2 June 2020
The pandemic-driven rapidity with which organisations worldwide have had to adapt their operations begs the question: should we have been ready for it? The Covid-19 era has had a catalytic and unique impact on the global economy, with demand, supply and workforce availability all affected at the same time resulting in a need for acceleration of digital transformation. A recent report that surveyed 100+ IT managers suggests a sudden shift of priorities to digital transformation, with over 58% expecting to increase technology budgets. Even with the economic turbulence and spending slowdown, 73% of IT leaders expect to accelerate or maintain their digital initiatives.
According to McKinsey Digital, the crisis will continue to speed up digital transformation efforts with a major impact on the business landscape. Even before Covid-19 hit, 92% of companies thought their business models would need to change given digitisation. McKinsey also suggests that organisations ask themselves these questions to get an idea of how they'll perform post-Covid:
"At this point, where it is critical for enterprises to rapidly respond and remain sustainable, digital transformation has emerged to be the silver lining," says Kiran Raj, principal disruptive tech analyst at GlobalData. "The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the value of digital transformation to navigate through the implications of such a crisis. It has clear lessons for enterprises urging them to quickly revisit their digitalisation strategies for more business resilience."
At Optimation, what we're seeing here in New Zealand is a reactive response to Covid-19. We’ve observed that businesses that have managed to stay ahead of the competition were those that were proactive about their digital initiatives before the pandemic.
Some strategies successful businesses in NZ have prioritised to maintain operational resilience include:
Platforms that struggled to cope, teams that got stretched, negative impact due to lack of automation - these are all areas that need to be re-evaluated sooner rather than later. The goal must be switching to systems and processes that can deal with a pandemic or similar situation that drives negative change at pace, forcing a focus on business continuity strategy.
That strategy should also consider the constraints a business may be facing, such as lack of resources, lack of people, or the wrong technology tools. For those organisations, there are options they can consider when going digital, and outsourcing software development to a third party that makes use of rapid application development tools is one. Key insights that leaders should consider going forward include:
At Optimation, we use OutSystems' low code/ no-code approach to agile software development. This approach prioritises swift software solutions. For example, over a period of only four days, Optimation were able to ideate, design and develop a virtual workplace demonstration app for a particular organisation looking for a contactless solution for site inspections. We were able to develop it seamlessly on the OutSystems platform, and it's able to be deployed using cloud technology, meaning that's it's a very powerful example of how quickly we can turn around ideas and swiftly create bespoke, fully secure solutions.
Although a response to Covid-19, this solution is a good example of the new digital paradigm; it's technology that will enable processes to be streamlined and to gain efficiencies for organisations through the pandemic and beyond.
We have not seen the end of the crisis. Nor do we know exactly when the recovery will come. Now more than ever, businesses need to double down on their digital efforts, and do it fast. The more effort that's put in now, the better placed they’ll be for growth during the crisis, after it, and for whatever challenges the future holds.
If you're keen to learn more about the importance of swift digital transformation, download our new eBook, Need for Speed: Why rapid software deployment is key for New Zealand business transformation now and beyond Covid-19