If there were any doubts or concerns pertaining to the digital transformation of business operations, the Covid 19 pandemic has put them to rest. In a world of social distancing and mandatory lockdowns, all kinds of business interactions must take place virtually.
While the shift towards digitalization was already underway, the pandemic has certainly accelerated it. That’s because it has compelled people to adopt digital modes sooner than later. Be it a company like Charter cable or a garment store, going digital is the only way for businesses to thrive in today’s world. Companies are hence making efforts to equip themselves to ensure business continuity in unforeseen circumstances.
Here are some of the key ways the pandemic has shaped digital transformation for businesses.
1. Remote Work
According to Owl Labs, before the pandemic, only 30% of US employees were working remotely on a full-time basis. out of the erst of the 70%, only 38% happened to only work onsite. The transition to full-time remote work was a change that many was not prepared to deal with.
The user demands exceeded the system bandwidths. But the good part is that IT professionals and software engineers came up with sophisticated tools to facilitate digital collaboration. From conferencing tools to remote screen monitoring to virtual researches, plenty of concepts have found acceptance in very little time. Although there is much to be explored in this regard, it is a move in the right direction. It would certainly help boost productive business collaborations in the future.
2. Omni channel Commerce
The Coronavirus caused a lot of damage to the business community. many companies suffered losses and others closed down. Thus customers had to turn to online stores for their shopping needs (groceries, clothes, etc). This urged businesses to improve their online shopping methods by introducing user-friendly features.
The demand for grocery delivery services is particularly high during the pandemic. Instacart is a prime example of how a business should provide user-friendly features and quality services through digital tools. It allows the customers the convenience to choose the items, pay online as well as provide feedback all through one app.
More businesses are making efforts to merge the digital and physical divide. They are facilitating their customers through methods and services like virtual try rooms, contactless deliveries, and curbside pickup.
3. Prioritizing Technology
The pandemic made the businesses understand that to introduce new technologies into their systems, they don’t need to wait for all the solutions/conditions to be perfect. The fact that organizations have been rather quick to adapt to digitalization speaks volumes about people’s capabilities and learning abilities.
According to research by McKinsey, companies adopted digital trends 20-25 times faster than expected. And when it comes to remote working, businesses were able to implement workable solutions 40 times faster than they would have in pre-pandemic conditions. In other words, processes that would have taken a year to be fully implemented took an average of 10-12 days.
And that is because businesses today understand that operations don’t have to be perfect to be adopted. Having a solution that functions is enough for businesses to keep running. Errors and loopholes can even be taken care of while the tools/systems are in use. Understanding this concept has led organizations to prioritize technology and make greater investments to benefit from it.
4. Focus on Cybersecurity
With businesses going digital, cybersecurity has become a critical area of focus. As of now, identifying and containing a cybersecurity breach takes an average of 280 days. So criminals have ample time to damage or steal a company’s data. To prevent such situations and threats, companies are investing in advanced security tools that can keep sensitive data such as customer information safe. The use of VPN and other technologies is becoming increasingly common.
5. Hybrid Approach
Currently, all kinds of businesses are using digital platforms to run their operations. These include those that were rather reluctant to use digital tools. Take the example of the fitness industry. Now you have virtual fitness classes on streaming services. Many large-scale company events and conferences are also taking place virtually. The New York Stock Exchange has completely moved to online trading.
As the situation eases, some businesses will revert to their previous models. However, many would consider the hybrid approach. This is because it is more cost-effective as well as productive.