With a global pandemic, changing government regulations, and the current recession on our plates, it’s safe to say the world’s not in a great state. But don’t let that detract from your business’ ambitions, because if anything, now is the time to be pushing on with your digital transformation – here’s why.
2020 has undoubtedly been a year of shocks and surprises, each forcing us to adapt our lives in some new way. Now, global events see us facing a recession, and organisations are understandably pausing activities, tightening budgets, and trying to figure out how they’ll continue to manage remote working for an indeterminate amount of time.
Digital transformation – where organisations upgrade their business by removing manual or outdated processes in favour of automation and shiny new tech – is one such activity all-too-quickly cut from the agenda, due to the associated costs and time demands.
However, before putting the kibosh on your transformative efforts, consider this: there are many advantages to standing firm and weathering the storm with your digital transformation intact – here are just a few of them.
1. Keep Calm and Carry On
If the sense of panic many organisations are feeling right now seems familiar, that’s because we faced a recession as recently as 2008’s financial crisis – and some sectors were forever changed by the fallout. But if we learnt anything the last time, it’s that, ultimately, many businesses were able to survive and are still standing strong today.
That should be enough to provide some hope, but there are also several important lessons the survivors can teach us. One such lesson – which may initially sound counterintuitive – is that businesses who refuse to slow down can recover faster, and even thrive in a recession.
You read that right: recession-proofing your organisation doesn’t have to be a far-fetched concept. What’s more, this pandemic in particular has increased the pressure to adopt new technologies – meaning a digital transformation is all but necessary to plough through the recession.
2. Remote Working Challenges Continue
At the beginning of lockdown, organisations not already supporting remote working had their work cut out for them, pivoting to meet the challenge quickly. For many, remote working was seen only as a short-term solution, but sadly, we’re not out of the woods yet, meaning that businesses must now prepare to extend their remote working plans for the foreseeable.
What’s more, there’s still much left to do to make remote working more effective for some, be it security worries, file transfer via the cloud, communication between remote teams, or task management. Not to mention that when the pandemic is just a distant memory, who says that workers will even want to return to the office? It’s clear, then, that digital transformation is a must in order to remain agile, effect, and secure.
3. Raise the Drawbridge
Between remote working, malicious opportunists, and rising rates of phishing scams, security remains an important factor in organisational leadership. Unfortunately, hackers aren’t slowing down as a result of this pandemic – if anything they’re raising their game; nefarious parties are even using the current crisis as a way to dupe unsuspecting employees into handing over data or clicking malicious links.
While it is possible to survive and thrive during these difficult times, dealing with a new way of working, a global recession, and a data breach is enough to jeopardise any organisation. It’s never been more crucial to meet threats head on, and with security at the heart of the process, a digital transformation is your best defence.
4. Unlocking Potential
Recently, Microsoft teamed up with Goldsmiths, University of London to discover ways to boost UK businesses. The resulting report revealed that 46% of UK organisations appear financially vulnerable and are seeing turnover fall by up to 15%. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as their findings revealed a way for the UK economy to unlock £48 billion and over 100,000 new jobs. The answer? Embracing tech, of course.
Microsoft and Goldsmiths report that businesses could reach this economic potential by adopting a digitally-enabled approach to competitiveness. This would include speeding up technology transition times, migrating more workloads to the cloud to increase agility, and keeping information security at the forefront of the business – in short, investing in digital transformation.
Microsoft also highlighted the benefits of pursuing a Sustainable Growth strategy, something that’s characterised by empathic and decisive leadership, inclusivity and empowerment, and the use of technology across the organisation as part of a wider strategic approach. The firms that are already doing this are enjoying turnover growth of up to 15%, whereas the companies that aren’t are experiencing losses of 15% – that’s quite the margin.
“Changes in approach to investment, people and technology can quickly boost the UK’s competitiveness, giving our economy the best chance of success in the post-COVID and post-Brexit era.”
Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK
Plot the Course
Without a doubt, these are uncertain times, but businesses can get through them by plotting a sensible course, with eyes fixed firmly on the horizon – ready to quickly adapt to any changes. Rather than letting the recession pour cold water over your ambitions, instead, embrace technology as a way to secure your organisation, speed up processes, empower your staff, and rise above your competitors.
And remember, a little pressure turns carbon into diamonds – and the organisations that emerge from this crisis the strongest will be the ones who adapted the best.
If you’d like to know more about how a secure digital transformation could benefit your business, just get in touch with a member of our dedicated team.