COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the economy. Governments have been forced to take different measures to contain the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, mandatory work from home, and closure of educational institutes, cafes, theaters, and other public places.
COVID-19 has forced businesses in different sectors to reevaluate their priorities and embrace digital transformation. Financial institutions are now offering cashless transaction services to clients in order to mitigate the risk of coronavirus. Meanwhile, health care institutions are offering telemedicine services to reduce the load on in-patient departments. Additionally, educational institutions are being held online in many parts of the world. Technology companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook are encouraging their staff to work-from-home.
Digital Transformation and COVID-19: An Overview
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in different areas of businesses. Several cloud service providers and technology companies have taken the initiative to offer no novel digital solutions to businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Videoconferencing and video streamlining platforms have seen increased demand. With the shift to working from home and online education, people have started using cloud communication and cloud collaboration technologies.
Video streaming providers have enhanced the cloud infrastructure to cater to the growing demand of customers. Zoom has become the preferred medium for virtual meetings and online classes. In March 2020, the company made its feature – Zoom Phone – available in more countries. With the increased usage of digital services, the company also faced some challenges related to privacy and security.
Microsoft Teams also saw increased demand, with daily users increasing to 44 million. About 12 million users switched to the online video conferencing software during the weeks after the lockdown.
Usage of many different cloud-based services has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, including Skype, Google Hangouts, LogMeIn, GoToMeeting, and Slack. The increased demand for cloud services has necessitated a digital transformation strategy for upgrading cloud infrastructure.
A Digital Transformation Plan for COVID Mitigation
Companies must take steps to adopt digital technologies for COVID mitigation. Adopting digital technologies is important for the survival of businesses. Here are some steps to accelerate digital transformation for COVID mitigation.
Step 1 – Identify Objectives for Digital Transformation
First and foremost, determine the expectations and outcomes of digital transformation. The transformation process should be looked not just from the lens of the customers but also the employees whose support is vital for a successful digital transformation.
Many companies have wasted millions in digital adoption only to find that the solution did not meet the requirements of their employees. The key transformation objectives should be mapped to different areas that are affected by the adoption of digital technologies.
The goals of the digital transformation can be mapped to the following key areas of a business.
- Enhancing customer experience and convenience to improve brand loyalty and profitability
- Simplifying tasks so that employees can readily adopt the digital solution
- Reducing costs through an efficient supply chain management
- Simplifying customer service and proactively addressing issues
- Optimizing cloud infrastructure to maximize ROI by making it flexible, agile, and cost-effective
- Gain insights through detailed analytics
Every company will have its own goal for digital transformation. It is important that the goals are clarified. There should also be a buy-in from the employees and an alignment with the organization’s long-term goals.
Step 2 – Create the Required Infrastructure
Once you have determined the objective of the digital transformation, the next step is to invest in the required infrastructure that will power the company’s operation. Instead of investing in on-premise solutions, investing in the cloud or hybrid solutions will be much more cost-effective.
Cloud solutions are agile and scalable. They will enable your company to scale up or down, depending on the demand for the services. The cloud infrastructure can be adapted to offer the tools that the employees require to meet customer demands.
Step 3 – Get the Support of Employees
A digital transformation plan is bound without the support of employees. Most people resist change even if the novel solution offers benefits. It is the task of the management to show the employees the cost savings and convenience of adopting digital technologies.
Effective change management strategies can be aligned with the needs of employees. Successful digital transformation requires a transparent culture that adopts change. The internal silos need to be brought down and the leaders should be brought on board with the new digital vision.
Step 4 – Optimize Internal Processes
The last step in the digital transformation process is to optimize the internal workflow by selecting the right digital solutions. For instance, team collaboration software should be scalable and meet the needs of the employees. It is also important to determine whether or not the digital transformation process will require 4G or 5G.
The workflow may need to be upgraded to meet the requirements of the digital solution. It may involve adjusting the workflow so that more devices will connect and adjust the access privileges. Companies should also focus on implementing security measures to prevent rogue elements within the organization and outside of accessing confidential and critical company data.
Organizations may have to revaluate most of the business processes before implementing digital technologies. It involves hiring third-party security experts to audit the existing business process and make recommendations for improving security.
Digital transformation can have an impact on the success of a business. The degree to which the company has adopted novel digital solutions and as-a-service models will determine if the company will be able to survive and thrive during the pandemic.
Business transformation for COVID-19 mitigation involves creating a detailed plan for digital adoption. It will take tremendous courage and vision of the leaders to make the digital transformation process a success. They have to focus on migrating to hybrid clouds, creating a flexible work environment and adopting technology to reach out to customers.
Contact us to make your digital transformation for COVID mitigation a reality. We can help you to adopt cloud technologies that can improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs. Our cloud services can help you to transition to a more agile and adaptable entity, thereby ensuring the continuity of your business.