Digital Transformation

10 Ways Lockdown is Reshaping The Digital Transformation Agenda

Written by Emily Pipkin

The ‘new normal’ has rapidly reshaped the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of digital transformation agendas – for the better. Amid dramatic disruption, organisations are learning (in some cases forced) to improve their business operations. In order to meet changing business and market requirements, the digital reformation of business to create new or modify existing technology, processes, culture and customer experiences has been a requirement.

With lockdown said to be the catalyst for digital acceleration and sustainability, we’ve identified 10 key ways lockdown has reshaped the digital transformation agenda:
  1. Delivering the new, distributed workforce - Today, with a vast portion of the workforce now remote, employee experience of digital technology has gone from “nice to have” to “the only way work gets done. Consequently, it's getting the problem-solving focus it likely long deserved.
  2. Lit the fuse! - Lockdown is the compelling business event that has put a rocket under Digital Transformation and accelerated it – at the very least, the workforce mobilisation component.
  3. Shaken-up the agenda – Workforce mobility has long-been a staple of digital transformation along with collaboration but sometimes these played second-fiddle to other outcomes such as business analytics. This was all reprioritised in March 2020 following the first lockdown.
  4. Security beyond borders – Whilst more of a critical success factor than a specific outcome, security is part of every digital transformation programme, but now with an organisation’s connectivity being delivered over open public and home networks; innate security, authentication and malware protection are paramount. With the mobilisation of the workforce, keeping an organisation and its customer’s data secure is paramount now that it is no longer hosted onsite.
  5. Collaboration is key – Organisations have been forced to distribute processes and communications, which relied on proximity and face-to-face contact, over to remote collaboration tools. The technology, working practices and culture to thrive in this medium have become business-critical!
  6. Customer value first – Most profoundly, lockdown has brought an organisation’s purpose back into sharp focus as the C-suite strive to preserve their internal value creation and ability to externalise this value to customers – in short, they’ve had to reconnect with their mission, reshape it but preserve its integrity over a new lockdown landscape and distributed workforce.
  7. Get it online – Our collective experience of lockdown has accelerated the consumerisation of B2B services. With Amazon becoming the industry-standard for all demographics, including previous technophobes rooted in bricks and mortar. This has skewed our preference for procuring goods and services, making ‘contractuals’ and commercials seem overwrought and time-consuming, at least for straight-forward services and utilities.
  8. Trust the team – Old-world management by scanning a busy-looking office was somewhat lazy whilst not being a particularly good indicator of productivity or success. Lockdown’s pace of change has forced previously sceptical managers and leaders to take that most important and profound change paramount to digital transformation which is to trust accept and drive it from a new culture. Leadership of remote teams and management by objectives, whilst driving cultural change, have become the key skills for organisations wanting to embed the change of their digital transformation projects.
  9. Digital is data – Whilst the cultural and behavioural change are the most profound drivers for transformation, lockdown has highlighted the reliance on IT to capture, analyse, secure and share data. The right IT services, capacity, management and security are the platform on which digital transformation are delivered.
  10. Accelerated cloud computing - The Cloud provides the flexibility and scalability needed to respond in an agile way to business changes – including the major upsurge (or downturn) experienced in demand by businesses during lockdown. Hybrid cloud will remained the path for many organisations to deliver their data platform as they realised no single platform (DC / Private / Public) provides a ‘one size fits all solution’.

    Lockdown has called attention to our reliance on technology – end-user equipment, collaboration and communication software as well as core application infrastructure, with the ability to burst to the cloud and reach globally through the internet. Our UK mid-market customers rely on SysGroup to design, run and support their digital business platforms at the heart of their transformation programmes.

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