How to Digitize Your Business and Stay Afloat During the COVID-19 Crisis
At present, COVID-19 has affected all aspects of our lives. Suddenly, people all around the world have become confined to the walls of their own living spaces. Businesses have been adversely affected as economies worldwide have virtually shut down, forcing governments to provide financial assistance to nearly everyone. It’s a true challenge for enterprises to survive when your entire staff works remotely; if it’s possible, of course. That makes digital transformation vital for all industries, all over the globe, because it's almost the only way to keep going and stay competitive. Now the world is rethinking how to manage all the activities associated with work: education, entertainment, healthcare, fitness, technology, conferences, meetings, etc.
So, if you want to withstand the crisis and minimize losses, then it’s better to be proactive instead of waiting for everything to return to normalcy. In this article, you’ll get insights into the ways in which you can digitize your organization and stay afloat in order to keep it moving forward during the crisis.
Digital Transformation during COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 quarantine has dramatically changed the way business is conducted. Some companies have stopped working entirely while others have reorganized their business model and are forging ahead with minimal to no losses. This is attributed to the use of high technologies, and with it, companies will lead the competition and the market.
While the negative impacts of the lockdown on enterprises are obvious, on the bright side, businesses have been forced to become highly flexible. The crisis has made them evolve at a head-spinning pace. As of today, the top 3 positive impacts of the pandemic on enterprises are:
1. Embracing remote work
While some business leaders may have previously treated remote work as mostly an attribute of a disruptive startup environment, the lockdown has made teleworking mandatory and crucial to staying in business. Companies have been forced to learn remote collaboration tools as well as the intricacies of remote teamwork and remote team management in order to support their core processes and operations.
2. Recognizing the value of digital transformation throughout all the organization’s facets
The lockdown has made everyone highly dependent on technology, and the need for digital transformation has all of a sudden become evident. Moreover, the tech skills are no longer treated as the prerogative of the select few, as the lockdown has urged everyone to learn new tools and improve IT literacy.
3. Shifting towards online marketing and business development
The lockdown and the restriction it has imposed have made online marketing and business development the only viable option. On top of that, marketers have been compelled to learn sophisticated online advertising and marketing tools and adopt innovative approaches to stay in business.
Most importantly, though, the lockdown has brought about a major mindset shift. The business owners and executives, that have been resistant to innovations, began to view digital transformation as a key to emerging from the COVID-19 crisis as winners.
Let’s examine how the pandemic COVID-19 virus has affected various industries and explore ways you can digitize your business.
The first uses of telemedicine occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Though it was almost a century ago, the solution started to evolve only in the last 5 years or so. Before the coronavirus outbreak, lots of healthcare applications had already appeared on the market. However, the solution wasn’t in high demand until now.
Today, it’s crucial to limit human-to-human contact. Yet, many people need medical help and/or consultation. The COVID-19 crisis takes telemedicine to a new level and expands the horizons of how this technology can be implemented. Healthcare apps are in high demand due to the fact that people can receive consultation 24/7, analyze their symptoms, and find out if it’s critical to see a doctor: and that’s all without a human physically involved in the process. It’s expected that the medical industry will be forced to digitize, and thus the core of the industry will be reshaped.
Remote work for almost everyone
According to the research done by Workhuman, just a third of American employees had worked remotely before the pandemic. Currently, this figure is much higher: Google, Twitter, JPMorgan, and other enterprises have encouraged their office workers to stay home and work remotely as a preventative measure to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
In the midst of the quarantine, Zoom, Google, Microsoft, LogMeIn, and lots of other large companies that offer remote conferencing services rolled out their tools for free usage and extended trial periods. It’s bound to help businesses adapt to the current environment and survive. Aside from the aforementioned, there are lots of other remote collaboration tools available to help enterprises function normally and effectively.
Yet, large numbers of companies and organizations still lack the tech facilities to provide their employees with the capability to work from home. The COVID-19 outbreak highlights the importance of integrating high technologies into businesses to offer the ability to work remotely. Also, such an experience will give businesses a better understanding of the challenges associated with accommodating work-from-home demands.
E-Learning had been growing rapidly even before the coronavirus pandemic. Many educational institutions already successfully use some learning management systems (LMSs). The research that had been conducted by Forbes prior to the current pandemic estimated that the value of the e-learning market was set to reach $325 billion in 2025. The technology has a wide range of benefits to offer. However, in the context of the quarantine, and with the closure of schools, universities, and colleges, the biggest advantage is accessibility. Thus, e-learning has, nearly overnight, become essential for millions of students.
Today, traditional offline businesses that offer courses risk falling through the cracks if they fail to quickly pivot and provide instruction via an LMS. Thanks to e-learning apps, there is no need to come to a physical class to attend lectures, complete and check homework, etc. That’s why the development of educational apps for such companies is the only way forward; not only to stay afloat and competitive but survive.
The global 2020 quarantine has made in-person meetings dangerous and insensible. Presently, you won’t surprise anyone by holding webinars or collaborating via video calls. But what about the big events like Mobile World Congress that had to be canceled? Thanks to modern solutions, events such as Google Cloud Next ’20, has been transformed to Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect, as a multi-day virtual event.
The quarantine has affected not only business meetings, conferences and summits, but has changed the way people rest and entertain themselves. People can use the digital tools available to them for maintaining some semblance of normality. Virtual museum trips, concerts, and even orchestras are available online. It extends the boundaries of developing new applications or improving the existing solutions to meet the users’ demands.
You shouldn’t panic, it’s better to adapt and start acting. Digital transformation has already reshaped a lot of industries and the COVID-19 2020 pandemic has just hastened the process. Due to the high-technologies like AI, chatbots, VR, and e-learning, as well as different team collaboration tools, businesses can stay afloat even during the coronavirus crisis. Losses are unavoidable. Yet, you can minimize them by implementing the available cutting edge solutions.