The unexpected influx of COVID19 forced the world to go into lockdown and shook the economy to its core, shutting down many organisations from operating in any capacity. That said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as a significant number of businesses saw the opportunity to accelerate their digital transformation plans thereby enabling teams to work remotely and productively.
The curveball blindsided everyone and revealed how digital savviness was crucial to adapt to consumer preferences that were shaped and shifted by the pandemic. Organisations that invested in building out digital capabilities prior to and during the early stages of the crisis were able to continue to engage with customers and generate sales at a time when commerce was flipped on its head. Those that equipped themselves with online functionality and strategies are therefore best positioned to weather and recover from both this, and any future disasters.
Pre-COVID19, many organisations loosely talked about their digital strategy but the motivation to drive implementation was lacking, nor was it a leading component within their business models. The pandemic landed on leader’s desks and immediately shone a spotlight on employee experience and how imperative it was to ensure adequate digital technology wasn’t just a ‘nice to have’, it became ‘the only way work gets done’. The result is a new focus on employee experience, pushing it to the front of the agenda. Melissa Swift of the Digital Transformation Advisory writes how nearly every job is considerably more tech-enabled than it was a few months ago due to either remote work, changing customer needs or government restrictions. The acceleration in cloud, communication and workplace collaboration software has enable businesses to weather the COVID-19 outbreak in ways that would not have been possible even a decade ago and this is a significantly positive outcome.
Andrew Filev discussed the most drastic changes in four areas in his article 1) telecommuting, 2) on-demand food and services, 3) virtual events and 4) the cloud. The latter being particularly close to the heart of our own business, we understand the infinite value the cloud has brought to the economic landscape during the last few months of adjustment. The primary goal of digital transformation is to use technology to solve traditional problems, which means integrating technology into every area of business. Blake Morgan references the starting point as breaking down internal silos to create a seamless internal experience; “when a company works well internally, it greatly affects the external customer experience”.
In Australia, the pandemic has pushed industries that were resisting digital transformation. Of note, healthcare providers were forced into considering alternatives to face-to-face interactions between patients and medics. Prior to COVID-19, the adoption of telehealth had been slow. In fact the 2019 Future Health Index found only 36% of Australians were open to telehealth appointments for non-urgent care and for those that did engage, the appointments could not be bulk-billed because government legislation had not kept pace with the technology. That’s now changed dramatically, the industry has boomed in the last few months, with companies like local telehealth platform and CSIRO spin-out Coviu's traffic surging 10,000 per cent in a single week on the back of the pandemic, forcing it to quadruple its team in a month. It’s quite clear that there are endless opportunities for a new generation of entrepreneurs to build solutions for the modern workplace. This sentiment is echoed by Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews “getting Australian businesses to embrace digital innovation will make every sector more resilient, agile and productive,”.
Our consultants are experts in the modern workplace and digital strategy. If you’d like some help in starting your digital transformation journey, contact us to discuss your business objectives.