The COVID-19 pandemic is driving people, companies, governments, and different firms to the digitization and digital platforms.
In a bit to help flatten the coronavirus curve, many employers are allowing their workforce to work from home. In fact, work from home has become the new normal.
But even prior to that, reports say that 70% of companies either had a digital transformation strategy planned out or were working on one. It is those enterprises that do not have a digital transformation strategy that is being worst affected and forced to switch to go digital.
The COVID-19 has made digital transformation a requirement. Cases of restaurants allowing their websites for take-away orders, educational institutions switching to virtual learning, hospitals taking telehealth appointments, etc., keep popping up daily.
International tech CEOs, channel heads, and executives are saying that demand for cloud, software, and automation is only going to keep increasing.
Let’s take a look at some ways in which COVID-19 is accelerating digital transformation in companies.
Collaborating while working remotely
Prior to the pandemic, only one-third of the US employees were working from home, according to the Workhuman survey. However, working remotely has quickly become a new normal in all companies. Since employees are staying physically apart while working, the way in which they collaborate has totally changed.
At a time where employees are required to stay more connected to improve communication and bring their strategies into line, companies are relying on technology that supports collaboration.
Most companies are using business tools such as Zoom for video conferencing, Google Suite & Microsoft 365, word processors, presentation decks, and so on.
Zoom platform, which is popularly used by companies for video conferencing, web conferencing, and webinars, lifted the 40-minute limit from its free Basic plan for China after the country was hit by COVID-19. Healthcare workers in China from over 1,000 hospitals used the platform for online consultations.
Remote onboarding and training
Many companies now are trying to make remote onboarding work, the process that was practiced by only a few industries prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Companies, including big names such as Amazon and Walmart, are hiring as there are positions that need to be filled despite the pandemic.
Several digital adoption platform companies, such as Whatfix, are bringing the solution for employers. It is a platform that eases the onboarding and training process by allowing personalizing content, promoting interactive learning, automation, and increasing productivity.
Platforms such as Kissflow are used to automate workflows like employee onboarding, sales invoices, refund requests, or marketing campaigns.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the telehealth industry was growing rapidly. By 2020, the market is estimated to reach 24bn USD.
But since the crisis occurred, healthcare systems are being pushed by public health officials to expand their telemedicine via smartphones and other tools.
Digital platforms such as LogMeIn are even allowing healthcare providers, educational institutions, non-profit organizations to use its video conferencing tools.
Practicing telemedicine is helping social distancing, crucial to slow down the transmission of the virus. A bill for coronavirus funding was passed in the U.S. Congress that renounces the rules that restrict video services for those patients on Medicare. This move underscores the potential for telehealth in not only this current situation but also in the forthcoming years.
Events are conducted virtually
With over 83 million attendees being forced to change their plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many are switching to virtual events.
For instance, Google Cloud Next ’20, a three-day conference, has now become Digital Connect, and it is going to be a free, international, digital-first, multi-day event. It will be using the Next ’20 content.
Another event to switch to digital is the Collison tech conference in North America. The management postponed the in-person event to June 2021.
Conferences have been a crucial way to exchange ideas and for professional networking. Companies are turning to platforms that combine video, networking, and other tools to try to leverage the benefits of networking at an in-person event.
Keeping in mind the interest of public safety, event organizers and business owners have to think outside the box to come up with convincing alternative options. It could also lead to innovations that can improve how people meet and interact virtually.
Maintaining employee productivity
Statistics have it that working from home leads to a 13% performance increase. And employees report higher productivity as well. But it has its challenges as well.
Companies make use of engaging tools to reduce employee performance issues.
Tools like Trello are used to allow team members to work more collaboratively and get more done. It is great for managing and prioritizing projects. Companies also use the BaseCamp software tool for project management, increasing accountability, and communicating more efficiently.
Ensuring business continuity
To ensure that the business continues and recovers post-pandemic is crucial, and it has to be planned from now. Companies have to implement the right strategy and tools to limit the damages caused by the pandemic on their business.
Businesses are turning to business continuity management software to assess risks and develop solutions. Tools such as BCM planning software are used to document recovery procedures and conduct business impact analysis, and threat and risk assessment.
Oracle Risk Management with embedded AI techniques is used to automate advanced analysis for ERP role design, separating duties, data privacy, and averting financial fraud. Also, tools like SAI360 are implemented to develop an effective integrated risk management solution.
When every business around the world has been jeopardized by the novel coronavirus outbreak, it has accelerated digital transformation in companies. Companies that were not digitized prior to COVID-19 are forced to turn to technology in order to lessen the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly.
The COVID-19 outbreak has emphasized the value of digital channels, products, and operations. And as predicted by experts, digital tech is here to stay. And it is even foresighted that many companies might even choose to allow their employees to work from home considering the benefits.