COVID-19 has brought many changes to the business world, especially as we shift from the recovery phase to the renewal phase. Organizations have had to make quick yet informed decisions in order to get through. So, what comes next? How can we adapt and thrive?
Digitalization has come to the forefront at a rapid pace. With a looming second wave, organizations are having to act at an unusually fast pace to adapt. Digitalization is not a new concept but the speed at which it is adopted is certainly new, challenging, and critical for survival. The sense of urgency that is present now, is not something that has been a factor in the past.
There is no longer the option to stay as-is. Organizations are forced to change or be left behind. Questions around how to survive, how to be equipped with the skills necessary, and how to move at an even faster pace are more important now than ever. The future of business depends on quick action and adaptation. Pre-COVID times didn’t press businesses to make fast-acting decisions or rapid changes because the market had been relatively stable. New ideas could be introduced gradually before becoming full change. The answer now has never been clearer: fast-track digital business or risk the business altogether.
COVID-19 can be seen as a blessing. It has forced progression and acceleration that would not have come to light otherwise. It has brought the perfect opportunity to move forward and make things better rather than continue or fall back to what has been comfortable.
Many are left to wonder what digital acceleration might look like for them, and the truth is that the answer is different for everyone depending on the goals and initiatives behind your business. The question then becomes how can those goals be improved by using technology and expansion in the digital world.
An example of this could be more automation in a call center. Though this concept has been around for quite some time it has now become even more popular with fewer people being able to be in a workspace at any given time. Chatbots are another example that is not new but now more widespread.
It is crucial to assess what processes or technologies could potentially be slowing organizations down and eliminate them. This includes figuring out what will help give a boost and what shifts need to happen in spending to ensure that funds are going to the channels that are going to have the quickest and greatest return. Assessing what platforms that you currently have that may be underutilized can be a great way to kick start innovation as those platforms are already in place.
As important as it is to discuss what we should be doing, it is equally as important to go over what we should not be doing. One great suggestion is to not have the idea that going digital will transform your organization into the next Google or Amazon. The purpose of your company won’t change by going digital but rather pivot how you get your message out. It is important to stop waiting for things to go back to how they were pre-COVID and adjust to how they are now. Move forward. Old initiatives that were brought forward pre-COVID need to be reset to things that make sense in today’s environment.
Adapting to a more digital world will help businesses get an appropriate mix of in-person and remote interactions suitable for success now and in the future. We need new processes to help respond to emergency situations that can arise and be prepared for whatever else may come. This is about finding the right balance while working with a sense of urgency. Though we have been hearing for months that these are unprecedented times everywhere we turn, we need to remember that we do have the technology that we need to not only survive but also thrive. This is an opportunity to revamp our businesses and take advantage of our resources. Remain open and inspired while maintaining focus on improvement so that we can all move forward together towards an even better future.
Howard, C. (2020, September 10). Why Now Is the Time to Accelerate Digital. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/why-now-is-the-time-to-accelerate-digital/