The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way companies across the world operate, upsetting their established processes and challenging their capabilities to adapt and be flexible. No one has been spared from the obstructive consequences of the virus; from startups to global businesses, the worldwide crisis has forced companies to adopt digital solutions and evolve or to cease operations.
Due to global travel bans, the majority of airlines have paused their flights. Restaurants have stopped accommodating dine-ins to mitigate the spread of the virus. Grocery stores have shortened their hours of operations due to curfews. Nevertheless, companies from different sectors are responding with innovative solutions to stay and relevant and profitable.
Long before the coronavirus outbreak, digital technologies have already been playing a crucial role in many businesses. Companies that underwent a digital transformation were able to automate their business workflows resulting in a drop in labor and operating costs, expand their reach through social media, and upgrade internal processes to boost productivity and profit. In general, digital transformation generally involves utilizing web-based client management applications and ditching paper-related processes and enforcing digital ones.
Digital solutions have enabled businesses to continue operating despite the pandemic. While there is an apparent decrease in business transactions, utilizing digital solutions allow companies to cope with the unprecedented slowdown, to remain productive, and to secure customer loyalty by staying relevant. Hence, companies that can transform their operations digitally will be at the forefront of the competition after the virus outbreak.
Some companies permit their employees to work from home for several days a week even before the outbreak. However, the majority of businesses resisted this setup. Today, in response to travel bans and closures of offices to halt the spread of the virus, companies were forced to allow a work-from-home setup.
Apart from a document management application for collaboration and an instant messaging or video conferencing tool for communication, working from home requires companies to provide digital tools that their employees need to be productive Depending on the nature of a business, the software to use would vary. For companies that transact with clients daily, a Customer Relationship Management application is vital. For companies that deal with legal forms or contracts, using electronic signature software proves to be an effective method to close transactions while at home.
Digital transformation as a development opportunity
The global crisis that COVID-19 created has pushed businesses into a more digital setup. The pandemic has hastened the uptake of digital solutions and sped up the worldwide transition towards a digital environment.
Today, digital transformation is no longer a future path. While the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the limitations of a business, it has also shown that digital transformation is a development opportunity that could propel a business to a better corporate position. Moreover, businesses that utilize digital solutions can build resilience to abrupt shocks, whether big or small.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses operate. Thus, regardless of their size, industry, and the services or products they provide, undergoing a digital transformation could be a powerful way to keep a business operating.