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January 5, 2021

Digital transformation is the key to weathering the unexpected

COVID-19 has forced many organisations to accelerate their digital transformation strategies. Working from home has necessitated the fast transition to an IT environment that supports it, and companies that were already invested in the cloud and the digital tools it offers have been ahead of the curve.

Here are five reasons why the continued acceleration of digital transformation is crucial to any company that wants to weather the COVID-19 storm.

Collaboration

People working from home is now the new normal, and it’s likely not going anywhere for some time. The key to making sure workers are effective from home lies in the tools they use to connect to business resources and collaborate with their colleagues.

Thanks to tools like Microsoft Teams, colleagues can collaborate across projects using just one easy to use application, sitting at home, logged into the work network over a VPN and their internet connection.

Being able to chat to peers over instant message, voice chat, and video conferences makes working remotely not that much different to working in the same office. It is a vital tool in any organisation’s arsenal of coping mechanisms for disruptions like a pandemic.

Communication

When the chips are down, it’s important that companies’ internal communications are clear and able to reach employees at the right time.

Improving internal communications, which can sometimes be too complex and overwhelming for many employees, is essential.

Using digital tools to filter for specific audiences, personalising messages so the recipient feels seen, and sending push notifications to employee phones are all techniques that can help to ensure the proper flow of information in difficult times.

And this is important, because employees that feel their employers are taking the pandemic seriously also feel like they are supported and valued by the organisation.

Keep productivity up

Businesses that haven’t yet digitalised all of their internal processes will find it difficult to maintain employee productivity in the midst of a disruptive event, like a pandemic.

When employees can simply connect to business resources using their home connections and a VPN, and all of the resources they need are easily accessible, they can keep working exactly as they do at the office.

This way, productivity will remain high, employees will remain safe, and the business will continue to operate.

Tech-driven strategies are effective

McKinsey says that digital strategies that align with strong leadership have long been indicators of any company’s ability to weather disruption.

During COVID, however, the impact of technology on companies’ success has been dramatic: McKinsey states that ”…among those [organisations] that invested more capital expenditures in digital technology than their peers did, executives are twice as likely to report outsize revenue growth than executives at other companies.”

By keeping their eye on their technology strategy, and expanding it quickly during the COVID crisis, many companies have bolstered their response to the pandemic and actually found ways to thrive.

Plan now for post-pandemic recovery

CIOs have an opportunity to present their case for an even more robust digital strategy that will take their companies beyond the pandemic, and into the future.

Gartner’s Sandy Shen has said thatThe value of digital channels, products and operations is immediately obvious to companies everywhere right now.

“This is a wake-up call for organizations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience. Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”

Digital tools continue to be important for every organisation, and the faster they can transition their operations into being 100% digital, the better they’ll be able to adapt to any future disruption.