Go digital, or go dark.
In our society, technological adoption was always a gradual and slow process and talking about a digital transformation never was an easy discussion. The Covid-19 crisis certainly accelerated the adoption of new technology and silenced all those that questioned its importance.
Covid has forced us to limit human-to-human contact and therefore go into physical isolation. In a contactless world, all our interactions have to be virtual. The meetings with colleagues, clients, project members are still inevitable and necessary to keep businesses alive but all had to be conducted in a virtual and safe manner. This pushed a lot of companies to digitalize their processes and update their tools to ensure they survive the mandated shutdowns. The knew going digital was the only way to survive.
This pandemic also served as a reality check for businesses that had been reluctant to accept a digital transformation. They now found themselves fully unprepared and were frantically trying to stay afloat by hastily trying to migrate their operations and workforce to a virtual environment. Ofcourse, haste makes waste and a lot of them just couldn’t keep up with the pressure. It hit them too fast, too soon.
Organizations now have no choice but to get their digital transformation plans going and contrary to what most believe, this transformation is actually is a good thing for the following reasons:
1. Digitalization does not have to be expensive and does not require a large initial capital. These projects can start small. Once all the enhancments and tweaks have been catered to, they can be increased in scale. Done in the right way, digital transformation can be self-sustaining, and each incremental improvement can help pay for the next leg of the journey.
2. You can actually save money. Improving process efficiency – which is what digital solutions focus on – can be more effective in sustaining businesses through financial turbulence than traditional cost-cutting measures alone. Automating processes and sophisticated machine learning tools can be used to identify areas of waste, and design processes which use resources and materials efficiently thereby reducing costs.
3. This is our “new normal”. The sooner we accept that, the better. Smart organizations are accepting new technologies to their advantage e.g. using analytics to make smarter decisions, decrease cost and increase profit, or using machine learning for contact tracing to ensure a safer work environment for their employees.
In short, we are at a place where companies face the challenge to move towards technological resilience. This not only helps them mitigate any risks and set backs but provides them with the tools necessary to keep up with the future. As John Chambers (CISCO) said “At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.”