COVID-19 forced the world to take drastic societal changes. Nearly overnight, local and international governments enforced social distancing measures by limiting large gatherings, restricting in-person business operations and encouraging remote work. In response, schools and businesses brainstormed ways to continue their operations online.
Even before the pandemic, technology has always been an important part of the workforce. Businesses used technology to automate processes, engage with customers and allow for some workplace flexibility. However, the spread of COVID-19 accelerated this process and the shutdown of in-person operations forced businesses to look for creative digital solutions so that their organization could function remotely.
Consumers and businesses are used to the new norm of limited (or no) contact services and remote work. At the same time, the world is slowly (but surely) recovering from COVID-19. What will technology look like in a word post-COVID-19?
The Prioritization of Technology
During the pandemic, businesses realized that the introduction of workforce technology need not always be perfect. Despite the challenges, organizations across different industries have adapted to these changes faster than expected.
Research by McKinsey revealed that businesses managed to adopt digital changes 20 to 25 times faster than they expected. What was expected to take a year to implement took an average of fewer than 20 days.
This has driven businesses to realize that operations need not work seamlessly before adoption. Just having a solution that enabled the business to run while obeying health and safety regulations was enough. As a result, more organizations were forced to prioritize investing in technology, which is a trend that will most likely continue in the future.
A “Spring Cleaning” of Technology to Streamline Investments
The sudden and forceful push towards digital transformation has also led to many businesses performing a “spring cleaning” of their current technology investments.
Before the pandemic, businesses only relied upon their technological capabilities occasionally. During the pandemic, the heavy reliance on technology encouraged business leaders to look carefully at their digital investments and how these tools line up with their goals.
Brands will most likely continue examining the software capabilities they invested in. They will check for overlapping investments and costs or redundancies in capabilities. At the same time, they will also brainstorm ways to reduce investments while ensuring their current tools meet the needs of the different departments.
Part of the spring cleaning process is the search for gaps in the services. Look at how the organization runs through your digital services, as well as the challenges they encounter. Try to understand how technology can fill in these gaps to ensure brands will operate seamlessly online.
More Focused Attention on Customer and Employee Experiences on Technology
With many employees working remotely for the duration of the pandemic, businesses were forced to think about employee experience using technology. They couldn’t expect their teams to work with the technology available. Before, employees might have been grateful for any benefit that guarantees workplace flexibility. Now, with many businesses adapting to virtual work, the employee experience directly impacts their satisfaction with their work.
Businesses are already struggling with COVID-related challenges; no one wants to deal with high turnovers due to low employee satisfaction. Instead, it pays to focus on the importance of creating positive digital experiences for the team.
At the same time, businesses have also been forced to focus on how they can help customers engage with them digitally. With more customers choosing to interact with businesses online, leaders must ensure that their customers enjoy a seamless digital experience with their brand.
Greater Investment in Cybersecurity
With more businesses relying heavily on software and technology to provide key services for their customers, keeping their information secure has been a priority.
Currently, an average cybersecurity breach takes less than 300 days to identify and contain, which leaves plenty of time for cybercriminals to compromise computer networks. It can also cost businesses more than $3 million.
During the pandemic, businesses transitioned away from providing support during maintenance tasks towards empowering their remote employees. By educating employees on cybersecurity and providing them with the right tools (such as private VPN), you protect them from cybersecurity attacks and keep your business safe.
Post-Pandemic Digital Transformation
As the world looks forward to the end of COVID-19, many wonder about the future of the changes businesses implemented due to the pandemic. It is likely that many of these changes will stay. Since COVID-19 forced companies to eliminate barriers that once prevented them from adopting digital tools, it’ll be easier for businesses to operate on a remote setup.
There’s also no denying that the pandemic accelerated digital transformation and created a landscape that encourages technological adoption and innovation. Once businesses fully understand the capabilities of modern technology, they will also appreciate the opportunities that lie before them, even after COVID-19 is over.