The COVID 19 global pandemic has disrupted business greatly all over the world. The business landscape has experienced a rapid change over the past few years. The emergence of the technology supporting key elements such as global connectivity and accessibility, unmatched processing power, unlimited storage capacity and lower cost on technology production has supported the changing business environment greatly.
Technology development and adoption have accelerated greatly as new rules of lockdown, and social distancing barred people from going to their offices in the daily routine. Business is now using new rules to engage with the customers, develop and market products and services and deliver to the customers. Business operations have been changed, methods of revenue generation also changed abruptly. The digital economy has become the new normal.
New Business Landscape
The global business landscape changed this year with the spread and prevalence of the coronavirus pandemic. The health guidelines and the restricted movements of people led to the greatest digital adoption in just a year which was never expected before. Active customers and business consumers went into lockdown and started using the technology at such a greater extent. E-commerce website gained greater traffic and used to deliver products and services as the world went into the global lockdown.
The consumers also prioritized the majorly on essential purchases such as healthcare and grocery products. The non-essential products were rarely purchased in the lockdown. This helped the business to understand consumer priorities and shape their activities as per the current needs.
Remote Work Environment
The business has to keep running as the massive shift of the “work from home” disrupted the business processes. Some of the companies were prepared for such a shift as many of them had operated under the premise that the physical presence was the only primary working model.
Some of the business had to quickly upskill its working forces to continue its productivity and business processes. Moreover, a communication gap was observed between the leaders and the teams. This was a challenging situation as the leaders had to manage huge teams which were located at remote locations. The traditional business and organizational structures were dismantled as the teams were forced to engage quickly with the collaborative platforms across the organizational functions.
Change in the working style and digital adoption can be permanent due to the external shifts in the digital environment. People have also realized that digital adoption has developed convenient and new ways to work and interact with businesses. It is anticipated that such a shift to the digital platform is permanent.
Digital transformation is getting converted into a strategic business transformation. Digital solutions are being adopted to maintain a competitive position for the businesses in the market.
Here are some of the three practical steps that the companies can take to accelerate digital transformation to meet the “next to normal” business landscape.
Seek Digital Maturity
Identify your current position on the digital forefront to know where you want to go in the future. The evaluation can be said as the health check-up of your company. It will help you to access the strengths, pain points, weaknesses, and the barriers that you can face when your business go through digital transformation.
The auditing process of the business will cover the business elements: developing the market trends, current technology landscape in the organization, and the capabilities, skills, and the offerings of the company.
All these areas can be assessed with the help of an internal task force or a small cross-functional team. This team will conduct research and collect insights on all these critical business areas. It is important to consider important elements when developing trends are assessed. These include changing customer preferences and behaviour, emerging technologies and business potential and its impacts on the organization, and the rapidly changing competitive landscape in the industry.
So much work can drown the research and development team into insights. It is thus important that the assessment team must conduct a rapid scan of the different market and business trends before they deep dive into the selected business areas. Once the assessment task is complete, the team must focus on the matching trends or the potential opportunities in the market.
Customer Journey Analysis
It is recommended to carry out an analysis of the customer journey. This will help to identify the breaks in the touchpoints as well as the interactions that might impact the customer experience with your business. It is also important that you focus on identifying the moments of truth during the customer journey where your company could create some lasting impressions.
The “Moments of Truth” here are defined as the moments when the customer communicates with your company, service, or the product to develop a change an impression about your company. The communication with the customer must be taken as an opportunity to build stronger relationships.
Social medial platforms and channels play important in getting engaged with the customers. The best way is to use AI-based chat-bots and virtual assistants who are some of the smartest and cost-effective ways to develop customer relationships.
Pivot the Business Model through Technology
A completely new range of business models has emerged due to the widespread use of digital technologies. For instance, Netflix completely redefined the way in which the viewers consumes its services. Where all the other movie platforms suffered massive losses, Netflix experienced huge benefits during the lockdown die to its online movie streaming services. Its model of paid subscriptions proved to be more sustainable as compared to some of the newest movie streaming businesses such as Quibi.
It is thus important for businesses to find new and innovative ways to survive and thrive in the next normal business environment. It is important that the businesses explore and identify their strengths and capabilities and matches them to the emerging market needs to find out the pivot areas that can generate new revenue opportunities. It is vital that the new pivots are aligned to the long term goals of the business and will contribute to the overall business growth.
As the COVID 19 induced the next normal business landscape, a business must get themselves ready for the next tide. The consumer trends have changed inducing a completely new business model. Digital solutions can create and generate a competitive advantage and drive sustainable results.
It is thus important to focus on the right initiatives considering the limited investments, resources, and time which are available to most of the companies. The current business environment is challenging and will further become more complicated in the coming future. It is thus important for the small and medium-sized business owners to explore the possible opportunities and make the best use of them to achieve success.
Source – Forbes