COVID-19 Accelerates Digital Transformation!
As people and businesses come to terms with COVID-19, it has become apparent that life and business will not be returning to what it was in the past. How have businesses been affected, and knowing that things will not return to the normal that they know, how are they preparing for the future?
In a recent survey conducted by IndSights Research that NetGain Systems participated, it was found that 73% of businesses in Singapore were moderately or extremely impacted by COVID-19, with 61% expecting a consecutive revenue decline in July to September 2020. While the IndSight Research survey polled Singapore businesses, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey showed that Asian businesses also shared similar sentiments.
While the situation may appear grim, there is still cause for hope – 42% of the businesses in the IndSIght Research survey believe that the economy would be better in a year’s time! Given that all is not doom and gloom, how are businesses preparing themselves now for when things get better?
The survey reported that businesses’ top strategy was the Digitalization of their business processes, with 46% of businesses planning to increase their spending in this area. A close second was Business Expansion at 41%, while Training (24%) and Investments in R&D (18%) made up the remainder of the top 4 business strategies.
COVID-19 with its attendant lockdowns, restrictions on opening hours, safe physical distancing requirements and limits on the workplace have forced companies to change the way they interact with their customers and suppliers, and the way their employees interact with one another.
Retailers who are not able to open their stores have to sell online. Restaurants and food vendors have to partner with food delivery platforms to sell their offerings. Face-to-face meetings, courses and seminars have all been replaced by Zoom meetings and other online engagements. Supply chain management and backend processes have also had to be re-engineered for the online digital world.
It is thus not surprising that digitalization ranks at the top of businesses’ strategies. The IndSights Research report points out that “going digital is now imperative for companies across industries” and that “the pandemic has been a catalyst for technology adoption and rapid digitalisation.”
However, we believe that if businesses want to stay ahead, they need to do more than just digitalize their business processes. We believe they also need to relook and change their business processes to take into account the new world realities. Digitalizing an outdated business process does not automatically change that business process and make it up-to-date! All you’ve done is to move that business process from a manual system to a digital system, but the process itself remains inherently the same. And while digitalizing an inefficient business process may provide some improvement as the process may get speeded up, the real gains are garnered when the process itself is changed to be more efficient.
Changing business processes do not come easy, though. You will need to gain insights about the changing situations you are facing, figure out how your business and its processes are impacted by the changing business landscape, and determine what changes are needed to adapt your business and its processes to account for these changes or even take advantage of them.
A good place to start is within your own organization – gaining internal insights. What are you doing today that is no longer required or needs to be changed due to changes in your business brought by COVID-19? You also need to gain external insights. What are the changes in your supply chain or are there any external factors that need you to change how you do your business?
It is only after you have gained insights into the circumstances that affect your business that you can truly effect change, and to then be able to reap the full benefits of digitalization.
The IT Monitoring and Security Management solutions from NetGain Systems provide you with actionable insights on both current and potential issues in your IT infrastructure. The solutions are also customizable to adapt to current and future needs as situations change.