Digital Transformation isn’t just a buzzword: It’s a critical business strategy in a Covid-19 environment

Digital Transformation isn’t just a buzzword: It’s a critical business strategy in a Covid-19 environment

Digital Transformation is imperative for business survival in a post Covid-19 environment. Small business can no longer afford to be complacent about embracing technology and future-proofing their businesses.

By Jim Vass. 

The time to transform is now

Six months or so ago, many companies were pretty lukewarm about the terms ‘digital disruption’ and ‘digital transformation’. Many considered them just another couple of corporate buzzwords – sort of a nebulous terms that saturated the business press and seemed to involve possibly using cloud technology, potentially developing an app and beefing up cyber security. 

Of course, both have been around for awhile. The benefits – creating efficiencies and cost-effectiveness and bolstering profits – have also been widely debated and discussed.  

So most companies were under the impression that they had time to adapt – time to consider, time to analyse, time to transform.

And yet here we are.

Now, as we continue to battle through this global health pandemic, there’s urgency around digital transformation. Companies need to make changes right now, for a highly valid reason: health and safety. 

Not just a 'bandaid solution' for the current crisis

This isn’t just a vague imperative either. It’s a necessity. Irrespective of the size of your business, or your industry, business has changed, consumers have changed. Embracing digital-savvy operations will be critical moving forward and not just as a ‘band-aid solution’ for the current crisis. 

Digital platforms will undoubtedly be the foundation of the ‘new normal’ and businesses which don’t keep up will find themselves falling behind when the post-Covid landscape begins to emerge.

The pandemic has undoubtedly challenged our norms and assumptions about business, along with life in general. While many companies may have had a three or four year transition plan prior to Covid-19, that’s now got to occur within a matter of months. 

While we all realised that reopening business after lockdown came with inherent risks while the virus was still active, as we’ve witnessed with the Victorian experience, this virus can move, undetected, pretty swiftly, so it’s imperative that business put strategies in place to ensure that both customer and staff health and safety expectations are met. This means, quite simply, implementing appropriate digital channels for interaction.

Cost must not be a prohibitor

The good news is that this is a significant opportunity for change, and businesses that have already made the transition will attest to the benefits.  

But there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula, or an ‘off-the-shelf’ road map for successful digital transformation because every company is different.

The key decisions to be made centre around how to integrate technology into a business with the sole purpose of maximising what that technology will do for business. 

Does this sound overwhelming? It shouldn’t be. But it does require innovative future-paced thinking, and planning … and it does require investment. 

Creating the right strategy requires focusing not just on where you are and where you want to be, but on the threats and opportunities in the marketplace. These then need to be considered in line with the ultimate end goal: which is increased savings, empowered and productive staff, happier customers and better business growth prospects in both the short and long term.  

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