admin September 9, 2022
The global Covid-19 pandemic has forever changed how and where we work. The workplace is now a vastly different landscape compared to the pre-pandemic era. Due to health regulations and government mandates, companies have embraced the overwhelming pivot towards remote work and the more technologically driven initiatives that could hasten the digital transformation of the workplace.
More and more companies are recognizing the importance of digital transformation to help future-proof their organizations. According to Research & Markets (2020) the global digital transformation market is projected to grow from $469.8 billion in 2020 to $1,009.8 billion by 2025.
Defining Digital Transformation
Digital transformation employs digital technology to build new business processes, culture, and consumer experiences. It’s about redesigning business strategies using emerging technology to suit the digital age.
Digital transformation is when an organization integrates digital technology into the various areas and systems of the company. It changes how the organization operates internally and how it interacts with the product or service provided. Additionally, it changes the cultural foundations of the organization by improving past practices, challenging the status quo, and by experimenting to enhance the overall systems of the company.
That is why it is called digital transformation because it requires more than just getting the right digital software. It requires the organization to transform itself at a fundamental level to increase efficiency and productivity.
Digital Transformation Caused by the Covid–19 Pandemic.
From the traditional face-to-face office setups to the pandemic era’s entirely remote work setup, the workplace is always continuously evolving. Even now, as health mandates are being relaxed and employees are returning to corporate offices, the workplace is now increasingly utilizing the hybrid setup for workers.
For the past few years, technology has already become increasingly integrated into the workplace. Companies were embracing digital transformation to improve customer engagement, allow workplace flexibility, and provide faster work processes. . However, the global Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent health protocols have accelerated the process of digital transformation for every industry. This shift towards digital operations has greatly changed the landscape of the workplace.
The Fondness for Remote Work
The most immediate and significant impact of the pandemic on the digital transformation of the workplace is the shift to remote or hybrid work. According to Globalization Partners, only 12% of organizations before the pandemic actually supported remote work arrangements. However, this figure rose to 75% during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the world moves forward and away from pandemic health restrictions, there is still a strong demand for more flexible forms of working. For many workers, the experience of working from home was enjoyable, so they are not rushing to go back to traditional workspaces. In fact, a Gallup poll found that two out of three workers that had experienced remote work would like to continue to work from home.
Remote work has some benefits over returning to corporate offices. According to an Indeed Survey, 57% of remote workers think they are more productive when they work from home. However, companies are still reluctant to fully embrace remote working now that health restrictions are slackening.
Hybrid Work Setup
With the reluctance of employees to return to traditional face-to-face offices and with the reluctance of companies for full remote work setups, hybrid working has come up as a compromise to be the best of both worlds.
According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 66% of companies around the world are redesigning their workplaces to accommodate hybrid work setups. Hybrid work setups would provide autonomy and choice for employees. It can be good for employee productivity and motivation, where they can combine time at home for a more focused and independent workload while using the time in the office for collaboration and connection with their colleagues.
Increased Acceptance and Demand for Video Conferencing
Digital Transformation has taken another leap in the form of video conferencing platforms like MS Teams, Zoom, and Google-meet, where they have become a constant and ever-growing part of workplaces. In the past, video conferences and meetings were uncommon. However, due to the pandemic video calls have become an accepted part of everyday corporate life. These video conferencing platforms facilitate remote and hybrid working, allowing employees to still collaborate and work as a team even if they are far away from each other. There are no signs that these platforms are going away, especially with the continued use of hybrid work setups in the future.
Greater Awareness for Cybersecurity
Digital Transformation brings with it great benefits of interconnectedness and data management, but it also brings risks from cyber threats and hacking. Due to the significant increase of employees working remotely, there has also been an increase in cyber threats and attacks. Companies and employees that constantly use digital systems are tempting targets for any cyber criminals. With it comes the business leaders increasingly growing concerned about cybersecurity risks and the security challenges they face.
Remote working and hybrid working will drive the need for higher levels of cybersecurity development. Increasing the level of awareness and protection against cybercrimes for companies seeking digital transformation. The growing demand for cybersecurity will have a major impact on digital transformation and technology investment.
Increased Investment in Digital Transformation
The Covid-19 pandemic forced organizations to accelerate their plans and increase their investments in digital transformation. With workers forced to work from home, companies had to invest substantial amounts of money and resources to support their new work arrangements. This shift has shown companies the importance of digital transformation. In fact, a 2020 study by McKinsey has found that 38% of executives plan to increase their investments in digital transformation and technological innovation to gain an advantage over their competitors.
Benefits of Digital Transformation
More and more companies are now seeing the value of digital transformation, and its increased rate of acceptance and integration has brought about a variety of benefits for organizations in all industries.
1. Higher Work Efficiency
One of the greatest benefits of transitioning to digital systems is the drastic increase in your organization’s work efficiency. It improves how workers communicate among team members or even between different departments. It allows for the continuous and instantaneous transfer of data across the entire organization. This can save valuable time, cost, and resources for any company.
The integration of a digital system will also increase the transparency of current processes, which would help in identifying both the obsolete and best practices of the organization. This would allow for a better work process within the company. In fact, a Deloitte (2020) study found that the integration of digital technologies can help accelerate progress towards company goals by 22%.
2. Saves Costs and Increases Revenue
Some organizations waste a vast amount of time, money, and resources to simply maintain old or obsolete systems and products. As such, a digital transformation of a company’s systems could not just save a lot of initial cash and resources, but it could also save a lot of time and money once the new and more efficient digital systems are in place. The right digital software would allow for plenty of opportunities to save costs in the general operations of the company.
The minimizing of company expenses and the increased work efficiency would naturally lead towards a growth in revenues. Maximizing improvement opportunities through the identification of flaws within current work processes is vital for the success and profitability of a company.
3. Increases Employee Engagement
A good management software would increase your organization’s chances of attracting and retaining skilled workers. This digital system within the organization would provide proper oversight for employees to ensure that they are properly equipped and trained, that workload is properly distributed, and that everyone is working towards the same company goals.
Digital systems can also greatly improve the overall work experience for employees. It could make an employee’s job efficient, straightforward, and intuitive, thereby lessening his overall workload and stress levels. You are setting up success for your current and future employees by equipping them with efficient, transparent, and productive digital systems. This will assist employees in staying organized and in improving the value of their output, while also providing more productive and enjoyable work.
4. Enhances Customer Experience
Modern Customers have modern consumer habits. The prevalence of the internet, mobile devices, machine learning, and more have allowed customers to get what they want almost instantaneously. Customers expect companies and services to be easily accessible through the internet. This expectation is so common and prevalent that it would diminish customer experiences if an organization does not provide digital systems for the customer to interact with.
Additionally, the right digital system that is integrated into your customer ordering platform would allow customers to view your products and services at their convenience thereby simplifying the purchasing process. This would allow for more sales and profits, which is why 40% of respondent companies in an HBR survey say customer experience is their top priority for digital transformation.
5. Allows for Flexibility
Digital transformation makes companies more flexible. Adaptability is the key to future-proofing your organization. Utilizing various software and digital systems can greatly increase a company’s agility and flexibility by improving overall efficiency and fostering continuous improvement strategies. This promotes innovation and faster adaptation to any industry changes.
Brenan, M. (2020) COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Update, Gallup,https://news.gallup.com/poll/321800/covid-remote-work-update.aspx
Globalization Partners (2021) the 2021 Global Employee Survey, Global Partners, https://www.globalization-partners.com/blog/2021-global-employee-survey/
Gurumurthy, R., Schatsky, D., & Camhi, J. (2020). Uncovering the connection between digital maturity and financial performance, https://www.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/digital-transformation/digital-transformation-survey.html
Harvard Business Review (2020) WINNERS AND LOSERS IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY, Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/microsoft/Competingin2020.pdf
Microsoft Work Trend Index (2021) The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work, Microsoft, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/work-trend-index/hybrid-work
Research & Markets (2020) The World’s Digital Transformation Industry 2020-2025: Trends, Opportunities and Competitive Landscape, GlobeNewswire, https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/08/14/2078517/0/en/The-World-s-Digital-Transformation-Industry-2020-2025-Trends-Opportunities-and-Competitive-Landscape.html
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