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The New Normal has forced the building of the digital transformation (DX) bridge. With businesses across industries trying to keep up with the digital boom, it took a pandemic for the world to shift from physical to digital and flexible – for interactions with customers to remote working. Having business operations impaired and workplaces shut down, businesses have had to review their workplace strategies to stay afloat and weather this crisis.

 

Digitally transforming industries

A 2019 survey by Harvard Business Review concluded that 70% of all digital transformation initiatives do not reach their goal. Then how is it that businesses across industries proactively went digital in a matter of days?

Because digital transformation is not just about technology.

The ability to adapt and reinvent is essential for businesses and brands to stand their ground, as the crisis passes over. For the Education industry, this transformation meant the replacement of the brick-and-mortar classrooms altogether, as the pandemic forced schools and universities shut. The domino effect continued to the Consumer Goods & Durable industry. Having to partner with micro-delivery platforms, physical business ops (store activity) have come down to absolute essential functioning.

Looking at the Media & Entertainment industry, there has been an accelerated shift towards streaming. With already booming presence and popularity, OTT platforms like Netflix, Hotstar, and Prime Video have grown bigger than ever. With the change in the consumption of media, the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry has also shortened the legacy theatrical window.

 

Giving way to the all-digital lifestyle

Change during these unprecedented times is challenging for business leaders and also the employees. It’s almost impossible, in the current situation, to choose and differentiate what’s right and wrong for one’s company. But keeping the employees’ motivation high, protecting them, and still delivering a great service and experience to the customers is today seen as the pinnacle of adaptability.

As workplaces are unlikely to get back to the ‘old’ normal, it is the right time companies make decisions regarding the changes that are to be employed. The goal of digital transformation is to solve problems by integrating technology both internally and externally. Its essentially a state of mind, that allows brands to continually evolve (more so with lockdown orders having shut down workplaces).

 “When traditional channels and operations are impacted by the outbreak, the value of digital channels, products, and operations become immediately obvious and CIOs can present a more convincing business case. This is a wake-up call for organizations that focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience”. – Gartner

 

Digital Transformation need not be overwhelming

If your business was not already transforming, its likely that the lockdown orders pushed you to quickly adapt. And chances are, you are still looking to enhance what you can to become more seamless.

Digital strategies are to be implemented in many aspects of the operations. The foremost focus of this exercise would be to ensure the health and safety of employees and then adjusting business operations to best serve your customers/clients.

Internal communication

Alignment across the organization plays a critical role here. Making sure that everyone is on board and understand the changes you’re implementing, why these changes are implemented very fast, why they are needed, how they’re going to impact employees’ work, and how they’re going to help the business overcome the crisis is extremely important.

Improving internal communication methods is a very urgent need for organizations. When too much irrelevant information is passed, employees tend to miss some of the important information, urgent updates, etc., which is not affordable. This problem can be eliminated by implementing the appropriate employee communication technology, which will lead to the right flow of information to the right person.

Remote working & Employee productivity

Another important aspect of reworking the strategies is to maintain employee productivity during and after the crisis. Most companies have shifted to remote working during the crisis to the ensure safety of their employees. To ensure efficiency, productivity, and continuous business performance, organizations are in search of digital solutions across all the areas. Remote contact center and work from home solutions are popular now more than ever for enabling seamless customer interactions.

These technologies, if implemented correctly, will make the organizations more resilient to operational risks and disruptions. Company culture has also been highly impacted by COVID-19, especially with the joining of new employees during this time. There is a great challenge in transferring the culture virtually when physical interaction is missing. Also, employees are usually adopted to working in teams and tend to miss the human interaction. If the pandemic Is here to stay, then it would be challenging for businesses to maintain a unique culture. New digital strategies have to be employed to bring the employees together.

 

Digital Transformation: Talking numbers

IDC conducted a quantitative survey, polled 121 CXOs of industry users, comprising 19 questions, one of which was the new initiatives for the digital transformation of enterprises after the epidemic.

The result showed, to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic and the macroeconomy, industrial users will focus their digital transformation on the following top fields in 2020:

  • Creating new telecommuting and enterprise collaboration systems.
  • Exploring new business models and growth points.
  • Building up competitive digital cultures and organizations.
  • Reducing costs by improving operational efficiency and exploring industrial application scenarios of 5G and IoT.

 

Building & Transforming your business digitally

Digital Transformation (DX) is not a simple process. Many steps are to be followed to successfully transform business models and operations.

  • Firstly, the current digital state of the organization has to be assessed
  • A road map of the transformation and the goals have to be defined
  • Necessary tools and techniques have to be chosen
  • A realistic budget has to be set for the strategy
  • Empower educate and train the staff

As the change required by every company is different, there might be some addition to these steps based on the requirements. And given the current situation, each business has their work cut out for them.

Usually driving change takes time and effort. But, as the current situation demands, this process has been accelerated to keep up with the competition. Communicating the change openly with the employees and helping them adopt the same will ensure a smooth transition.

Digital transformation is an ongoing process. The new normal has accelerated the efforts of some and forced some others to transform and adapt. Change can be daunting, but the benefits of creating a digital, sustainable, customer-focused company will be lasting. Perhaps this is the silver lining for businesses in a post-pandemic world, where sometimes forced change may be positive.

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