COVID-19: Confronting uncertainty through & beyond the crisis

A Time for Digital Disruption

22 Apr 2020
coronavirus time for digital disruption

Tech’s Next Target

Covid-19 is forcing us to change daily routines, governance, and businesses. As a result, this rapid and unexpected disruption has accelerated the implementation of tech and digital changes that were already taking place.

The key difference is that the adaptation of new technologies now needs to be done in a shorter time-frame. Speed is of the essence.

So in these troubled times, we are observing a doubling down on digital transformation. This can be seen at all levels; starting from e-governance to learning from home via online classrooms, and the digitization of business services.

As various sectors fumble to ensure continuity, the Tech sector is revving up to create innovations that support the healthcare sector and efforts to fight the pandemic. From Silicon Valley to start-ups in growing economies, techies everywhere are being mobilized to hack the ultimate virus.

Boosting Business Resilience

While innovation is important in any business, boosting resilience should also be part of every plan. Continuity and flexibility are a big part of risk and security management. The first thing is to ensure a system that caters for the continuation of critical activities – we’re talking about VPN access, bandwidth, and the like. Long-term resilience includes optimizing service delivery while reducing threats and vulnerabilities; be they cyber, natural disasters, pandemics, or otherwise.

Your business’ transformation requires these to thrive on the other side of the pandemic, not merely to survive it. This goal demands the following steps:

Boost process automation. Scale DevOps. Fortify data analytics. Introduce self-service.

1. Go beyond fear and remain focused

Fear triggers an initial survival reflex. So, fear should guide immediate, very short-term decisions but not long-term planning.

2. Faster response time to critical issues

The better the data, the better the insights, and the better the insights, the better the decisions. This should be the core premise behind every company’s investment in Big Data and Analytics. Market evidence shows that good-quality, well-analyzed intelligence is better than none, or worse, incomplete, outdated, poorly-analyzed intelligence.

    How to solve your “I don’t know” problem:

  • Analyze the news, the competition, and the situation outside your business’ ecosystem.
  • Take a look at your business’ patterns.
  • Think about what you can or should do to adapt. For instance, why not create an internal problem-solving brainstorming group?
  • Think about how you can begin to implement the changes. Create a task force to take leadership and enforce decisions effectively.
  • Take a step back and assess the quality of your changes, make sure that the outcome is aligned with your goals.

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3. Technology vs. Process: Building new practices in record time

Similarly to technology disruption, the adaptation puzzle within the context of the COVID-19 crisis has two distinct but interconnected parts: technology and process. However, both components require complete synchronization to yield positive results. So just throwing technology at a problem won’t be enough because you need both.

Social distancing is the key to slowing down community transmission. Remote collaboration is probably the most obvious example of a technology and process adaptation. Allowing workers to work remotely isn’t new, but many companies haven’t been as quick to adopt the work-from-anywhere model. Moreover, it is not surprising that the companies that have already adopted flexible production processes will be the ones to overcome the disruptions.  They can do so faster and with less friction than the companies that had, until now, resisted remote working.

What if your company doesn’t have the necessary resources to incorporate all the new processes and technologies? The good news is that help is available. You can partner with change management companies, IT services, and digital transformation experts. Create tightly knit collaborations and cross-partnerships with businesses that can help to elevate your own services or internal processes.

Go back to the roots, reach out to the community at large and you will find that other smaller sized businesses are also looking to create meaningful relationships to get them through the crisis and thrive in the post-virus era.

Effective Adaptation

There is no need to panic, instead, the proper reaction is to adapt. Disruption is a way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and ensuring survival through increased preparedness. Remember that the secret to evolution in life is an adaptation to new and potentially challenging circumstances. Therefore, solve the problem at hand and reshape your business to match the new demand.

The key takeaway of this pandemic is definitely business continuity and resilience. In conclusion, make sure these transformational efforts are aimed at placing you in a better position after the crisis is over. Significantly, it is important to avoid at all costs the temptation to revert back to the good old working model.

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