How COVID-19 has accelerated the digital ecosystem - what this means to your business?

How COVID-19 has accelerated the digital ecosystem - what this means to your business?

How the UK will re-open the economy is currently unknown, however it's clear that COVID-19 has radically accelerated the digital future. Is COVID-19 the push businesses needed to fast-track technology adoption?

Safety and reliability are more important than ever - how will you respond?

It has become clear that COVID-19 is radically accelerating the digital future, and this situation presents both a challenge and an opportunity for businesses. Regardless of how digitally integrated your business was, it needed to quickly find ways to meet customers needs digitally or risk them finding alternatives. This has widened the gap in performance between digital leaders and laggards, and will result in the emergence of both new and adapted business models. 

Every industry will change

Digital disruption has been around since the 1990's. Business on the whole have always been reactionary; driven by efficiency, profit levels and customer demand. Which is why digital disruption has previously hit different sectors in different ways. In the 90's it was digital photography, downloading music, more recently it's streaming videos and ecommerce that have become the norm. However, the key factor with these 'digital disruptions' was, we were able to adopt them at our pace. COVID-19 has pushed the need for businesses to fast-track digital technology adoption to ensure they can get work done, despite some of the biggest and most challenging disruptions ever experienced. 

Why has digital transformation been painfully slow before COVID-19?

While digital disruption and transformation was benefiting us as consumers, it was never really an issue in our daily work lives. As consumers we all jumped at the convenience and loved the savings; but in the workplace change happened very slowly and was typically met with huge resistance. Across most industry sectors, the digital transformation was low on the agenda because there were no big business drivers. Tech was not viewed as relevant outside the office environment in most organisations, as business leaders were focused on short term gains. Only the more insightful businesses could see how investing in tech provided systems that combine big-data and AI, to self-evolve, drive increased efficiency and maximise sales. The pandemic has forced many businesses to rapidly fast-track digital solutions to provide continuity during these uncertain times. As a result, companies will emerge from this time with both a changed attitude and expectations.

203

COVID 19 has catapulted every business sector into a digital transformation explosion

Covid 19 has forced a previously unimaginable acceleration in digital transformation and up-skilling across the whole population. It's not just a single industry sector slowly permeating our lives, like UBER, but an explosion on tech awareness and a driving need. From using video conferencing to stay connected with families and friends, to managing MOT's online because the garages are closed. People have had to find a way through lockdown to do things differently, plus they've had the time and the resources to do it. Which means the vast majority of the population will have increased their use and familiarity with tech. 

A moment in the history where the global economy and digital transformation collided

With lockdown many companies struggled to get set up remotely and continue a sustainable level of service. Whilst the more insightful businesses, who had some form of digital platform, could quickly adapt to the changes. Delivering digital change during the crisis has certainly become the focus of most business leaders in preparing for the 'new normal' when lockdown restrictions are lifted. However, the business world is not going to simply ‘bounce back’. As we all pick up the pieces, it’ll be highly likely organisations will face increased costs for some time. As a result, efficiency and process automation will be vital to rebuilding, driving productivity up and delivering growth.

How can your business use this as a pivot point for growth?

Do you have a clear vision for the post-crisis future? The pandemic will have a short and long term impact on the way we return to work. In the short, you'll need to plan alternative working practices that enable you to recommence; while keeping your staff and customers safe, and able to socially distance. The long term impact requires a roadmap to deliver a managed evolution toward a more agile culture. Processes need to be automated and interconnected, experiences must be personalised and designed from the user’s perspective. The end-to-end system must be monitored and continually enhanced using big data and AI. Customer reliance on digital self-service will increase and businesses without a 24/7 digital offering are likely to be hit hard. 

What will your customers expect?

Many people have embraced video-calling as a de-facto replacement for face-to-face. As virtual socialising becomes the norm so too will virtual customer service. Cultural changes like this represent challenges for some but also opportunities for those that are ready to pounce on them. How can you capitalise on new technology to drive increased efficiency? In sales there's a need to replace static architectures and processes with integrated learning systems. This shift will be huge, but will reap gigantic rewards for those who get it right. An integrated, holistic view is pivotal to success in the digital economy. By combining data, creativity, engineering and marketing, it's possible to create a new way of working that is better for you customers, your employees and the profitability of the business.

What’s the Next Step in Your Digital Transformation?

Before investing in digital technologies - create a project team who can assess which processes can be re-engineered in your organisation to optimise efficiencies. Ask, how can you embrace a digital transformation to make good on your strategic goals? Rather than focusing on discreet functions and individual tools, think about digital technology as something capable of  reinventing the workplace. Given the extensive behavioural, psychological and physical changes underway in virtually every country, those who accelerate steps to make their businesses simple and digital will emerge in a much stronger competitive position.

 

Quiet Storm has a proven track record of delivering bespoke digital management tools. Often helping clients find grant funding to support developments costs, but always delivering exceptional ROI. If you are thinking about re-imagining your processes, we can share some ideas and explore the opportunities. Just get in touch by calling 01530 510810 or emailing info@quietstorm.net
 

Author of this COVID-19 Business Support Hub Article

Stephen Megson, Founder of Love Business and Business Owner

Steve Megson

I'm a keen sailor and experienced in encountering the unknown at sea. With my son, Josh, I sailed my boat to Spain from my home port of Poole, my greatest adventure to date (if you read the blog you'll understand why!). Encountering the unknown is about having a clear goal and making sure you keep focused - no matter what happens.

More About Quiet Storm

 

Stephen Megson

A business owner since I was 21 –I was one of the 'enterprise allowance'  generation and started my business back in 1987. I've ridden the waves of a few recessions and overcome plenty of unknowns. I understand the pressure of employing people and the emotional rollercoaster times like this put you through. I've been very fortunate in my career to work with many brilliant visionaries. I've learnt much from them, but for those who know me well, know my quest for learning is never satisfied.

I now specialise in behaviour and business process optimisation, so look at how businesses interact with their people, customers and other stakeholders. I then work collaboratively with businesses to drive out waste and optimise their processes. This is largely through some form of digitisation, resulting in web applications and operational software to manage their systems, processes and KPI's.

I'm passionate about business and have a strong sense of community, which is why I started Love Business back in 2012, as I saw the innovative business owners start to thrive whilst other remain in a cycle of self-fulfilling doom as a result of the media channels negative news coverage. This is why Love Business only covers good news, focusses on the positive and looks to share all that's helpful.

 

How to get in touch with Steve Megson

www.quiet-storm.net

 

 

COVID-19 Business Support Hub

These are challenging times for business and although our ethos is to only shout about good news, we've created COVID-19 Business Support Hub on the Love Business the website to support you with expert tips, advice and ideas from your fellow businesses to help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. 
 

< Back