Written by Natalia Kawana
Covid-19 and the rush towards digital transformation
What coronavirus has taught us
We are halfway through 2020, and as we all know, Covid-19 has transformed all our life spheres. Our response to the Covid crisis had to consider not only health-related concerns, but also, how to balance the need for measures such as partial or total lockdowns and social distancing with the need to keep the economy running and businesses working. One of the most obvious lessons learnt was that digital transformation is no longer an option, but a necessity. Here we will see how the phenomenon has rocked even the most conservative workplaces and what to do to thrive in the digital sphere, even during challenging times.
Many businesses, small, medium and large alike, have intensified their use of technology, to buy, sell and interact with prospects, customers and internally with/ among employees, enhancing the use of different software such as conferencing platforms, e-commerce solutions, enterprise software (ERP, CRM). In fact, numbers confirm a growing interest for online purchases: In Italy, the first Western country to go on lockdown, online sales grew by 90% in February and March 2020 if compared to the same period in 2019 (Statista). The same trends can be observed elsewhere: “there’s been a 129% year-over-year growth in U.S. & Canadian e-commerce orders as of April 21 and an impressive 146% growth in all online retail orders (Forbes)”.
The need for technology and diverse kinds of software has increased markedly not only for companies selling physical products, but also for large corporations who now have hundreds, if not thousand, of employees working from home, who need more and more digital tools to perform their job. Even schools and universities are now resorting to new technologies, as their students cannot attend face-to-face lessons. As a result, all sorts of in-person meetings have been replaced by Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, to name only a few.
And apart from reduced in-person interactions, we also have fewer and fewer physical documents going from one place to the other, and more virtual transactions taking place in all realms. To confirm this general trend towards the acceleration of digitalization, we can look into an managerial opinion poll, where “58% [of people polled] expect to either “significantly” or “moderately” increase their annual technology budgets right now […], while 73% of IT operations and DevOps teams expect to either accelerate or maintain digital transformation spending through the global pandemic” (ZD net). And we will soon enough have other figures to confirm this trend.
If there was a lot of talking about Digital Transformation before coronavirus, it now became a matter of survival.
Is that all?
This would all be great: more digital resources and transactions are often considered key to optimizing time and resources. Without proper analysis, one could say that we’re now at a unique momentum towards digital transformation, aiming at a higher company efficiency and transaction speed. But as was the case before, this is not enough. Here, we will consider five points to watch out for in this momentum.
- User satisfaction via digitalisation: Technology users, be they employees or customers, should be considered and empowered to use the new digital resources, otherwise this digital rush will take place at the expense of user satisfaction;
- Cost savings in times of uncertainty: Covid-19 underlined the urgency of adopting digital resources, but it also brought budget constraints, meaning there is often less time and resources available for training and for onboarding users on the digital sphere;
- Working from home and social distancing request digital tools: Even when there are time and resources available for training and support, working from home and social distancing make it harder for digital users to attend courses or learn from colleagues;
- Usability vs. fast digital adoption: Rushing into adopting digital resources may make companies develop/ adopt digital platforms without due attention to usability;
- Digitalization becomes business crucial: Never before has Digital Transformation been so crucial for business continuity, so mistakes here have become more expensive for companies.
We cannot afford to fail!
As we see, in this period of a somewhat forced and rushed digitalization, digital adoption became a crucial matter, the one factor that can guarantee a company’s survival and future success, as well as its promptness to respond to future crises. To make users efficiently and gladly adopt diverse software and platforms, we suggest adding a Digital Adoption Solution or Platform (DAS or DAP), such as Newired, to your systems. A DAS or DAP will empower users to learn even when they have no trainer present, making sure they know what to do and where to go, even when it’s their first time on a given platform. With them, you can add step-by-step tutorials, tooltips, images, videos, interactive questions… plenty of new and cool elements to help you manage the new contemporary challenges! See how they address the considerations presented above:
- A good way to mind your users is to add a guidance layer over your platforms, which will guide your users on the platform interface and step-by-step through processes. A DAS/DAP allows you to easily put that in place;
- A DAS/DAP allows you to place this guidance layer over virtually any web-based software rather quickly. It is simple and highly scalable. Also, it is a very modest investment which will bring important benefits to your company: a long-term resource which can be used to support new and more experienced employees/ customers over diverse software, and in the long term, contribute to generate savings in these two areas;
- DAS/DAPs help companies manage all the software training and support they offer to their users directly on the platforms. So there is a reduced need for face-to-face meetings or training sessions;
- With a DAS/DAP, you can quickly put in place tooltips, warnings and bubbles with useful resources to help your users, considerably improving the usability of your platforms;
- DAS/DAP are a proven way to boost software adoption and, at the same time, guarantee user satisfaction, minimizing the risk of digital transformation failure.
As a result of adding a DAS/DAP, you will see more independent and satisfied employees and customers, a higher ROI on your digital resources (especially if we’re talking about enterprise software) and revenues for your business (in case you have, for instance, an e-commerce in place). We can safely say that this is the best momentum to implement a DAS/ DAP, which will allow you to manage rollouts and training even remotely, and will plant seeds for future initiatives. The right time is now!
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