Just a few months ago, the idea of a world-changing pandemic was the stuff of Hollywood movie scripts. But in a matter of weeks, the global landscape has changed in some dramatic and unexpected ways, with the coronavirus business impact affecting millions worldwide. Social distancing has prompted some businesses to grind to a halt — something that has never occurred in living memory.
One thing is clear: the world has been forever transformed and the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will linger for years, even decades. So is your business ready to adapt in response to this changing business landscape? And why have some companies gone on to succeed and even thrive despite coronavirus, while other businesses are left scrambling and struggling to sustain?
Digital Transformation Determined Each Business’ Response: Scrambling, Struggling or Sailing
There have been three basic business responses to the coronavirus pandemic: scrambling, struggling and sailing. But what factors have allowed some to succeed, while other companies sank?
It’s clear that very few — if any — companies had a pandemic business continuity plan before this entire situation unfolded. But the most successful companies were able to quickly establish a business continuity plan once it became clear that this illness would have wide-reaching and long-term effects on a global scale.
The companies that soon found themselves “sailing” in spite of the pandemic were almost exclusively early adopters of technology; companies that have embraced digital transformation. These business leaders jumped in head first, establishing the infrastructure and procedures required to allow employees to work remotely and productively, effectively mitigating the effects of social distancing. (Of course, not every company was able to take these measures.) These businesses found themselves in a new rhythm in fairly short order, as they used technology to bridge the gaps that arose as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The companies that have been reluctant to embrace digital transformation have been struggling — and ultimately, sinking, in many cases. These businesses were hoping the storm would quickly pass. By the time they realized that social distancing could be a long-term measure, their companies had already suffered significantly both in terms of financials and morale. It’s now clear to most business leaders that digital transformation is necessary for companies that are seeking to survive the pandemic’s social distancing and quarantine. But in so many instances, these companies have been ailing for weeks. Their only hope for recovery is a coronavirus business relief loan that could be used to establish the technology and infrastructure that they’ll need in a post-COVID-19 world. For many businesses in this category, it’s simply too late.
A majority of companies are somewhere in the middle: they’re left scrambling as they try to figure out how to get onto the digital transformation bandwagon. These companies may be open to digital transformation and the idea of using technology to bridge the gaps that have opened as a result of social distancing. But these businesses may lack the knowledge and experience to effectively implement the changes that are essential for company survival.
How Can You Adopt Digital Transformation as Part of Business Continuity Plan?
If your business is in the “scrambling” category, immediate action is essential. The sooner company leaders act, the sooner they can set off down the road toward recovery. Consider these tips for pandemic recovery for business:
- Get your data and applications into the cloud. A cloud-based infrastructure is faster, more secure and gives you the flexibility to access your company assets from anywhere on the planet.
- Secure your data and create backups. Essential data must be secured and backed-up before attempting any migration to the cloud. Now is not the time for a major data loss or data breach incident!
- Establish metrics, analytics and KPIs. It’s critical that you have a system in place to measure and evaluate your company’s progress. You need the right analytics and business metrics so you can gauge success (or lack thereof). Additionally, take some time to identify your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs). In this dramatically different business landscape, today’s KPIs may look very different from the key performance indicators that were in place just a few months ago.
- Avoid and eliminate excessive spending. The coronavirus business impact isn’t going to ease up overnight. This is a long term event, so you cannot simply hit the pause button and hope for the best. Identify any unnecessary expenditures and make changes to cut costs and reduce overhead. Conversely, though, remember that some expenditure may be necessary in order to adapt to your new normal. For instance, you may need to make an investment as part of your new digital transformation strategy. The bottom line is this: spend money in a way that will maximize your chances of long term success. Always keep the coronavirus business impact in mind.
- Empower your workforce and decision makers. It’s critical that companies provide their workers and company leaders with the ability to offer feedback, share ideas and contribute to the decision-making process. Now is a time for change; providing the change is well-considered and beneficial in the current business climate. Listen to your team members and adapt as needed. This form of agility is more important than ever before.
Remember, digital transformation does not need to be expensive or complicated. In fact, any digital transformation investment — if done right — should have a ROI in 12 months or less. The important thing is that you’re continually examining your processes and using technology to bridge the gaps and increase efficiency.
At 7T, our team is here to help facilitate digital transformation. Our product Sertics is designed to help companies create a data lake that doesn’t require a team of data scientists and analysts to work. We also deal in a range of other technologies, including CRM development, ERP development, cloud integration and beyond.
7T has offices in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Austin, but our clientele spans the globe. If you’re in search of innovative digital transformation experts to help your company evolve in an attempt to minimize the coronavirus business impact, contact 7T today.