviours.

No one can dispute the fact the COVID-19 pandemic significantly changed how we live and conduct businesses. Therefore:

Because of the unprecedented changes brought about by COVID-19 to the business environment, businesses keen on long-term sustainability post the pandemic have to become very mindful of changing consumer behaviour and adapt accordingly.

With the business changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic being clear to stakeholders, consumers, and business leaders, businesses should dedicate more resources to finding creative, technology-driven ways to deliver value to consumers.

The COVID-19 pandemic should be a chance every business, big o’ small uses to think about its current business model. Every business should use this pandemic as an opportunity to determine how complimentary its value delivery systems are to the digital world we know we’ll be heading into post the epidemic.

Where introspection reveals that the current business model adopted is not one complementary to the new business environment occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the only businesses that’ll survive are those that are quick to pivot and adopt accelerated Digital Transformation strategies.

Conclusion

One of the most significant benefits of Digital Transformation is that when it’s applied well to a business, it leads to streamlined business model changes in critical areas such as operations, process automation, marketing, asset management, and organizational culture.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the businesses that’ll survive are those that pivot, invest more in Digital Transformation, and change their mode of operations to ensure it concurs with the ‘new normal’ and the new business environment it has heralded.