For some organisations, a willingness to embark on the digital transformation journey can be lacking even at the best of times. And now that we’re in the midst of a global health pandemic, this reluctance can be hard to deny.
Companies can easily be trapped in a state of inertia, where concerns about the future economic environment can leave business leaders permanently stuck in the mud.
But are leaders right to be hesitant and overly risk averse in the current crisis?
Businesses that were already aware of the beneficial effects of digital disruption when the COVID pandemic hit were already well on their way in the digital transformation process. As improved agility is one of the major goals of digital transformation, this placed them at an advantage over companies yet to travel too far down the transformation path.
Agile companies could therefore respond more effectively to some of the challenges the pandemic suddenly threw at them. In some cases, organisations were able to respond or pivot so effectively that they not only were able to respond with great agility, but have actually grown at a greater rate as a result of the drastically changed business landscape.
The pandemic has forced many businesses to shut down parts of their operations, cut staff, or in the worst cases, shut down completely. But it has also resulted in proactive companies reshaping their processes as well as what they offer their customers. This saw many retailers switching to partial or fully online offerings and distribution methods. And training companies switching to online models almost overnight.
The point is that digital transformation is about expanding the capabilities and responsiveness of businesses. The further along in that journey your company is, the greater the likelihood that you can react rapidly to these types of pivots. These types of actions not only help keep businesses in the black, they present the opportunity to introduce your business to a whole new world of online clients around the world.
It is essentially the fear of the unknown that causes hesitation. In business circles this hesitation quickly leads to total inertia. In booming economic conditions, companies following the status quo year after year can survive, even if they don’t thrive. But in challenging times when only the most progressive companies will succeed, inertia can cause companies to be left so far behind that they can never recover.
Many traditional business models simply will not be able to compete with the true digital disruptors. The COVID pandemic has magnified the speed that companies must transform in order to remain competitive. Sectors have been shrunk by the effects of the pandemic, and competitors are more determined than ever to disrupt their markets in order to gain ground simply to ensure they don’t sink.
It is an understandable response to hesitate in the face of uncertainty. But in the case of a world that was already undergoing rapid digital transformation, inaction can be fatal. Undergoing a successful digital transformation requires a few key ingredients; access to knowledge, implementation of the right actions, and access to talent. All are necessary to ensure success.
If you’d like more information on how to secure the resources you need to accelerate your digital transformation, talk to FinXL.