There’s a cartoon by the Marketoonist going around that accurately captures how COVID-19 is accelerating digital transformation at many companies. During a meeting inside an office building, an executive rejects any digital transformation need within the company – while outside, a COVID-19 wrecking ball is about to smash the building.
Aside from its humanitarian consequences, the coronavirus pandemic is acting as a catalyst for change on such a vast scale that it might define an entire generation. And while we can’t predict what the future holds, it’s clear that it will be digital.
We've covered in the past how the event industry has been accelerating towards digital and virtual solutions across the board, whether it’s for professional congress organisation, audience engagement, community or event design. The goal was to adapt to the current global situation while preserving the power of human connections.
For the event industry and many others, the crisis required decisive actions to come out of the crisis stronger than before. Taking on digital transformation might happen for many reasons – but in today’s scenario, it was a matter of survival.
Borrowing the definition of The Enterprisers Project, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It's also a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.
While technology serves as the driver of this shift, digital transformations are about business first. They encourage to reconsider everything from traditional departments to consolidated business models.
Because it’s such an extensive and potentially radical evolution, digital transformation needs to be backed by strategy. And although it will vary based on your specific challenges and objectives, there are 4 pillars that all organisations and business leaders should consider as they embark on their digital transformation.
The people within an organisation are key in successfully mastering digital transformation. Employees must be empowered to push digital efforts forward with the right skills and tools to simplify collaboration and enhance productivity.
By focusing on their development first, you can create a culture where technology integration fuels forward-thinking and innovation.
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Beside people, a business is also a set of highly interconnected processes and information. The main goal of process optimisation is to reduce time and resources spent, bottlenecks and mistakes while achieving better business results.
Processes can be improved in different ways depending on your needs. Whether you need to restructure, automate or adopt some tech to completely change them, start with a clear set of objectives and test the best tool that works for you.
Competition is strong today, with many digital-first companies disrupting the market with new technologies and solutions. Without investing in an agile structure backed by technology, it becomes more difficult to adapt to new customer behaviours and retain clients.
To keep up, companies must consider reinventing their service offering and business models. They must find a differentiator and capitalise on new revenue opportunities.
Before investing in any technology, you need to understand your customers behaviours and expectations. Your clients won’t change to fit your transformed organisation, so it’s key to focus on the customer experience first.
Then, technology comes in to help build better and stronger engagement. Thanks to data, you can track, measure and report every customer activity and action. That results in a 360-degree view of your clients that supports you in creating more personal and human customer experiences.
Aim at these pillars first, and at technology second, and you’ll have a business with strong foundations ready to tackle future challenges.
We have yet to see the end of the COVID-19 crisis. We don’t know exactly when recovery will come and how long it will take. In the meantime, it’s vital to prepare your business for the digital future.
If your company or organisation are struggling with cancelled projects, stagnating processes and inert customers, get in touch to learn how a mindful, calculated digital strategy can revitalise your business.