What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About the Importance of Digital Transformation in Business
The Corona Virus (COVID-19) has taught us many hard lessons, not the least of which is the importance of being prepared, the importance of anticipating what may be just around the corner, and the importance of being able to theorize, hypothesize and predict. All of these skills are amply supplied by data scientists and analysts. But, in today’s world, it is crucial to prepare and educate the average business team member to improve data literacy and engage in digital transformation (Dx). As the idea of data popularity becomes more mainstream, and team members and industries embrace data sharing and fact-based decision making, our understanding of looming issues, collaborative possibilities and possible solutions to address these issues will improve and so will our response time and efficacy.
There is nothing like a global crisis to incite panic but, when you are facing large, multi-faceted issues, it is important to work in an environment that is prepared to provide the data and the views you need to address the issues you face. In businesses and government agencies where Digital Transformation (Dx) is ongoing, the business has a much better foundation for understanding financial and geo-political issues, security problems, weather-related emergencies and delays and the effects of these problems on stakeholders and supply chain. Data, analytics and an agile Dx workflow and environment weighs heavily on success in these instances.
As long as we are using COVID-19 as an example of a complex issue that requires rapid response, the ability to plan in an uncertain future and the need to work with facts to ensure appropriate action, let’s dive into this issue in a bit more detail. As we work through this example, consider your most crucial business issues, the changing market in which you compete and your need for timely, accurate data. You will find the comparisons to be thought provoking!
A recent survey revealed that:
- Nearly 50% of businesses are using data analytics more now than they did before the pandemic. They use the data to plan and address issues of revenue decline, resources issues etc.
- Small businesses (those with 200 or fewer employees) are using analytics and data even more than large enterprises. This is not really surprising, since small businesses have less fat to cut and are at more risk of losing customers and team members during this crisis.
- Over 60% are using analytics in operations, 50% are using it for sales, over 40% are using it in product support and over 55% are using it in financial support.
- Over 50% of all companies are using data to improve efficiency and address resources and workflow issues.
- Over 60% of all companies are increasing or maintaining their data analysis budget. That might surprise you, but it shouldn’t. There is nothing more motivating than a global crisis and, in the case of ongoing business management, there is nothing more motivating than dramatic changes in the market or in customer response to products and services.
Investing in Digital Transformation, technology infrastructure, systems, software and user data literacy ensures that the business is working with up-to-date, accessible systems and tools that are easy for team members to embrace so every team member is empowered and accountable for data-driven decisions and recommendations. When a crisis hits, e.g., cyber-attack, significant market shift or competitive initiative, OR loss of customers or revenue to an economic downturn or a global pandemic, a business must have the tools, processes and technology in place to respond with agility and speed. During such a crisis, there is no time to implement changes that will take months or years to execute.
So, what have we learned from COVID-19? A lot. But, perhaps the most critical lesson for businesses trying to survive or emerge from this pandemic is that digital transformation and improved data literacy are initiatives for NOW. If your business wants to be prepared to address the lingering after effects and permanent market changes that will result from this pandemic, the time to implement digital transformation (Dx) and data literacy initiatives is NOW!
If your business is trying to survive and thrive during these significant market and business shifts, it must build a cohesive, stable foundation to help the business succeed and thrive in uncertain times. For more information about Digital Transformation explore our white papers: ‘Understanding Digital Transformation: What it Is, What it is Not’, ‘Preparing Your Business for Digital Transformation and Data Literacy.’