Digital transformation and COVID-19

Inevitably, in any discussion about technological trends, the term digital transformation pops up, as companies discuss efforts to take advantage of new paradigms within business, technology, and culture. Digital transformation refers to integrating digital technology into all business areas, fundamentally changing how the company operates and delivers value to customers. Such changes are typically undertaken to pursue new business models and new revenue streams, driven by changes in customer expectations around products, services, or business environments.

For the local provider of business connectivity services, Digicel Business, the need for digital transformation has never before been so urgent. Firms that fail to transform are at risk of being left behind, or will likely disappear from their respective markets.

Examples of digital transformation in SMEs:

•Restaurants offering online ordering to allow customers to place orders easily, and receive via kerbside pickup or home delivery services.

•Supermarkets offering online purchasing and delivery of grocery items.

•Gyms live streaming exercise classes and home workout plans.

•Sporting disciplines hosting virtual fitness challenges to encourage customers and fans to stay active while keeping them engaged.

•Hotel chains transitioning their presence from the telephone book to a blend of their websites, “aggregate booking” websites and mobile phones.

Digital transformation can be thought of as an unstoppable forward march of technology, adapting to disruptions that can come from anywhere, at any time. But while most digital technologies can provide possibilities for efficiency gains and customer intimacy, if current organisational practices are flawed, digital transformation will magnify those constraints.

It is essential to recognise that every company will begin from a different starting point. There is no digital transformation framework, playbook, or roadmap that’s universally applicable. Your organisation may need to rethink its existing technology, business processes, and structure. Change is the new constant. Organisations should already be in the habit of continually seeking efficiencies, service improvements and new market opportunities.

Embracing digital transformation must be seen as a long-term strategy, not just a reaction to a specific event. The goal should be a constant state of change-readiness before the market demands it – because the market will require it. Whether your business sells furniture or newspapers, the threat of disruption looms.

Digital transformation is more than just improving network security or retiring your old printer. Your entire organisation has to be on board for the change journey. Every employee needs to understand why change is required, who will lead, how it will be guided and implemented, how their work will change, and how they and the organisation will benefit at the end of the change journey. Successful adoption and utilisation of transformational technology require a shared vision, proactively communicated and supported by an internal coalition of change leaders.

Business leaders who embrace transformation have to be willing to innovate and experiment to outpace rivals who are also adapting. A business that genuinely embraces digital transformation is one that will be agile and flexible in the face of any possible future. Since the start of the pandemic, Digicel Business has been working with new and existing firms to help their organisations complete digital transformations, and address new challenges within the shortest time possible. However, this has only been made possible by adopting an integrated approach involving people, processes, and technology.

Digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have. In the age of COVID-19, it has become imperative for all SMEs to survive and thrive. Understanding what that means and implementing it for your business is the key to competing in the current technology- and customer-driven landscape.

Source: Digicel