In life, there are different strokes for different folks; incidents, occurrences, events, and happenings may mean one thing to a group of people and another thing to another group. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world like never anything before; businesses were virtually crippled, economies were shattered, and people’s ways of life were dramatically changed.
Nobody was ready for such an upheaval; nobody was prepared for it; the cookies completely crumbled. One thing we can’t doubt is that it was an ill wind that did nobody any good. But looking at the situation critically, did it really do anybody no good? The answer may not be an outright no; the pandemic brought about a transformation; it is the onset of a revolution.
Businesses are charting new ways of operation; employees do not necessarily have to operate from a workplace; customers, employees, vendors, and partners interact virtually and remotely; technology is being deployed; the buzzword is the new normal, and it gave a big boost to digital transformation.
Digital transformation is not actually a new phenomenon, it did not start with the pandemic. Statista reports that spending on digital transformation has risen from 0.96 trillion U.S. dollars in 2017, and is expected to hit 2,39 trillion U.S. dollars by 2024.
Notwithstanding, we can’t overlook these five ways the pandemic is enhancing digital transformation strategies.
1. Increased Pace Of Team Collaboration
One thing the pandemic did is to enhance team collaboration; for the fact that a significant majority of employees are working remotely, it became necessary to align with team collaboration platforms. For instance, Microsoft Teams witnessed 12 million new users using its service daily in the week from March 11 to March 18, 2020, and the forecast that the compound annual growth rate expected from the team collaboration tools market would be 18% between 2021-2026, are pointers to how team collaboration is significantly changing.
What actually happened was that IT managers and technical staff saw the need of increasing the speed of deployment of digital transformation resources if there won’t be a total collapse, the only way was to ensure that employees who are forced to work remotely must have the means of communicating since it was practically impossible for them to use the normal workplace facilities. Even where some employees had to resort to their personal devices, it was still very necessary to collaborate with other workers to ensure a smooth flow of information.
2. Accelerated Deployment Of Customer-Friendly Apps
Just as workers were confined to their homes, customers couldn’t visit their favorite shops and they needed their daily essentials. Businesses had to rise to the occasion; customer experience must be assured.
The pandemic came and everybody believes it will end, how you treat your customers will determine if they will keep on patronizing you if the situation normalizes. Businesses understood this clearly, and every effort had to be made to ensure their customers had the best possible experience.
The only thing that could be done was to intensely deploy customer-friendly systems such as chatbots and applications that are relevant to digital transformation. Since customers resorted to the use of mobile devices for transactions, it was necessary to ensure they have real-time access, which could only be guaranteed by the deployment of customer-focused applications.
What brands strove to achieve was to eliminate any form of churn and ensure a one-stop shopping experience, no brand wanted customers who visit their websites to switch to any other brand. It was a healthy sort of competition, it greatly aided digital transformation.
3. A More Dedicated Effort At Mitigating Cyberattacks
The pandemic resulted in a situation where more data and customers’ personal information had to be ferried. As remote working became more intensified, vulnerabilities to cyberattacks surged.
Unfortunately, the year 2020, saw a phenomenal amount of data lost in breaches and sheer numbers of cyber-attacks on businesses, government, and individuals. What we witnessed was due to the ill-prepared and an astonishing number of workers who had to do remote work.
But that can’t be allowed to continue, even where the cost seems overwhelming, IT managers rose up to ensure that necessary fixes were installed, tested, and placed into service. What we have understood from the pandemic is that efforts should be geared toward ensuring that remote workers must be provided with IT-configured devices.
The cost notwithstanding, it’s the best option for any brand. What you have to spend to redress the damage done by a cyberattack can be overwhelming.
4. Change In Culture
Any brand has a culture and this culture affects how the business is run. Changing the culture of a group of people can be one of the most difficult things and without changing the culture of employees, there is no how you can embark on any digital transformation initiatives.
The CEO must be willing to make radical changes, the middle management must be carried along, and every employee must focus completely on the new ways, technology, ideas, and innovations the company wants to adopt.
Doing this has always been a problem, but the pandemic has made everybody realize that you cannot stick to a fixed culture. Digital transformation borders on change in culture, a departure from the way you were doing some things, a way of improving your employee’s well-being and morale, a new and better way of achieving a goal, an enhancement to the profitability of your business, and an assured way of improving customer experience.
Every brand now knows that there is a need for digital transformation, but we shouldn’t allude this to the COVID-19 pandemic alone because it was obvious.
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