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  • Writer's pictureShohreh R Aftahi, PhD

Accelerate Digital Adoption to Enable Reimagination

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

During the pandemic, we have transformed the way we interact with our family and friends, do our work, travel, receive medical care, spend pass-time, and conduct many of the routine activities of life. The usage of digital technologies has increase at stunning scale and speed across all sectors to meet the needs of individuals and organizations. We are witnessing a historical deployment of remote work and digital access to services across every domain, and digital technology will play a defining role during the COVID-19 recovery and beyond. As the saying goes, we cannot put this cat back in the bag!

During the partial reopening phase of recovery, business leaders are facing some fundamental challenges. They have discovered that consumer behavior and demand patterns have changed significantly and will continue to do so. Another challenge is that how the economy staggers back to life will be different in different locations. For example, consumers may feel more comfortable going to restaurants before considering getting on a plane or going to concerts or other public events. Can businesses meet the needs of increased consumer demand that would likely come suddenly and in clusters? We have already seen supply chain challenges in several industries such as the Auto industry, Electronics, appliances, among many others. To analyze these demand signals in real-time, companies must adapt quickly to successfully bring supply chains and services back to navigate the recovery.

To meet these challenges successfully, leaders will need to set a lofty digital technology plan—and deliver it quickly, in two to three months, instead of the previous norm of a year or more. There are four parts to this plan:

Redeploy digital technology to reflect changing customer expectations. To modify, companies need to quickly rethink customer buying patterns, evaluate their current digital solutions, and accelerate the development of digital solutions that match the customer buying patterns. This includes creating a seamless e-commerce experience for many retailers, enabling customers to complete their buying efforts online from initial research and purchase to service and returns. For auto companies, this may require establishing new digital distribution models to handle trade-ins, financing, servicing, and home delivery of cars for auto companies. Companies in the Hospitality industry need to focus on health and safety, so contactless dine-in, check-in, boarding, and travel experiences.

Data usage, Internet of Things, and AI to manage operations better. In addition, companies need to incorporate gathering new data and create new models to enable real-time decision-making. After the financial crisis in 2008, many risk and financial models had to be recreated; due to the pandemic, companies must re-evaluate and recreate risk and financial models once again. How companies use data and analytics will need to be recalibrated to reflect the post-COVID-19 reality. This will involve quickly examining, validating models, creating new data sets, and augmenting modeling techniques. Getting this right will enable companies to steer demand forecasting, asset management, and coping with massive new volumes successfully. For example, an airline company employed a new application to manage and maintain its fleets that gone idle and bring them back into service when circumstances changed. Another example is a telecommunications company that developed a digital collection model for customers facing hardship.

Accelerate tech modernization. Companies will also need to improve their IT productivity to lower their cost base to fund rapid, flexible digital solution development. First, this requires rapidly reducing IT costs and making them flexible wherever possible to match demand. This means figuring out what expenses are flexible in the near-to-medium term, such as evaluating projects, identifying unnecessary expenses, and reallocating resources. Second, develop a strategy to defining a future IT-product platform, forming the skills and roles needed to support and maintain it, mapping these skills onto the new organization model, and developing leaders who can train and manage people to fill the new or adapted positions. Third, to speed up the adoption of cloud and automation technologies, including bringing cloud operations in-house and retiring legacy infrastructure.

Upsurge the speed and productivity of digital solutions. To deal with the crisis and its aftermath, companies need to develop digital solutions quickly and adopt new operating models and provide these solutions to customers at scale. Solving this final challenge requires integrating businesses processes, incorporating data-driven decision making, and implementing change management. There are different ways to do this. Many companies have accelerated delivery by establishing internal cross-functional teams dedicated to matching business priorities to digital practices. Others have gone beyond reinventing their core businesses, have ventured to capture new opportunities quickly.

At ThriveVance, we have help companies in multiple sectors analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, discover the challenges across the organization, quickly plan and implement the changes to successfully navigate the recovery phase and thrive by gaining momentum and seizing opportunities in the current environment. Let us do the same for you!

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