Has COVID-19 Fast-Tracked Digital Transformation?
Has COVID-19 Fast-Tracked Digital Transformation?
With COVID-19 dominating the first half of 2020, technology is on the front lines. Let's look into how a pandemic has impacted digital transformation.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented one in the history of mankind and has caught the entire world by an unpleasant surprise. This shouldn’t come as surprise if we say business leaders are facing the greatest challenge of their career from managing teams working remotely, maintaining business as usual, and finding ways to keep business goals and revenue from not declining. Clearly, the global coronavirus pandemic has dominated the first quarter of 2020 and continues to do so for much of the second quarter and so on and technology seems to be on the front lines of this crisis.
Impact on Business Leaders
A survey conducted by Textio over the impact of COVID19 on around 250 technology leaders has some interesting stats & patterns that are noteworthy.
- 80% have invested in productivity tools, and 65% are looking for ways to stay connected
- 47% said supporting their current team is their top priority
- 90% are being more mindful about what and how they communicate with their teams
The results are interesting, isn’t it? This survey reveals some of the areas of focus for technology leaders during the current scenario. They are quickly turning their attention to what is next as this is certainly a period of the unpredictable economy with new competitive threats and opportunities, and quite possibly a decade of the Never Normal. The major challenge for business leaders during this pandemic will be to sustain business continuity.
The Digital Transformation & Pandemic Journey
As our World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized the current pandemic & its effect into 6 phases. Similarly, there has been a similar impact of the pandemic over businesses, the current crisis can be outlined into three waves:
- Wave 1- Ensuring stability & continuity
- Wave 2- Establishing new ways of working
- Wave 3- Applying learning from the crisis
The focus on digital transformation has never been greater. Those organizations that relied on legacy systems are now planning to go digital because of the disruptions that have been caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Digital transformation was a topic before pandemic & is here to stay. Here are a few ways that CIOs have accelerated digital activities as they deal with this unprecedented threat.
Just as employees are learning how to work efficiently at home, students are adapting to remote education. Online classes are going to be a new normal even after the crisis ends. People are becoming more familiar with technologies like Zoom, MS Teams, etc. They’re also building the skill set needed to keep oneself productive while working at home.
Preparing for a Remote-Work Life
COVID-19 has been the largest experiment of testing the need for a flexible, remote-ready workforce. According to a Gartner survey of 317 CFOs, 74% said they will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently work remote post-COVID-19. This style of working has come, and it’s here to stay even after the pandemic ends, therefore CIOs are working towards enabling new ways of working that require a culture change. CIOs can help to drive the cultural change by
Businesses are going to focus on digital transformation efforts on the people, processes, and technology that make them more resilient and adaptable for future changes.
Ensuring Proactive Security Measures
Securing the data about the organization, customer, and other sensitive information. There’s a surge in security breaches during the COVID-19 period mainly due to a substantial increase in usage by working remotely.
Once the crisis eases- It will be a bold-new reopening world and indeed a different and rapidly changing one. The CIOs will have to quickly and effectively adapt to ensure the survival, renewal, and regrowth of their organizations. This period could boost the needs for virtual reality and digital transformation. While Internet infrastructure will continue to grow, there will be greater needs for greater non-verbal communication over digital channels. The core technology, data, AI, and IT systems are not going anywhere, but instead, they will be growing, adapting, and becoming more essential than ever before.
The first wave had already passed, few organizations were able to sustain the first wave because of better crisis management, some bewildered initially but eventually tackled with it and gained stability. Once we reach the other side of this pandemic, it will be important to establish long-term strategies for greater resilience and to apply lessons learned from the experience to create a system and talent roadmap that better prepare companies for future disruption.
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