The coronavirus or “Covid-19” has been responsible for creating a seismic change across the corporate industry, pushing everyone towards increased digitisation. A contingency unprepared for by the world, it has upset many a project, office functions and the rigid routine that was once boasted of and adopted by many companies, tailored to suit their needs and goals.
Despite the economy having suffered tremendously and the forecast of copious efforts to salvage the financial aspect and time lost to the pandemic, most organisations have demonstrated an uncanny resilience and are slowly inching towards building their businesses back to pre-covid levels. Companies belonging to varied industries are trying to navigate through the crisis and maintain a semblance of consistency, either for the sentiment of hope to reassure their customers, clients and stakeholders or as a means of ensuring enough cash flow to survive till they’re out of the woods.
Companies also harbour the responsibility of protecting their employees and workers who cannot be sacrificed for short term goals of catering to customer satisfaction or maximisation of revenue. This poses a dilemma as to how to strike an effective balance between input and output. The simple yet effective solution to this is digitisation.
It is noteworthy that digitisation has forced us to adapt the unconventional and think out of the box, whilst being our biggest arsenal against a virus in desperate times.
Different industries have been different, such as the hospital industry who are the main frontiers in this battle and rely heavily upon AI technology and aggregation of medical data to identify emerging cases. They have also started providing free online-check up packages addressing issues of mental health and general physical health to those quarantined. The oil industry has established a multi-tier cloud computing system with the objective of better data cataloguing and management and with a focus on reducing the end to end exploration workflow cycle time. Arguably, one of the hardest-hit industries is the travel industry who have had to resort to mobility and automatic solutions by taking the load off the call centres and offer more personalized and straightforward, understandable self-service options in terms of cancellations & changes that travellers will want to do.
Following are some of the solutions that companies are incorporating in embracing digitisation against the backdrop of coronavirus:
1. Artificial/Augmented Intelligence (AI)
AI has been a saviour to many large corporations, who utilize its services in streamlining their supply chain, collecting information about where essential goods, services and medicines are required and how much and assist them in prioritising rations and units to cater to increasing demands. This also helps in cutting the costs of the firm in the physical distribution of the products since products are only shipped to areas with retailers rather than distribution centres.
AI also plays an important role in risk assessment and creates an algorithm in determining holistic business models for each company that may help them minimising their risk while maximising goal achievement.
2. Cloud Strategy
IT departments in companies or IT companies are capitalizing on the issues of infrastructure limitation by establishing cloud computing models that can function sans infrastructure & network support. Smaller organizations are completely adopting cloud-based collaboration and productivity apps for business like G Suite and Office 365. Enterprise applications are more and more moving to the cloud and dedicated on-premise infrastructure.
3. Cyber Security and Data Protection
Increased digitisation also invites more risk to data protection and oftentimes, consumers are wary of being phished or their data stolen which propagates companies to become sensitive to such issues and increase the grade of their cybersecurity. Companies are investing in higher levels of internet firewalls, virus blocking software and encryption of data exchange to ensure such data protection. This is important since it not only protects your relationship with your customers and clients, it also increases your reputation as a brand.
4. Data Integration
Streamlining of the company’s internal processes with its data strategy is necessary for a successful digital transformation.
5. Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)
EPM software complements ERP software by providing actionable management insights on top of ERP data. In an environment of economic uncertainty the office of Finance should spend more time on analysis and less time on data aggregation and preparation. A good EPM tool will help in seamlessly consolidating financial and operational data across various entities and business segments within an organization and help in linking financial and operational metrics to insights.