COVID-19 is shaping digital innovation in nearly every business sector. As business owners have seen predictable markets turned on their heads, they’ve started to reassess their long term plans – and quickly. Technology and innovation projects that may have once been dropped into the “too hard” or “not necessary” baskets are now vital to the futures of many businesses.
Transformation projects can seem daunting, but nearly every business, large or small, is capable of adopting digital solutions to improve business function and efficiency, reach new customers, or develop and offer a better range of products or services.
So, what is digital innovation or transformation?
Digital transformation, at its core, involves the use of technology to change how a business interacts with its customers and employees (4). The intended outcome is to improve internal processes and systems, boost productivity, and enhance the buyer experience. Businesses who can transform and evolve have the ability to improve their customer reach, adapt to changing environments, and can source new opportunities or branches of products and services.
COVID-19 has rapidly accelerated the rate of businesses implementing digital transformation initiatives (3). In fact, recent data has shown that in just 8 weeks we have been pushed to adapt to digital tools and systems, at a rate 5 years earlier than what was already predicted (2). Prior to the pandemic, 70% of companies had a transformation strategy in place, or were at least working on one, however, in a rapidly evolving situation, it’s difficult to consider your company, protect your employees, and still deliver a great experience to customers (3). Now it’s time to plan for recovery, and consider how you can innovate and pivot for the future.
We’re witnessing unprecedented innovation across a number of industries. Doctors now offer telehealth services, brick and mortar businesses have opened ecommerce stores, and schools have adopted online learning systems. Organisations are making significant internal changes as well, offering remote working to their employees, and leaning into technology and cloud-based services they may have previously disregarded. These changes already have businesses reconsidering their current models, and you can see why.
Innovation is important now, more than ever
The business landscape has changed. While the crisis has created many hardships and difficult times, it has also created space for new, innovative ideas. COVID-19 has been a wake up call for many businesses who have focused on daily operational needs at the expense of forward planning and strategic innovation. Businesses who can enact digital transformations will become more resilient and well-rounded. While these digital products or infrastructures were previously a luxury, they are now a business necessity.
However, it’s easy to get lost in transformation initiatives, while forgetting your core focus and mission behind your brand and business. It’s important to consider the current landscape before launching into product or service implementation. Take the car industry as an example. The shift to driverless cars is one of the most predicted events of our time. While many companies were working to bring the vision of many to life, these projects have halted to an abrupt stop (1). Considering new changes in human behaviour, BMW, Ford, and General Motors have all expressed concern over creating a car of this type (1). The reality is, this change in consumer behaviour has caused companies and industries to rethink their new product lines and future predictions.
It’s crucial to approach your transformation and innovation with the customer in mind. Will they see value in your offering? Does it serve a need or solve a problem? And, will it meet your business goals?
Read on to learn more about how you can implement digital innovation into your business: https://gipps.tech/blog/digital-innovation-has-pushed-us-into-the-future-fast
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