The Coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented one in the history of humanity and has taken the entire world off guard. Although human life is a major risk, and it is the greatest fear for us, the impact COVID-19 has had on the businesses globally cannot be left unaddressed.
To sustain business continuity amidst lockdown without compromising safety is a major challenge. The current situation is going to reshape the workforce and reposition digital transformation priorities in the long term. The impact of the shift which businesses have been forced to take as a result of COVID-19 will likely be felt for a long time.
Organizations are learning to collaborate in new ways; companies are realizing that they are capable of being fully functional despite delegating remote work. As a result, organizations will be compelled to consider digital transformation in order to facilitate the needs of a mass and remote workforce.
All along, digital transformation has been mainly seen among businesses under competitive threats such as tech-savvy industry disruptors. COVID-19 may be the mega-event that pushes everyone toward digital transformation.
The coronavirus outbreak has changed everything. Stock markets have crashed, airlines are experiencing irreparable losses and several small and medium businesses are shutting shops because they do not have what it takes to survive in this uncertain world.
Challenges that organizations face:
No preparedness for such an event and improper infrastructure to manage the same from home is an alarming situation for businesses.
Carrying out successful and effective communication and collaboration across locations, time zones and languages has become a pressing issue.
Employee productivity, teamwork and driving innovation across such a geographically dispersed workforce, and seems like a distant dream.
With intermittent and poor home network connections enterprises need to work out solutions that work in offline and low-bandwidth situations.
Here are a few ways organizations are overcoming the challenges leveraging solutions led by digital transformation:
Leveraging Collaboration tools –
The concerns about the COVID-19 virus have led to a worldwide boom in remote working, as organizations encourage employees to stay home and cities, states and even some countries go on lockdown. There has been a shooting increase in the use of online collaboration tools for companies to ensure effective communication.
Several vendors, including Microsoft, Google, Slack, Zoom, Cisco and LogMeIn, are making chat, videoconferencing and other collaboration services free as demand for remote working booms.
The organisations need to identify, evaluate and have the right set of online collaboration tools for both employees and partners to carry out remote work effectively. There should be due consideration for the security and scalability before purchasing the subscription.
Consumer-centric Sales strategy –
While everyone is anxious for the day when a proven vaccine allows us to return to our daily routines, will consumer buying habits really be the same as pre-COVID-19?
COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing has already altered the consumer buying patterns and might further impact it in the longer run.
Offer deferred payments, or sell in modules; Catering to clients urgent needs with rising demand by providing the tools to meet; Engage your existing clients, retaining them is crucial, go for that extra mile to ensure you invest in their success. Moulding your sales strategy to help your clients better will be a win-win situation.
Agile Business Continuity Plan (BCP) –
Do you think the benefits of business continuity planning revolve solely around emerging unscathed from a seemingly unlikely possible disaster sometime down the road? Think again.
While, most organisations have a BCP manual that runs into over a hundred pages, which proved ineffective during the COVID-19 crisis situation. Hence, there’s a need to have an Agile BCP that should be triggered with minimal fuss, and in no time.
An agile business continuity programme has the potential to save lives, build confidence amongst your employees and customers, mitigate your financial risk, protect supply chain as well as give you a competitive advantage.
Instead of half-yearly and yearly BCP drills, there should be a provision to put the same to real test on a monthly basis by mandating the ‘Work from home’. In fact, some companies have already started thinking about leveraging ‘Work from home’ permanently as part of their company policy.
Hybrid Cloud strategy –
Migrating your business to the cloud would be a good way to have agile business continuity in place. Along with cost-saving and competitive advantage cloud transformation also helps with mobility, flexibility, disaster recover, security and sustainability.
Fully Automated Factories –
While the concept of fully automated factories/ Dark Factories has been resisted long due to it’s the implication on dark where there aren’t any people in it and no need to turn on the lights.
During this crisis, most manufacturing units had to either shut their production completely or operate on reduced capacity in order to ensure safe practices. The entire global supply chain is under tremendous pressure to meet the demands. Hence, Industry 4.0 transformation, the concept of ‘Dark Factory’ will become more relevant post-COVID-19.
Minimal or no humans on-site needs to become a reality to ensure better preparedness in future.
Information Security –
The security of the data consisting of the customer and other sensitive information is the most crucial part. There has been a surge in security breaches during the COVID-19 period due to weak improper data security in remote work.
The recent example is about the security concerns highlighted in Zoom, wherein their management acknowledged that the product was not designed considering the sudden surge in the number of people using it remotely.
The organisation’s focus should be on making the ‘Information Security’ a part of the overall design.
Once we are over this crisis, the global trade dynamics will change, and the economies will bounce back stronger. Hence, we need to stay prepared and invest in Digital transformation to take the leap when needed. Gateway Digital is here to help you adopt digital transformation to sail through the uncertainties. To know more about our offerings, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org