Businesses have had to face many challenges in the past few years. The pandemic has been one of the most significant tests for many companies. While people are staying indoors to avoid getting sick, businesses are working hard to keep their digital transformation projects on track. 

 Businesses have had to adapt in ways they never thought possible, from disruptions to the supply chain to a sudden and massive talent drain. Achieving and sustaining digital transformation through these difficult times is an accomplishment that should not be underestimated.

The top 20 digital innovators report captures how digital transformation leaders achieved digital transformation in their respective businesses.

The Impact of Pandemics on Digital Transformation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial influence on businesses worldwide, and firms are still challenged to change.

One of the most significant impacts has been on the supply chain. Many factories have been forced to close due to travel restrictions and the fear of spreading the disease around. This has led to a shortage of goods, which has caused prices to rise.

Another significant impact has been on talent. Companies have had trouble finding qualified workers, with many people staying home and working remotely to avoid getting sick. This has led to a skills shortage and increased competition for talent.

Despite these challenges, many businesses have achieved digital transformation in the face of the pandemic. How have they done it?

How Businesses Succeed in Achieving Digital Transformation

Businesses need a clear vision and strategy for digital transformation to succeed. This implies having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and a method for achieving it. 

Fiona Deans, who was the Director General (at the time of the report was published: she is now the Chief Operating Officer) of the Government Digital Service, said, “When you have to get something done, people make it happen.”

By increasing trust in government during the Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, the Government Digital Service has shown how to lead and succeed in times of digital transformation.

The use of a government-as-a-platform – a collection of digital components designed to minimise duplication and help delivery was used to text citizens through GOV.UK Notify experienced a 700 percent increase in usage and GOV.UK Verify, which verified people’s identities for Universal Credit.

There are several ways for businesses to succeed in their digital transformation goals. Some of which include:

Focusing on Solutions, Not Problems

When times get tough, it is easy to become bogged down by problems. This can lead to paralysis and a lack of progress.

It is essential to focus on solutions, not problems, to achieve digital transformation. This means looking for ways to improve the situation instead of getting stuck in a negative mindset.

This can be difficult, but it is essential for moving forward. Businesses can find creative ways to solve problems and achieve their goals by focusing on solutions.

Embracing Change

One of the defining characteristics of digital transformation is change. Businesses that successfully achieve it embrace change and are willing to adapt their processes and strategies as needed. This is a crucial attribute during a pandemic when so much is uncertain.

As conditions evolve, companies that can quickly adapt will be in a better position to take advantage of new opportunities and mitigate the impact of any disruptions.

Leadership and Culture

Another critical factor for success is strong leadership and an organisational culture that supports change. Leaders must articulate a clear vision for the future and set the tone for how employees should behave.

They must also be willing to make quick decisions when needed and accept that not everything will go according to plan.

Employees need to be open to change and understand that new ways of working may be required to achieve success.

Technology

Technology is another key enabler of digital transformation and organisations must have the right tools to support their goals and strategies.

This includes everything from the systems used to run the business to the applications employees use to do their jobs.

It’s also essential to have a robust cybersecurity posture to protect against attacks that could cripple the organisation.

How to Sustain Digital Transformation in the Face of Pandemics

Once a business has achieved digital transformation, the next challenge is to sustain it. This requires ongoing effort and vigilance as conditions can change quickly.

Fiona Deans explains that it is essential to put the user first, raise your people up, and look after your data to sustain digital transformation.

Putting the User First

It is critical to focus on customers’ needs to maintain the digital transformation. This entails comprehending what consumers want and require and developing procedures and systems that satisfy their demands.

It also means providing excellent customer service and responding quickly to feedback.

Raising Your People Up

A crucial part of sustaining digital transformation is developing the skills of employees. This includes providing training and education to keep up with changing technologies and trends. It also means allowing them to experiment and try new things.

Looking After Your Data

Data is one of the most critical assets an organisation has and it must be protected at all costs.

Data management is a critical component of any digital transformation strategy. It must include policies and procedures for managing and securing data and the tools to monitor and secure it from unauthorised access or theft.

Summary

Digital transformation is a critical goal for businesses in today’s rapidly changing world. To achieve it, companies must focus on solutions, embrace change, have strong leadership and culture, and use the latest technology.

Putting the user first, encouraging your staff, and caring for your data to succeed with digital transformation is essential.

By following these tips, businesses can successfully navigate the challenges of the pandemic and emerge more vital than ever before.