Covid-19 delivered catastrophic blows to almost every facet of the business world. While the pandemic became a catalyst of innovation for some organizations, it was a wake-up call for others—especially those with missing or immature digital transformation initiatives.
The pivotal role of digital transformation was underscored further during the first few months of the crisis. Businesses grappling with revenue losses and subsequent layoffs managed to keep afloat with the help of technology. Fast forward to 2022: Digital transformation is still the priority of executives looking to future-proof their businesses. And with technology trends like AI-powered automation and the wider availability of 5G, transformation initiatives are spurred by a slew of different reasons.
Improve Customer Experience And Engagement
We live in an age of digital immediacy. Customers want the best possible experiences offered through digital channels as fast as possible. To meet the rapid rise in customer expectations, forward-thinking businesses looked at digital transformation for solutions.
According to one study, boosting customer experience and engagement remains the top goal driving digital transformation. During the onslaught of the crisis, governments all over the world imposed lockdowns, which increased the demand for online shopping and delivery services.
One report reveals that online retail sales’ share in total retail sales increased from 16% to 19% in 2020. Businesses that were quick to adapt accelerated their digital adoption, leveraging e-commerce, data analytics and automation tools. These digital leaders were able to maintain, if not elevate, customer satisfaction.
So, how can your businesses do the same?
Keep Customers In The Loop
As the future remains uncertain, no one knows when we'll return to "normal"—if we ever will. For this reason, it’s crucial for businesses to think of innovative ways to stay connected with their customers. For example, service businesses may have to implement a skeletal workforce if the government announces restrictions anew, which would require technology to send updates and alerts as a means of managing customer expectations.
Analyze Customer Behavior
There are several insights you can gather from analyzing customer behavior data. By utilizing technology like AI, you can learn a lot about what customers want, how they want it and their bottlenecks. While behavioral analytics takes time and money, it’s usually worth it since it enables data-driven decisions that will elevate the customer experience.
Maximize Operational Efficiency
Operational efficiency should remain a top digital transformation goal. After all, enterprises seeking to increase their profit need to improve efficiency first. When crafting an efficiency improvement plan, decision-makers need to ask the following:
Breaking down data integration, process delays, process automation and data analytics issues makes it easier to identify the right technologies and determine the best route to deployment. Enterprises just need to remember that the path to digital transformation greatly depends on the industry they belong to.
Legacy System Modernization
Out of fear of falling behind the competition, many businesses with legacy systems are learning to let go. Modernizing old systems, after all, provides several incredible benefits to business efficiency, such as:
It’s worth noting that, in the modern enterprise, speed is key. Utilizing technology, such as automation tools and cloud solutions, helps teams move faster through the digital transformation road map and toward becoming more efficient.
Reinforce Cybersecurity And Data Privacy
As more people rely on the internet and virtual platforms, it has become increasingly imperative for enterprises to strengthen their digital security. Compromised security can bring devastating consequences to a business's reputation and revenue. Unfortunately for some businesses, they had to learn the hard way. According to a 2021 report by Sophos, the proliferation of ransomware attacks costs mid-sized organizations an average of $170,404.
Fortunately, there are ways to heighten cybersecurity and data privacy in today’s highly digital world. Proactive cybersecurity practices, like continuous security validation, can help businesses prevent cyberattacks before a breach actually occurs.
While it’s vital to protect data from external threats, insider threats also remain one of the biggest security issues, meaning enterprises must remember to look into their own backyard, too. Leveraging technology to moderate information access will be pivotal in reinforcing cybersecurity and data privacy.
Introduce New Products And Services
The pandemic emphasized that businesses have to think creatively to stay afloat amid unprecedented circumstances. To some, it was a precursor to new offerings that will help maintain a positive cash flow.
For instance, service industry businesses like gyms had to close their brick-and-mortar branches to prevent the spread of the disease. We’ve seen fitness trainers offer classes at home with the help of technology to cope and continue earning.
Such use cases highlight the importance of pursuing digital transformation. Nowadays, businesses are placing additional effort into innovating solutions to become more future-ready amid uncertain times.
The pandemic tested business resiliency, and we’ve seen that the common denominator in enterprises that survived is digital transformation. Organizations across all industries need to seriously consider their next transformation steps in order to cope with unexpected challenges today and in the future.
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