The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t a reason to not have or stop your digital transformation — it’s exactly the reason why you should be starting your transformation in the first place.
Becoming more agile, making teams work smarter, unifying siloed data — these are common goals of digital transformation that are increasingly important in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Efficient, flexible teams armed with better digital tools are more vital than ever, and any pause or downsizing of a digital strategy now is misguided. In fact, 61% of IT leaders say the pandemic is actually speeding up digital transformation efforts, not slowing them down.
Whether you’re a small business all the way up to a large organization, digitally native enterprise, remote work and the need for business resilience are elevating the importance of digital transformation — and several cost-efficient strategies can help accelerate your efforts.
Workflow inefficiencies cost businesses up to 30% of their revenue annually. The automation of workflows and business tasks like invoicing, processing customer orders, and back-end security checks improves productivity, reduces costs, and ensures your organization can keep up with customers’ needs.
Automation can also help keep your business more secure by automatically tracking network authentication and flagging security vulnerabilities. Augmenting human work in this area creates efficiencies, but it also ensures more reliable and consistent monitoring of your network. By focusing on security, you can reduce the risk of fines, fees, and the costs of preventing cyberattacks and breaches.
It’s important to remember that “digital” transformation can also require making changes to physical processes. Warehouse automation, for example, is a critical resource for keeping pace with supply and demand. As a result of COVID-19, many suppliers and small businesses are seeing large shifts in customer demand and inventory. By automating inventory checks and tracking using automatic identification, data capture, and IoT, you can keep warehouse operations running as smoothly as possible.
Investing in the cloud
Companies that aren’t utilizing the cloud can fall behind, especially as organizations transition to partially or fully remote work for the foreseeable future. Cloud services keep applications consistent and up-to-date from any location and ensure employees and customers stay connected during a crisis.
If your organization is still in the early stages of digital transformation, migrating to the cloud is a good starting point — especially since 85% of organizations already expect to shift the majority of their workloads to the cloud by the end of the year. If you migrate workloads to the cloud and slowly phasing out legacy infrastructure, you can implement more modern processes in this new normal.
Making better use of data
Using existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) data couple with external data sources to your advantage is another way to digitally transform during uncertainty. Now is a perfect time to unify and organize existing data in preparation for future artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics applications. In the supply chain, we can use analytics to monitor buyer trends and proactively manage inventory, providing more predictability amid the current uncertainty. For small businesses, data analytics can help us sustain a new remote work model by helping identify and deploy better remote IT infrastructure.
With the spread of COVID-19, companies are now being required to become more agile, efficient, and creative in order to survive in the face of disruption. Fortunately, many organizations’ digital strategies were already well on their way toward those goals. Now, savvy leadership teams are accelerating their organizations’ progress because prioritizing digital transformation projects today is crucial to success tomorrow after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.