Digital Transformation: Four ways to prepare for a post-COVID-19 pandemic

Author: Charter Global
Published: April 27, 2020

During this period of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies may find themselves at a crossroads. Many industry experts had predicted that 2020 will be a year of major digital transformation initiatives across industries. The question is do companies move forward with digital transformation initiatives or put them on hold?

Some experts suggest that companies continue with their digital transformation programs. Many explanations are offered, but one resonates as a strategy to not only survive the pandemic but thrive on the other side of it. If a company accelerates its business digital transformation projects now, the company will be in a better position after the pandemic ends.

Here are four ways companies and organizations can take now to prepare for the post-pandemic world.

1. Increase IT spending 

This suggestion may seem radical in light of current events, but it can translate to a positive outcome. According to KPBG research, 80 percent of revenue growth hinges on digital offerings and operations by 2022, IT leaders should continue transforming their operating models.

Experts believe that companies that continue to invest in their digital strategies will maintain business continuity and resiliency that will provide a platform to emerge from this pandemic more competitive. Research suggests that using solid models that incorporate the best people, processes, and technologies can help companies recover faster. Moving forward with digital transformation initiatives covers a broad spectrum in areas such as e-commerce, AI, machine learning, mobile, and public cloud adoption.

2. Strive to retain and hire IT staff

The skills gap was a challenge for enterprise IT departments before the pandemic. That gap will continue during and after the pandemic. Filling in those skills gaps should escalate as a high priority during the pandemic, and most likely will continue after the pandemic.

IT leaders understand the importance and value of having strong IT teams. Through years of experience, IT leaders also know that it is difficult and time-consuming to build highly-skilled and experienced IT teams. But to survive the pandemic, companies will need a knowledgeable, powerful, and resourceful IT team.

3. Create a plan to support work-from-home as the new normal 

There is no question that work-from-home has become the solution of choice so that companies can continue to operate. Shifting to work-from-home was relatively simple for companies who offered to telecommute and had already adopted a work-from-home model. For many companies, this was a new way to work and required adjustments to the IT communications infrastructure. It also required psychological adjustments for employees who never worked from home as well as remote workers.

Remote access and videoconferencing significantly increased overnight. Companies must determine if these systems are adequately provisioned or secured for long term work-from-home functionalities. Also, companies may need to plan for the distribution of mobile hotspots and other alternative ways to get home workers online.

Some other factors to consider include providing ongoing online training for remote workers. Also, IT employees may need training related to new IT infrastructure, hardware, and software applications.

4. Provide a centralized source of communication

The need for central communication is greater than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic. Company leaders should provide information to employees clearly, transparently, and in as timely a manner as possible. Announce decisions, and detail how these decisions were arrived at and why.

Communication is the most important element of leadership. During and after the crisis, a return to successful operations will require leadership.

After the pandemic, a company’s success and growth will depend, in many ways, on what leaders do during the pandemic. Leaders should think long-term and guide their organizations through the pandemic and into a successful future.

When the pandemic ends, there will be a new digital normal. The digital strategies that are implemented during this pandemic will help companies navigate with digital transformation.