Companies are wondering what the pandemic will mean for the future of digital transformation. Offices across the country have been closed indefinitely and the workforce has to travel overseas with very little time to prepare. Companies are thinking more than ever about their digital transformation initiatives.
With this in mind, let’s examine together the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on companies investing in digital transformation. Now that corporate culture and workplace activities have been deeply, and indefinitely, disrupted, we need to focus on identifying the most effective home work practices.
Update on digital transformation
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic arrives, most companies have recognized the importance of digital transformation to improve their ability to survive and thrive in our increasingly digital society.
Although a number of companies have not always felt the pressure to make digital transformation a top priority, it has become a necessity as the majority of us are now forced to isolate ourselves at home . What the current crisis highlights, however, is that a lukewarm approach to digital transformation will most likely fail to move forward.
Companies that invested wholeheartedly in digital transformation before the pandemic are now in a much better position to continue operating smoothly than those that have taken a limited or piecemeal approach.
The main digital transformation initiatives of the moment
There are a few key areas in which digitalization has taken a preponderant and essential place to maintain activities.
Digital transformation in the medical space has been an exciting prospect in recent years. Small strides have been made, as it has been difficult to encourage widespread adoption in a sector that is burdened by existing systems and entrenched ideas.
The coronavirus pandemic has put the need for telemedicine at the forefront of our cultural consciousness. Doctors have a crucial and growing need to be able to consult their patients remotely in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. That said, we can expect the significant growth in telehealth to be one of the long-term outcomes of the pandemic.
As details of the spread of the pandemic began to emerge, it quickly became apparent that conferences and events were hot spots of transmission. Participants often come from all over the world to take part and sometimes spend days in close contact with each other. In a viral outbreak, this can be a recipe for disaster, which is why such events must be canceled.
This reality has given rise to a new interest in virtual events and online learning. Businesses are exploring ways to translate events in person into digital experiences while ensuring that they retain their value and remain compelling.
It seems unlikely that virtual events will one day replace face-to-face events (assuming the health of the community is no longer a concern). We expect to see less innovation and acceleration in the virtual event space than in the areas of telehealth or remote work.
The ability to allow employees to work remotely while remaining effective in their role is the most pressing need of businesses today. Many companies, particularly in the fields of technology and digital spaces, have offered flexible home work policies.
More traditional companies have fallen behind in this regard because they have resisted the idea of flexible work. The crisis has shown us that many jobs that we thought could not be done outside the office can actually be done, but only when the proper infrastructure is in place.
Many companies are likely to revert to their old ways of working once they can do it safely. The fact that experts predict that this crisis could last for months will require investing in remote work infrastructure in the short term. Even when employees are able to return to work, we expect companies to focus on the digital transformation of their operations to protect themselves against unforeseen future disruptions.
The limits of digital transformation
We expect the pace of business digital transformation to accelerate in a wide range of industries, but the fact that many businesses will experience losses in the coming months somewhat complicates the picture.
Digital transformation is more crucial than ever, but according to an econsultancy report, the cost of such a transformation could prove prohibitive for businesses that will be affected by the crisis.
There will undoubtedly be many lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, but one of the most important for businesses will certainly be the need for a strategically planned and thoughtfully implemented digital transformation as the only way to survive this crisis and those to come.