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Digital Transformation goes from being a good-to-have to a must-have, courtesy COVID-19

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The new normal has brought about a need for digital transformation (DX) in organizations globally and has made it one of their top investment priorities. Digitalization – a mere good-to-have process – has now become an imperative. Digital Transformation was eventual and certain, but the conditions have sped up the process by several years to say the least. The industry clairvoyants who, with some scepticism, predicted that businesses across the globe might adapt to and become fully digital and future-ready in the next 10 years, are now certain that the era of digital-natives will come much early as the need for a digital transformation is now inevitable.

And then, there are those who lead the pack. The Digital-adept businesses, who were one step ahead of their time, and had embraced digital transformation as a part of their growth strategy, are now better prepared than the rest, with a robust business continuity plan in place, running their businesses seamlessly like nothing has changed. While these avant-garde are bearing the fruits of being ahead in the race, everyone else is stuck playing catch-up.

To those who want to leapfrog their competitors and turn themselves from being a digital entrant to a digital native, here are the key tenets of digital transformation that can help you transform from business-at-a-standstill into a revenue-driving digital business model.

Conversations

Work-From-Home means no more early morning meetings, no reviews, and no presentations. Gone are the days, where you could summon your troops to an urgent meeting with a single email or call. The new normal has eradicated the most important aspect out of it – employee’s physical presence. The organizations have realized that they need to identify and find an alternative that could simulate a virtual office environment on the employee’s WFH workstation. It’s imperative for business and/or project managers to constantly monitor the progress of day-to-day activities in order to maintain the pace as well as commit to their timelines. Tech companies such as Zoom, Microsoft, and Cisco have suddenly gained in prominence due to this reason.

Video Conferencing Services (with appropriate enterprise licences) enable businesses to create virtual meeting rooms that simulate and replace physical meeting rooms. One can easily create rooms, have as many participants/attendees and run the meeting for hours. It allows participants to share their screens and make presentations as well, enabling project managers to monitor, gauge and deliver the project on-time.

Customer Experience

Times have changed and so have customers. They have completely uprooted orthodox beliefs, paving the way for a new way of engagement. Activities such as banking, grocery shopping, purchase of electronics, which were once considered virtually impossible or risky, are doing twice the business digitally with digital marketing tools at their disposal. For instance, look at the business revenue driven by Banks with mobile applications, Big Basket, Amazon, and so on.  Now that customers as well as organizations are locked in an environment where they can only engage digitally, it is imperative for businesses to invest in next generation digital engagement platforms that take customer experience to next level. Customers want a seamless, efficient, and convenient content experience that feels customized and tailor-made. According to 2018-2019 Digital India Report, with 560 million internet subscribers in 2018, India is the second-largest internet subscriptions market in the world. It is imperative to embrace this new way of engagement with off-the-shelf easy-to-use digital tools. It is time to adopt a new, omni-channel digital experience and give it precedence and importance over the traditional brick-and-mortar concepts. Ideally, your business must enable these models to co-exist harmoniously.

Future-Ready

Once we are past the pandemic, it is imperative for businesses to learn from their current survival strategies, and curate a business continuity plan. Businesses need to adapt to the new normal and come up with long term strategies to turn the so called temporary arrangement into a robust digital strategy hereon. Many of the IT industry giants have claimed that 75% of their workforce will work-from-home by 2025. Organizations need to think of the pandemic as a catalyst that accelerated the already-sought-for digital transformation process. Business that change their business models to fit the new normal, and leverage the digital tools at their disposal will go a long way, whereas, business that treat it as temporary run the risk of becoming obsolete.

Cloud-as-a-Service

Cloud is known to be an integral part of digital transformation journey. The times are the same for all but still some organizations are running their businesses as usual, while some have come to a standstill. The key differentiator in this dichotomy is cloud-enablement. Business processes that rely on on-premise applications are prone to performance issues due to lack of available resources, and lack of remote accessibility. Cloud enables you to migrate all your processes to an as-a-service model thereby making it more accessible and remote-friendly. Business that run on cloud can run their marketing, sales, finance, accounting, as well as other important processes that cohesively make up for seamless day-to-day business operations.

IT Security

While going digital might sound attractive, businesses need to be risk-averse too. They need to invest in robust and secure IT in order to run seamless business, whilst preventing cyber-threats and attacks with a comprehensive security management plan in place. Businesses must invest in converting existing workstations into virtual machines/ WFM workstations with a data protection tool embedded in them. This will enable businesses to reduce the cost of an office space as well as run businesses virtually without any hindrance.

Digital transformation has helped many to create an agile business model which adapts to constantly-changing economic landscape, while achieving agility, and flexibility for future scalability. It’s time for you to do the same if you haven’t embarked on this journey already.

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