The challenges and experiences presented by COVID-19 this year suggest more businesses should be closely examining their use of technology. Identifying processes and functions where digital tools and services can bring improved efficiency and resilience is vital – organisations everywhere are being reshaped by the crisis, and technology is central to that process.
In reality, any business that has enabled staff to work from home in recent months has already started a process of digital transformation – even if they don’t view it as such. Recent research carried out by IJYI illustrates the point, with just under a third (32%) of respondents saying their organisation is focusing on digital transformation, either in the planning or implementation stages. In contrast, forty seven percent said their organisation was not currently thinking about or has established a digital transformation strategy. A fifth (21%) didn’t know the status of digital transformation within their organisation.
This is a problem – both of awareness and delivering proactive IT strategy.
In recent months, thousands of businesses have – effectively – been ‘forced’ to broaden their tech horizons to deliver remote working. In the process, many are now benefiting from efficiencies and cost savings they wouldn’t have seen in normal circumstances. For business leaders around the UK, there will be no going back to the ‘old normal’ – hybrid working, where teams split their time between the home and office, is here to stay. Yes, this is motivated by health and wellbeing, but it also delivers major bottom-line benefits.
The biggest takeaway is that businesses must avoid just using technology as an emergency response to a crisis. Without doubt, those that view technology as fundamental to the way they work, innovate and improve will be much better placed to take advantage of the post-pandemic recovery.
So what’s next for these organisations for whom digital transformation has arrived by stealth? There are three important steps to take to maintain momentum and work out how building a wider role for technology can have a real impact:
- Review the technology you have adopted, it’s long term suitability, efficiency, security and cost.
- Take stock of your progress towards digital transformation – especially if it has just started – and re-assess your requirements based on emerging hybrid working practices
- Understand the impact of lockdown on existing IT projects and budgets, and consider external assistance to get back on track