COVID-19: Marching Towards Digital Transformation
COVID19 pandemic is enforcing SMEs to review their business strategies and adopt digital transformation to overcome the crisis and reach to the new normal soon.
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The year 2020 might have started well, but as days passed by, adversity rolled its dice, uncoiling one of the toughest times of life. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought a massive transformation in the way people live and work. Mass closures of industries, educational institutions, and social places have had severe repercussions.
But not for long. Business leaders have been proactive in the way they adapt to the changing times and rethink their strategies towards reinstating business operations. While at one stand, they stay six feet away norm forced everyone to stay locked indoors, one cannot disagree with the fact that people are now more active digitally.
Before getting into the depth of how the world has changed digitally, here I am going to present a few challenges faced by the business industries in the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Total shutdown of physical activities, employees across the globe are forced to work from home. But is there a digital strategy in place? Precisely not. Even though part of the industry has adapted to the digital lifestyle, not all organizations have a robust work from strategy to continue working.
Communication has been one of the long-standing problems of the generation. When working in offices, employees could get into one on one conversation. However, as people are now forced to stay at home and work remotely, the collaboration between teams is an issue of grave concern.
Problems related to internet connectivity. Having employees work from home might eliminate the gap created, but the fact that not everyone has superfast internet connectivity, work is bound to suffer.
And above all of this, one issue that stands undeterred is employee productivity. Having said that, there lies a huge challenge for the business leaders to not just curb the issues but, at the same time, create an environment where they can continue working without being worried about the external situations.
Measures to Be Taken: Restructuring the Work Space
Different businesses have different modes of operation, but a few things that are bound to remain the same amongst all include the adoption of digital platforms to connect and interact with each other. Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, below mentioned measures are something that everyone is expected to embed within their workforce.
Accelerate Digital Investment
The first and the most important thing to do is refurbish the remote infrastructure and leverage technologies to digitize the workforce. Though organizational leaders have been experimenting on the adoption of different tools and platforms to embed automation, COVID-19 has forced them to shift from the experimental phase to the implementation phase and that too, real fast.
Enhance Remote Collaboration
Employees all across the globe are forced to work from their home; in an attempt to keep the business running, collaboration has been a tidal issue. To deal with that, top leaders are focusing on embedding communication and collaboration channels within the workforce. Inhouse meetings are held over video calls, and conferences are now hosted on zoom meeting portals.
Multiple companies have leveraged the situation to build a comprehensive bundle that facilitates work from home tools and software. This further makes it easier for employees to connect and communicate with each other.
Improving Internal Communication
It is not just the collaboration that boosts work productivity but also the flow of information. Though the onset of cloud-hosted software provides centralized access to data, employees still need to have the right information in hand to process better and faster. This is where internal communication comes into play.
Nearly 74% of the employees are of the view that they often miss out on relevant information which roads to delayed work. When working in offices, one can easily communicate with each other to get the right information, but with COVID-19 raging in full force, organizations are looking for tools that help them simplify the communication channel.
Employing tools and going digital will help organizations reinstate their business offerings and keep serving their customers. However, security stands at risk. With everyone working online, cyber hacks are at full speed. Adhering to the above, leaders are vesting in security tools to encrypt the endpoints and eliminate all possibilities of hacks or cyberattacks. An easy way out is opting for multi-factor authentication, but going 100% remote requires a robust infrastructure.
While the above are a few ways, the world is gearing towards going digital, here we outline examples of how different sector has adapted themselves to the ongoing crisis, inventing new ways to operate their business.
3 Examples of How Businesses Are Working During COVID-19 Crisis
1. Retail Sector
Whether a small-sized departmental store or a big venture operating on the famous streets of New York, everyone has been forced to shut their operations and stay locked behind their doors. Abiding by the need to practice social distancing, the retailers have now turned to online channels for product promotion and sales. From Facebook's live sessions to virtual try-on solutions, they are leveraging technology to make the most out of the solution while serving the shopping appetite of their customers.
2. E-commerce Stores
This comes as no surprise that e-commerce stores witnessed a hike in the sales figures. Precisely the ones that sell essential items were on the top of the customer's shopping cart. But it wasn't easy for them as well. To continue serving the customer's request, entrepreneurs took additional measures for the security and safety of the delivery executives and the customers. Contactless delivery is now a mandatory option with the store prohibiting any kind of contact with the delivery executives. Doorstep delivery and online payment are the new normal.
3. IT Industry
From setting up the work from home culture to shutting the offices for an indefinite time, the corporate world is fast-changing, all set to brace up with the changing dynamics of the world. Company managers have rolled out rules and policies, spreading out a word on their employee's safety and health. In addition to the above, the corporate sector has placed its customer support team live and functional throughout the day.
True that all of this seems a lot. Yet the time has changed, and people all across the globe are actively adapting to the changing dynamics. COVID-19 has brought tremendous changes in the way people live and thrive on the day to day basis. While challenges flood the business world, it also lays new opportunities for growth, giving them the ease to find a better way to run and operate the business.
Digitization here is the best way to transform the face businesses, and as far as the results say, it is expected that even after the stay-at-home orders are lifted, and life gets back to normal, these changes would stay and be part of our daily life.
Nearly 70% of the organizations had an ongoing digital strategy; the onset of the COVID-19 situation forced them to scale their operations and embed one at the earliest. For organizations that lose out on the adoption of such platforms would soon find themselves out of the race, and hence, adoption is the only way one can sustain the competition of growth.
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