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In the past few weeks, the world has changed — impacting priorities on a personal and business level. As organizations face a new reality with COVID-19, business leaders will need to revisit their digital transformation strategy in order to adapt. 

These changes aren’t limited to businesses. Rather, they are impacting employees, partners, and customers as well. In just the last week, my own family’s lifestyle has changed drastically:

  • Online grocery shopping: We now shop online for groceries, even if that means paying extra for delivery.
  • Virtual learning: From academics to guitar classes, my son’s learning has shifted to online classes.
  • Telehealth: Our doctor visits are now through video conferencing, and we get home delivery of prescription medicines too.
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Let’s have a look at why digital transformation is ever more relevant and how it can help us adapt to the new normal.

Organizations and people are adapting to a new normal

With social distancing as a new norm, the way business and people operate has changed rapidly:

  • Remote workforces: Organizations have had to manage a completely remote workforce while supporting employees productive with this transition. 
  • Seamless digital experiences: Whether for shopping or banking, customers need to have a fully digital experience that meets their needs.
  • Remote call centers: Thousands of call centers have adapted to operate remotely almost overnight.
  • New social norms: Home food delivery and video conferencing with friends and family is the new normal. 

While some of these changes were happening before, the evolving situation with COVID-19 has challenged us to accelerate changes to our mindsets and lifestyles.  

These changes mean that digital transformation is not just a differentiator; it is crucial to helping organizations adapt quickly to an unprecedented new paradigm.

What does this mean for transformation initiatives?

Expectations are changing — from customers to employees, to students, and patients. Organizations need to rethink and redefine what customer experiences look like in our new world.

Pausing digital transformation would leave organizations unprepared for continuously changing norms. In order to adapt to change and persevere, organizations must embrace digital transformation:

  • Scale for new demand: Industries such as telecommunications need to scale address spikes in demand while preparing for demand for connectivity and network bandwidth.
  • Spin up new online services: The banking industry may need to initiate new services, such as an online fast-track loan system that digitally validates the identity of applicants. 

Organizations can adapt to the changing landscape by revisiting their priorities based on current needs. 

As organizations lead through change, it is increasingly critical to invest in digital transformation to stay connected with communities and turn concepts into action. 

How can digital transformation initiatives pivot?

In the past, a digital transformation strategy could include anything from legacy modernization to a cloud strategy, or even handing out smartphones to employees. However, digital transformation is more far-reaching — it involves a cultural change within an organization from all levels of employees for successful implementation.

While business continuity remains important, organizations should also have an eye on the future to adapt to disruptions. Here are a few ways that organizations can plan to be more resilient and agile:

  • Enhance the customer experience with an API-led approach: With an API-led approach to connectivity, organizations can expose capabilities and data to the wider ecosystem and leverage it to enhance customer experiences. 
  • Empower your remote workforce: Make data and capabilities available to remote employees securely using APIs, thus ensuring that customers will receive the same level of positive customer service as they would otherwise.
  • Innovate faster with integration: Get ahead of disruption with an integration strategy to increase speed and agility, today and for the future. Companies can be more resilient and efficient by being able to connect data from any system, while also improving customer experiences. 
  • Incorporate digital transformation into your business continuity plans: While most IT leaders have well-defined disaster recovery plans, it’s important to ensure that digital transformation is represented in order to help adapt quickly and navigate change. 

Lead the way to transform for good

We are seeing technology and organizations come together for the greater good, be it tracking the pandemic’s scale on a global level through analytics and modeling, enabling loved ones to stay in touch with video conferencing, or keeping our most vulnerable populations fed with online deliveries. 

Disruptions may appear suddenly, but having a future-proof digital transformation strategy can help companies remain agile and resilient while accelerating future growth.

For more insights on how to navigate change, visit our COVID-19 resources hub