Covid19 pandemic changed the business world in the blink of an eye. Today’s digital transformation would have taken several years to progress if not for the pandemic and related restrictions. The need for a rapid shift during the pandemic debunked different myths of digital transformation.
Technology had cemented a firm place in the business arena even before the pandemic. Every business was looking forward to scaling up its plans and creating technology-integrated functions. However, the belief that it will take more time to enable digital transformation slowed down the process.
When the pandemic began, and governments shut down large gatherings and in-person contact, things started to change. Earlier, meetings and communication were structured to take place only face-to-face. But the lack of ability to conduct such in-office meetings paved the way for new ideas and flexible business shifts.
Surveys after the pandemic have brought to the limelight the impact of Covid19 in speeding up digital transformation. For instance, according to Mckinsey research, responders indicated that companies adapted to digital changes 20-25 times faster than they would have actually expected it to happen.
It does not mean that Covid19 began the digital transformation journey. Before the pandemic, businesses didn’t prioritize the transformation. The comfort zone of working in their known spaces and achieving goals blurred the need for a transformation.
When the pandemic hit, the comfort space no longer helped them achieve their real goals. Businesses understood that there was a change in consumer needs and workplace demands. So the pandemic drove businesses to the brink of the crisis, and it helped them realize the need to adopt and adapt to digital transformation.
The shift in consumer behavior
While companies had trouble communicating with each other and their consumers, the consumers had different issues. The lockdown pushed them to live within the four walls, and consumption of products and services of any kind was affected.
Technology supported growing online platforms, and online businesses came to their rescue. Although they had already experienced virtual shopping and interaction, the pandemic created room for more exploration. In a few months, consumer demand for online purchases started shooting up.
The pandemic effects on businesses proved many assumptions wrong. One of those was the belief that customers valued the human touch and interaction, and in-store shopping was preferred. With the pandemic and digital experience, consumers started to enjoy personalized interactions and convenient online shopping.
Digital Transformation takes a giant leap
All businesses have a standard driving point – customers. When the customers started adopting digital practices, the enterprises were compelled to shift. The need for digital solutions to solve their workplace and organization issues coupled with changing dimensions of customer demand, usage, and experience propelled businesses to adapt to digital transformation.
Much before the pandemic, organizations waited to see the results of digital adopted businesses. As a result, there was a little hesitancy in moving forward. Due to the spread of the virus, businesses were stripped away from the privilege to wait, test, and then go forward. They did not want to lag behind their competitors, and thus digital transformation took a giant leap.
The transformation did not just mean the assets migrated to the cloud and customers engaged online. There was a significant increase in investments in digital tools. The investments assure that the transformation and changes will stick around for a longer time than expected.
The critical investments were driven by technological support for remote working, enhanced consumer experience, and digital security. So investments were made towards increased cloud storage, artificial intelligence usage, and better data security. Such investments helped them better their position in digital transformation.
The importance given to data security and cyber security has also swiftly pivoted. Companies are keen on spending to secure information about their businesses and consumers in the digital space.
The Post Pandemic Talk: Changes are much more likely to stay
Remember the days of commuting to the office, attending back-to-back meetings, going shopping, and other activities that demanded you to get out of your house? Looking back, these days sound like a distant memory.
The world has gotten used to digital transformation in the past two years. Remote working, cyber security, cloud storage, online shopping, etc., is the new routine.
Today, we talk about the days without phones and laptops as a very alienated past. With these robust changes in the digital world, the experiences before the new normal in a traditional business layout would also soon become an alienated version that reminds of the past.
It is most likely that many of these changes will last. In businesses, digital transformation during the pandemic has moved from the stage of survival to competency. No longer do businesses integrate technologies to survive in the digital era, as they used to be in the starting days of the pandemic. Today, businesses make intelligent investments and more innovative digital strategies to save money and time and have a competitive digital edge over other businesses.
Therefore, with the advent of new technologies and competitive plans, there is probably no looking back for businesses. Digital transformation has become a part of the business world and is here to stay.