An isolated incident in Wuhan, then an outbreak, and now a pandemic that has sent the world into a lockdown. The novel Corona Virus has brought life as we knew it to a standstill: schools have been shut down, events called off, restrictions imposed on travel and nearly all companies are prompting their employees to work from home. As the world scrambles to contain the spread of the virus, the crisis has raised a serious question on our readiness to tackle such catastrophes. Besides the health risks imposed, the virus has created complete pandemonium, causing economies to spiral slowly into a freefall. Trade and commerce have taken a massive hit, the supply chain has been severely affected, and business growth has been brought to a halt. Right from travel to automotive, just about every industry is bearing the brunt of the pandemic at present.
As we’re fighting the coronavirus wave, amidst all the chaos, the crisis has given us an opportunity to re-think, introspect and re-evaluate several aspects of everyday life: work, education, entertainment. On the business front, with social distancing being enforced and work from home being mandated by even those organizations that were against the idea of a distributed workforce, many have woken up to the realization that digital transformation is as crucial as ever and are probing into their Business Continuity Plans. The result will be a shift in the way organizations manage their operations. Even organizations that have so far relied on outdated systems will experience the power of digitalization and those that are already digital-ready will find it comparatively easier to sustain the disarray. Cloud, video conferencing, document sharing, online meets, collaborative tools, chats, and more; like it or not, digital is what’s keeping operations running amidst the pandemonium.
Why should you go digital?
The world is going digital, and when we talk about digital business, it’s about transforming the way you interact with your customers, how your employees do their jobs or how it fosters innovation, improves productivity and revenues. In this age, it’s either ‘Go Digital’ or ‘Go Home’ and those who don’t embrace it risk losing out on the tremendous benefits it provides and can fall behind. Besides the preparedness to take on a pandemic of any nature, we’ll tell you exactly why it’s time to update your business model and put digital transformation at the heart of your strategy:
- Optimizes operations, reduces costs
Haphazard workflows and overheads associated with using outdated solutions can be eliminated by going digital. It can consolidate, improve business workflows, eliminate errors, streamline operations and make a considerable impact on your business efficiency. Better efficiency can cut down your operational costs.
- Improves data collection
Digitalization can transform the way you collect and manage data. No more paper forms or files, as going digital will help you eliminate the inefficacy of handing data manually and help you centralize, secure, and make information easily accessible as needed.
- Analytics and decision making
Data is knowledge, and the more knowledge you have, the better your decisions. Digitalization makes data manageable and organized, allowing you to derive actionable insights to help you steer your business in the right direction by making informed decisions.
- Boosts productivity
Think of the time it takes to fill out a form, and send it from person to person for approvals? What if this was all digitalized? From days, the process can be cut short to hours with automation. The more time you save, the more productive your employees, and the more tangible the outcome.
- Makes communication and collaboration easier
By opening up new communication channels and making it easy to access data, share information and interact with people from across the globe, you can foster greater collaboration, improve teamwork and make it possible for cross-functional teams to stay connected, irrespective of location.
- Makes innovation possible
Reports suggest that an average employee spends over 60% of their time carrying out non-crucial, redundant tasks! Using technological tools to make work easier, providing more information, encouraging interdepartmental collaboration and more, can allow your employees to work better and drive innovative thinking.
- More customer-centric service
Happy customers are a direct measure of your business success. Technology advancement has changed the way companies interact with their customers. It enables organizations to pay attention to their wants, understand their needs, deliver better customer service across all touchpoints, engage and serve customers quickly.
- Enhances your work culture
Digitalization brings in innumerable benefits, including a significant improvement in working conditions. It opens up new options such as flexible working hours, remote work, enhances learning opportunities and allows employees to stay connected from anywhere. It can also improve talent retention by boosting employee morale and satisfaction.
- Prepared for anything
Be it a natural calamity or a pandemic, digital transformation can bring in better preparedness to circumvent the impact and help the business operations sustain with the least interruption. The COVID-19 pandemic is a classic example of how digitalization has been helping employees of few organizations to work remotely with as much efficiency as in an office environment.
- Keep pace with the competition
Competing in a rapid-paced, dynamic business landscape can be quite challenging. But doing so requires you to shed your inhibitions and embrace digitalization and new technologies to keep up with the change. Refusing to ‘move on’ from legacy systems, can make you fall behind your competition, and risk losing out.
Then and Now:
When SARS broke out in the year 2002, it took over a year merely to sequence the genome of the virus. This time, it barely took a month. We’ve certainly come a long way; be it our detection methods, testing or crisis management. From using AI for prediction to analytics to track the virus spread to robots for contact-less treatment, we’re certainly better prepared and smarter than before, but it’s not enough. With economies on the brink of collapse, the pandemic forces us once again to rethink governance, healthcare, judicious use of technology, innovation and of course, business operations.
Check out Vuram’s custom-developed Corona Tracker tool. Leveraging various technologies to provide a cohesive view of vital data, it’s designed as a community resource to keep people informed and aware in the midst of the crisis.
What digitalization could have achieved:
While we’ve established how digital transformation can prove beneficial, what could it have done, right here, right now? According to Gartner, while 87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a company priority, only 40% of organizations have implemented it. What if all businesses had a proper contingency plan in place and were digitized? What could have been different? For starters, organizations would be better prepared to handle work remotely. They would have better tools, the right equipment, connectivity, applications, and the resources to facilitate work even under a global lockdown. There would be seamless access to data, better monitoring, and increased transparency. There would be a better assurance of the health and safety of employees. And most importantly, business operations might not come to a complete standstill or face an enormous dip in productivity, as witnessed in several cases at present.
Post COVID: What’s next?
The COVID pandemic is indeed a wake-up call for enterprises to up their game and re-evaluate their digital strategy to manage a future crisis better. Take lessons from the outbreak, strengthen your crisis response protocols, and ensure implementation of proper crisis identification, surveillance and response measures. Adopt the latest digital tools and make the move from the conventional to digital to add multiple channels for your business to operate, thus providing a greater degree of redundancy in case of a calamity.
While the pandemic is far from over, and will drastically affect industries, governments, and enterprises around the world, its effects will eventually come to pass. The aftermath will leave behind a trail of opportunity for enhancement, so that the next time an unforeseen disaster strikes, we’ll be better prepared than ever.
Digital transformation holds the key to improving the way businesses work and handle such catastrophes! It’s time to set it in motion. Vuram can help you embark on your digital transformation journey by leveraging cutting edge technologies such as BPM, RPA, AI, and BI. Talk to us now, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how our services can prepare you for the digital world.