Coronavirus-driven Digital Transformation: In for a Penny, In for a Pound
COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may last for some time, or for years if worse. Social distancing and ban of social gathering in some countries like the UK are giving many businesses a hard time. Imposing cost-cutting strategy is the natural tendency of many business leaders. According to a survey by PwC, 62% of business leaders are implementing cost containment as a result of COVID-19.
In for a penny, in for a pound
The pandemic forces businesses to at least adopt some digital transformation such as video-conferencing, VPN access and SaaS tools like cloud office suites. While balancing short-term efforts to cope with the current situation, IT leaders should urge senior management to keep investing in digital strategy, transforming the operational model of the organization to a longer-term competitive advantage and resiliency including threats and vulnerabilities reduction and optimization of provision of services. Say, if an organization has migrated 20% of IT infrastructures and assets to the cloud and SaaS, IT leaders may advocate to double, or even triple, that in the upcoming years.
“You have to avoid the tendency to slash and burn your transformation and revert back to your traditional working model, which is human nature,” said Steve Bates, global leader of KPMG’s CIO center of excellence, “Organizations who double down on the most important advancements to allow them to emerge more competitive are going to win.”
“I think the easiest thing — but the worst thing — would be to freeze in this time of uncertainty and not move anything forward,” Equinix CIO Milind Wagle says. “Stopping commitments would be the wrong thing for CIOs to do.”
In fact, when the pandemic ends, there will be a massive need to spend. IT leaders should get themselves ready and have the plan in hand to capture the opportunity.
Face-to-face interaction is relatively expensive as a result of social distancing, which drives higher demand for virtual interaction. Switching back and forth between remote work and in-office work may become a long term trend since it facilities employee mobility in normal time. Not surprisingly, the rising of virtual interaction imposes more security threats such as social engineering. From tools, support to security, increasing virtual interaction would shift the spending budget to IT.
COVID-19 has boosted remote work unprecedentedly. The longer the pandemic lasts, the higher chance organizations get used to remote workforce. If not the entire organization, IT is a good starting point for a hybrid team consisting of both in-office and remote employees regularly in order to limit negative impact to IT support during any crisis. The enabling of remote work requires tunings on infrastructure, hardware, software as well as staff training.
“Robots can very successfully augment human activities,” says Julie Carpenter, a roboticist and research fellow at the Ethics and Emerging Sciences Group at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, “They can do the labor we don't want to do or can't do, and are especially successful at carrying out tasks that we consider repetitive, boring, or dangerous.” Although humans can’t be replaced in many areas such as work in cultural contexts, automation allows employees to focus on the areas that need them to contribute the most. Automated workflow and process is a proven strategy to stay competitive all-weather, which was worth a scale-up when the budget unfreezed after the crisis.
At Resolve Technology, we believe deeply in digital transformation. We leverage the latest technology with automation in mind and build services around. Tell us your situation, we will help you through the entire digital transformation process.