Digital transformation was on the agenda of most businesses, even back in the pre-Covid era. But since the need wasn’t urgent, actions on that front were slow. Covid acted as an accelerator and changed the pace of the transformation.
It rewrote the way businesses operated. Everything was changed- from how to do business to where; the age-long standards were replaced as survival became the topmost priority. Digitization shifted from being an enemy to the ally, especially for small and medium-scale businesses.
Covid became a catalyst for change. Businesses and people were adapting to new territories and unfamiliar practices, challenging their own ideas. Within weeks of the pandemic hitting, work from home became a standard practice. Offices turned virtual-from video conferences to online coffee breaks- work began fitting inside screens. Hyperlocal delivery businesses boomed, telehealth became a thing; digital models became mainstream. Businesses worldwide started looking for a digital transformation company to enable them to remodel their way of working.
The need to adapt to a digital model was crucial for the survival of most businesses. Covid made this more evident than ever. And people were ready to embrace innovation, so it was the right time for rewriting old norms. In this article, let us look at some of the ways in which Covid-19 accelerated digital transformation.
1. Remote working
With companies of all scales having to close during the lockdown and restrict their operations even after the lockdown was released, remote working emerged as a requisite. Moving the entire workforce worldwide to homes was, to an extent, the unimaginable attained.
Virtual collaborations smoothened the transition. From job interviews to training to meetings and to even office parties, video conferences witnessed them all. Remote collaboration tools such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. aided every process such as document management, automating tasks, instant messaging, and staff meetings.
Although remote working had its challenges by implementing the right tools and appropriate migration strategies, organizations have been able to increase employees’ productivity. According to surveys, more than 70% of organizations say they will continue working remotely even after the pandemic ends.
2. Digitizing supply chains
The frailty of supply chains became evident as shortages began surfacing during the crisis. There was an increased need for the transparency of supply processes. Along with it, the requirement to follow social distancing guidelines made the pre-Covid supply model obsolete.
Digitization of supply chains was no longer optional. It was necessary to meet the demands and to maintain flexibility. We witnessed the transformation in the supply chain through the arrival of drones. From inventory management to delivery, drones started automating different areas of a supply chain. The agricultural industry began using drones to survey crop yields, manufacturing facilities used them to perform safety inspections, etc.
The future of the supply chain will be connected to the Internet of Things-enabled environment. Every industry will find this digitization beneficial. The budget-friendliness of the new model and its efficiency make it a technology that will be adopted widely.
3. Virtual healthcare
Covid created a scenario where people became afraid of going to hospitals to consult a doctor for the risk of exposure to the disease. It was more concerning when related to newborns and old-aged people as they were more at risk of contracting the virus.
The healthcare industry rose to the situation by enabling telehealth. Virtual doctor appointments, remote patient monitoring, patient record tracking, etc. created an efficient virtual healthcare system that reduced the need for people to go to hospitals and meet doctors in real-time.
Camera-aided surgery, automated disinfection routines, and video streaming technology for monitoring patients helped reduce hospital traffic while providing people the care they needed. Even 911 centers began utilizing video calls for assessing the emergency and giving respective care.
Healthcare facilities used digitization to give people responsible care. Virtual healthcare is expected to prosper even after the pandemic ends, as the convenience offered by it cannot be challenged.
4. Digital commerce
Covid-19 deranged business as we knew it. Brick and mortar businesses became a thing of the past. The only medium where any business was happening was online. Companies of all scales moved their sales online because that was the only way to interact with consumers.
Small scale businesses moved towards a hyper delivery business model to survive the crisis. Businesses that already had an online presence took themselves up a notch by implementing live commerce features, an approach that combines streaming video with e-commerce shopping. This provides the consumers with a platform to engage with the seller in real-time while examining the product in detail.
Another prominent technology that found space in digital commerce was augmented reality (AR). AR is useful in providing real experience to users when they are shopping virtually. AR was implemented by many eyewear companies, home decor companies, etc.
With the aid of these technologies, the focus is taken from the method of shopping and given to the shopping experience. Digital sales are climbing, and new technologies are expected to be introduced to elevate the digital commerce industry further.
5. Cloud infrastructure
According to statistics, companies spent $29 billion on cloud infrastructure services in the first quarter of 2020. It shows a 37% increase from last year, making it clear that the transition is happening in full force.
What pushed most companies to undertake this transition immediately was the arrival of work from home culture. Without cloud infrastructure, organizations had to deal with unreliable private network connections and insecurity of official data.
To make remote working safe and secure, the transition was a necessity. And like all digital transitions, this, too, improves the productivity and efficiency of a company’s working.
Covid-19 has changed the landscape of businesses. As the post-Covid world takes shape, a new business approach also takes shape. Businesses are hiring digital transformation consulting services for completely utilizing the power of digital to equip them to outstand any future crisis. According to a study, Covid-19 has fastened the rate of digital transformation by 5.3 years. Digital transformation is essential for businesses to survive in the future, and Covid has acted as an accelerator.