Reviewing 2020, the year has shown a relatable influence of forced digitization which begs the question of who or what is the largest driving force behind digital transformation in 2020?
Is it the CEOs, CTOs or COVID-19?
It may seem complex to determine, but for most organisations, especially those who have maintained traditional operations, COVID-19 may be the driving force behind the digital business and communication practices they established in 2020.
Organizations and everyday people around the globe have been faced with rapid and unprecedented changes in their daily lives. While some businesses have come close to a complete halt, others have managed to remain afloat while we await a solution to the global pandemic.
Uncertainty remains high, but uncertainty always opens the door of opportunities for organizations with deep insights. When it comes to business continuity, futuristic organizations are exploring new digital options, which is highly significant in 2020.
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These firms are thinking outside the box and identifying ways to leverage technology to remain up and running while working from home or spending limited time physically at work. This includes remote communication and collaboration, software integration and optimization, and delivering products and services digitally.
The Post-COVID effect is clear
Going forward, digital work will no longer be an option; it is a necessity that businesses must embrace.
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In 2020, we saw Lagos State host its first virtual executive council meeting. It turned out to be the first of many technology-enabled solutions the public sector has been forced to embrace. Ordinarily, without COVID-19, a virtual meeting would have never been considered, as council members value physical and personal collaborations.
With the current state of the world, the only way to ensure productivity at work is to ensure job roles and duties are digitalized where possible. The value of tele-meeting is obvious; it’s safe, effective, convenient, and more efficient than physical meetings. From the comfort of their homes, council members can directly engage the authorities to discuss all aspects of COVID-19 and its local and global impact without time lost in travel and money lost on logistics.
However, it’s not just government and private sectors that are exploring digital channels to communicate. Religious institutions are following the trend. Churches, mosques and worship centres are delivering weekly services and daily group sessions via digital live stream. While many organizations are going digital with the mindset of adapting to the short-term circumstances, most will continue to rely on the trend for a long time.
In 2021, CEOs, CTOs, business leaders, and professionals must consider that the current digital transformation is just the tip of the iceberg. As much as we remain positive that COVID-19 disruption will soon be a thing of the past, we must also learn that it has made us see how we can achieve our business objectives by doing things differently, especially with the new digital protocols and optimized communication and operations.
If we can meet, communicate, and have updates without going to the office meeting rooms which was a pre-COVID-19 way of life that required us to push through traffic to get to work, schedule meetings before getting anything done, what else can we do differently post-COVID?
Where else can we go digital?
It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, there are powerful ways you can leverage the value of technology to elevate your outcomes. From manufacturing to oil and gas, religious organisations, the education sector, and others; digitally transforming the way you work is essential for sustainability.
Most organisations have already transitioned their digital communication. Here are a few more transformations to consider:
- Going digital on revenue generation
- Going digital on debt collection management
- Going digital on procurement and logistics management
- Going digital on expense and budget management
- Going digital on cash and liquidity management
- Going digital on finance period closure
As we move into 2021, still with so many health-based restrictions at this time, business leaders are implored to use this period to plan and take the lead in Digital Transformation across all areas of businesses.
In my next post, I will shed more light on business in the post-COVID-19 era.
Olawale A. Kolapo (OAK) is a technology consultant with a finance background, for over a decade implementing technology solution that has helped various private and public sector organizations integrate and automate their business process. He is interested in building a digital approach to solve Africa’s business challenges.