Technology Should Change What You Do - Not Just How You Do It
COVID-19 was a watershed event that has altered the entire world. From a future perspective, multiple drivers will possibly enforce businesses to forever relook at the way they operate. Organizations that can alleviate the downside of this volatility and leverage the positive aspect of opportunities to transform, can recover much stronger, reconstruct better, and provide the impetus where leaders can focus on driving their business forward.
A key lesson from the global pandemic crisis is that change is no longer an option. As businesses struggle to navigate the reopening of the economy, a lot will be different. The biggest dilemma will be, while there is an intent to 'do the right thing', what is the right thing? Steering a business after COVID will require mindfulness and empathy for the agony, displacement, and financial consequences of the pandemic for stakeholders across the board.
The central role of technology was brought to the fore to deliver a seamless experience for both internal and external stakeholders. Remote working mandates, a social-distancing economy, and the disruption of essential businesses have taken its toll. In this atmosphere, the delivery of platform-enabled solutions at speed across the entire technology stack is critical. Cloud adoption has matured with standardized digital solutions that can be customized based on business or client requirements.
This standardization combined with wide-scale adoption has led to the integration of the back-end to the front-end for entire IT stacks to include applications, middleware, database, and IT hardware.
The problem, however, is traditional innovation incentives won't cut it. The right new-age technology – AI, ML, RPA, data platform modernization & cloud adoption strategies may lead to an outcome centered not just on the organization but also on the individual. During these challenging times, organizations have moved through a series of phases and are prioritizing partnering with the right supplier as an initial response and recovery mechanism. They want more from their supplier - flexibility, speed to deliver for lost time, rigorous testing, and controls on deliverables more than before, so there is a left shift in terms of time to market. Service providers not only need to help them adapt but also help them bounce back quickly when the business environment revives. More IT service providers are moving towards managed services and vertical-specialized solutions. Both approaches are leading to outcome-based engagements with a higher risk-reward model. IT/ITeS industry has now graduated to a value-based model with a consultative approach around the best digital solutions on offer.
Whether the aim is to develop new products, robust processes, or revamping old ways of doing business, you can utilize digital competencies to skillfully accelerate and adapt to unexpected shifts. In the post-pandemic era, new norms are creating new opportunities for IT and Digital service providers – digital infrastructure, connectivity, communications, EduTech, e-Commerce, integrated digital platforms, and many more. The need for integrated digital platforms and digital engineering projects is vital for both B2B and B2C organizations that are focusing heavily on customer/user experience.
Ultimately most digital transformation efforts fail to provide relevant business value and do not live up to client expectations. Digital is not just a technology that you can buy and plug into the organization. It is multi-faceted and not only a technology intervention - it also requires investments in relevant skills, projects, infrastructure, and sometimes a complete overhaul of the current IT infrastructure. It requires combining people, processes, continuous monitoring and intervention, to ensure that the transformation journey unfolds and evolves flexibly. While mapping the approach for a multiyear digital transformation project, it is important to stagger the project into short-term sprints and goals that can deliver measurable results aligned with the vision and strategic intent of the organization.
Whether the aim is to develop new products, robust processes, or revamping old ways of doing business, you can utilize digital competencies to skillfully accelerate and adapt to unexpected shifts
The gig economy is thoroughly disrupting the IT industry with rapid digitalization; companies are increasingly relying on freelancers and contractual employees for short-term projects. The COVID crisis provides a sobering analogy: pressure on traditional staffing models is intensified by COVID-19. One of the most profound realities of the pandemic is the fact that more than 30 percent of the workforce in developed markets has evolved to independent work, and this trend is now fast catching up in India. It will undoubtedly affect the talent strategy of many organizations. On-demand staffing and contractual staffing will gain prominence in the coming days. Organizations planning to transform their business models to adapt to the current situation is creating some significant contrast in talent strategies.
In conclusion, while the crisis brought about a plethora of temporary changes, it has also presented some lasting ones. It will be quite some time before we understand the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the history of such upheavals has taught us two important things. First, even during severe economic downfall cyclic recessions, some companies can gain and retain a competitive advantage. Secondly, these successful organizations also relearn how to successfully develop a systematic understanding of changing habits that have a far-reaching impact on their business foundation.