Digital Transformation during this time of Pandemic

by Mary Antoinette Arzadon

Posted on 2020-11-04

At the start of pandemic, a lot of companies had quickly turned to technologies to continue to operate.  The use of video conferencing and other collaboration tools were quickly implemented in most of the workplaces with remote work arrangements and social distancing protocols imposed as a result of the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This global health crisis brought radical change and with no immediate end in sight. Companies found the need now to accelerate their Digital Transformation effort.  It has become imperative now for small to medium size enterprises to look into digitization of their operations to continue to thrive whereas previously Digital Transformation was seen as a cost not an investment for future growth. 

Here are some previous success stories that capitalizes on technologies pre-pandemic times:

·         Netflix pioneered the video streaming of movies

·         Uber, the first revolutionary way to get a ride in one click of a button

·         Amazon, the first and largest eCommerce

These are some examples of the industries that evolved quickly in the last three months:

·         Telehealth

With most people opting to consult online rather than going to physical clinics for minor health concerns, some health care providers have adapted to Telehealth. 

·         Retail

Driven by needs most retail industries especially on food items have adapted to technology to reach out to their customers.  They provide online ordering and delivery services to customers that also helped another industry which is the service delivery industry.

·         Remote Learning

With no face-to-face classes imposed in many countries, schools have quickly adapted to online classes taking advantage of communication and collaboration platforms such as Zoom, Google talk, Skype and MS Teams.

Digital Transformation is a fundamental change for companies and may consume a lot resources that can drain the company.  So a very well thought of strategy must be drawn.  Here are simple and practical steps that must be considered before embarking in this new journey for your company. 

1.       Organize a Digital Transformation Team. Start by establishing a small team to look into the external and internal factors affecting your business. The team must be a combination of business stakeholders and Information Technology experts that will think outside of the box and look at opportunities from a new perspective.

2.       Business Process Assessment. Identify candidate key business processes and models that needs to be assessed. Digital transformation effort of the company can create new business models and enhanced customer experience. Understand that customer needs are changing rapidly, experiment and test early.

3.       Understand and Prioritize Needs. Identify the key stakeholders and target customers.  Understand that customer needs are changing rapidly.  Experiment and tests fast so you can adjust early and implement as soon as possible.

4.       Build or buy.  Identify the technologies that can be implemented and evaluate.  When deciding to build or buy, identify your immediate needs and evaluate technologies or software that are already in the market to be able to address your immediate needs.  For medium to long term needs, building a customized application can be considered.

5.       Digital Transformation Implementation.  Implement and evaluate on a regular basis and adjust accordingly.

Now is the best time to revisit your transformation strategy, consider how the digital transformation initiatives could impact revenue-generating efforts to help in this climate of economic difficulty.  An abrupt change in the mindset and environment can be daunting, but the organizations that invest on important business enablers will be the businesses that will thrive and will emerge from this crisis ahead of their competitors.