Digital and technology adoption will become more important than ever in the new normal – that is, in the era after COVID-19.
When the pandemic subsides, we can will be confronted by a new economic reality, and that economy will bring with it new opportunities and new challenges.
Surviving and thriving in that new normal is certainly possible, but preparation is key.
Below, we’ll look at a few ways companies can meet the challenges ahead and emerge successfully into the new normal.
More specifically, we’ll look at digital strategies, since digital technology will remain one of the core pillars of the future economy.
5 Tips for Digital and Technology Adoption in the New Normal
Every industry has been affected differently by the pandemic, but one theme that remains constant across all sectors is digital technology.
Companies that become digital leaders will stand a much better chance of innovating and thriving in tomorrow’s economy.
Here are a few strategies to incorporate into the digital agenda:
1. Create and execute a “pivot plan” to ride out the crisis
Every business must be prepared to pivot towards new opportunities.
During the crisis, these pivots may be aimed at maintaining business continuity or creating resilience. Some industries, after all, have fewer opportunities than others during the financial downturn.
Regardless of the industry, however, pivots are essential.
Here are a few examples:
- Changing products or services to meet customers’ changed spending habits
- Standardizing and redesigning business processes to cut costs
- Adopting new digital tools to drive new processes and capabilities
The ability to pivot is essential both during the pandemic and afterwards, since the post-viral economy will present new challenges and opportunities.
2. Understand what the new normal will look like
Before actually developing a plan for the new normal, it is important to understand what changes lie ahead.
Many research firms, for instance, suggests that:
- Customers’ and employees’ expectations and demands will shift significantly
- Governments will take a more prominent role in public health
- To survive and succeed, organizations, businesses, and institutions will need to reform many aspects of their operations
- Certain digital trends will accelerate significantly, which will result in a changed and more advanced digital ecosystem
These types of changes are not insignificant, so business leaders should be prepared to meet them head on.
3. Focus on flexibility, agility, and resilience, not efficiency
When the economy begins to recover from the pandemic, growth and change may accelerate at a rapid pace.
To succeed in such a dynamic environment, the ability to pivot is a must, as mentioned above.
However, in order to pivot successfully, it is important to cultivate a few key traits:
- Agility at multiple levels within the organization, from the level of the employee to the level of the entire business
- Organizational resilience across a number of dimensions, in order to mitigate potential risks and improve a company’s ability to operate
- A flexible approach to business planning that accounts for multiple possible scenarios
Capabilities such as these will enable an organization to react more quickly and decisively in the event of disruptions, such as lockdowns or sudden changes in customer demand.
4. Fast-track digital transformation initiatives
Though IT spending has decreased for most companies, digital transformation remains a top priority.
Cloud computing, remote working software, robotics, telehealth, and many other technology sectors have seen growth, for instance.
Since these types of trends will continue to exert an influence on the post-COVID economy, organizations should adapt accordingly.
Here are a few areas to focus on:
- Modernizing the IT infrastructure and adopting cutting-edge technologies
- Creating a structured digital adoption strategy, which will improve the chances of successful digital transformation
- Leveraging emerging technology to reimagine customer value
In the coming years, we can expect to see far more growth not only in digital technology, but also in other types of technology, such as IoT.
There is a very real possibility that the economy will change more rapidly after COVID-19 than it did in the years leading up to 2020 – preparation, therefore, is not just a good idea, it may mean the difference between success and failure.
5. Prepare the workforce for a hyper-connected, hyper-digital future
To be productive, innovative, and successful, employees must have the right digital skills and the right mindset.
Business leaders should therefore prepare their workforce for tomorrow’s economy, which will be fast, hyper-connected, and hyper-digital.
Here are a few ways to ready the workforce for that new world of work:
- Train employees and develop digital savviness across the entire workforce
- Promote a digital culture that is pro-learning and open to change
- Create a positive employee experience, both at the office and virtually
- Innovate with and use new technology to its fullest extent
Organizational performance depends directly on the workforce, so these types of strategies should be viewed not as a cost center, but as an investment. With the proper strategy, that investment will pay off, and employees will reward the company by fueling its success in the years ahead.