Technology has proven to be a key in keeping businesses afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic by enabling remote work, agile business and external digital engagement.
As new types of workers and job roles become increasingly diverse, organisations must enhance their provision of secure access to the very best collaboration and productivity tools if they are to stay competitive.
Work transformation is critical for effectively scaling digital transformation initiatives and will serve to drive improvements in business agility, worker productivity, and operational efficiency.
Most importantly, it will drive greater engagement and innovation among all employees, enabling your organisation to establish competitive differentiation in a dynamic business environment.
The pandemic underscored the importance of digital transformation in the eyes of CEOs who now find themselves at a decision point – to follow the same course of cost-cutting as previous recessions have dictated – or to flatten their own organisation's recessionary curve by leveraging technology.
“Last few months have changed the priorities in technology decisions that organisations are making. We are in uncertain times, changing the way we work, way we communicate and the way we interact with the society,” Carrie MacGillivray, Group Vice-President and General Manager for IoT, Mobility and Telecom at research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), said.
IDC predicts that the contribution of "digital coworkers" will increase by 35% by 2021 as more tasks are automated and augmented by technology.
By 2024, enterprises with intelligent and collaborative work environments will see 30% lower staff turnover, 30% higher productivity, and 30% higher revenue per employee than their peers.
The CEOs of today are collaborating in a new reality and connectedness is still important to each and everyone, MacGillivray said and added that organisations have been involved in digital transformation for years.
Even during the pre-Covid period, she said that digital transformation was already a top priority.
According to IDC, 3.7% of an organisation’s revenue, on average, is spent on digital transformation initiatives.
However, she said that things have changed and their goal was to operate like digital native organisations embodying the following qualities such as agile, learning, trustworthy, responsive, innovative, empathic, resilient and connected.
In the longer-term, IDC expects that organisations will leverage technology to underpin every process, initiative, and value chain as they journey to the next normal.
More now than ever, organisations are looking for new ideas and emerging best practices from their technology partners.
According to the research firm, the future enterprise is an organisation that underpins business processes with technology, is fueled by innovation, is platform-enabled and ecosystem-centric.
Step 1: Business continuity
Whether we are dealing with the current pandemic or the next shock to the global market, hyper volatility will increasingly become the norm. Business continuity plans are already being rewritten and will have to become more dynamic in nature moving forward as they are constantly tested.
Organisations in this stage are desperately looking for new ideas, emerging best practices and inputs from technology partners. This is not a time to push the product. More importantly, the support and help that technology partners provide in this period will be the basis for genuine long-term partnerships.
Step 2: Cost optimisation
Organisations are in the cost-optimisation mode, where the business looks to technologies that can either help them manage the economic hardships or generate financial outcomes for the current fiscal year. These organisations look for financing assistance and/or Opex options to manage their cash flows and working capital. Their decisions are driven by the short-term as they seek projects that provide productivity gains and savings in the cost-to-create or serve.
Organisations in this stage tend to prefer technology vendors and service providers who are closer to them –in both proximity and cultural alignment –and who have lower price tag offerings, flexible-pricing and payment terms and/or modular offerings.
Step 3: Business resiliency
In this stage, organisations have overcome the initial phase of the Covid-19 crisis and stabilised financials. Their focus now is to build business resiliency –the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining the organization’s central purpose.
The purpose or mission articulated as part of a company's digital transformation will remain a primary focus even as remediation actions are taken to reduce costs or take advantage of pandemic-related revenue opportunities.
Many organisations will recognise an opportunity to 'flatten the curve' or minimise the impact of the recession by leveraging technology. These same organisations will double down on technology investments to emerge on the other side of the curve resilient, more digitally fit, and ready to capture their share of new opportunities.
Organisations in this stage prefer technology vendors with an established presence and delivery capabilities in their geographies and who have the financial muscle to ride through this crisis. Accessibility to the vendor’s product roadmap is also important as organisations here are preparing for longer-term growth.
Step 4: Targeted investments
At this stage, economic activity is returning to pre-crisis levels, and companies are looking to invest more aggressively, but with a focus on technologies that advance an organisation's digital capabilities. As they get back on the path to being relevant in the digital economy, they will look back at their efforts around resiliency to ensure that they are more prepared for a similar shock in the future.
Corporate boards and government bodies will have a better understanding of the value of technology and will prioritise digital initiatives.
This will be a critical stage for technology vendors as organisations look for a safe place to innovate. Vendors that are financially healthy, have a scale, and robust ecosystems will be preferred. Vendors will earn strategic partnerships at the board level that will shape post-recession spending and permanently impact market shares.
Step 5: The future enterprise
When organisations come out of the recession, they will be operating in a new type of economy – the “Next Normal”. This will be the beginning of the digital economy with some new twists as a result of Covid-19.
Strategic vendor relationships are established during stage five, and the fortunate vendors that have won those positions must prove that they can innovate with speed and scale to maintain them. Resiliency will also remain a key expectation, not just to mitigate against a potential repeat of the pandemic event, but to enable companies to quickly recalibrate to the changing demands of customers, citizens and patients.