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How the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation

by gbaf mag

James Clarkson CEO Adventoris 

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, digitisation was making waves, but there was still a large portion of firms who were reluctant to adopt any new technology. 

Early adopters of digital transformation were benefitting from improved efficiency, enhanced customer relations and streamlined processes. Industry leaders like Amazon are a perfect example of a business that has truly embraced any and all advancements in technology and are thriving as a result. 

A reluctance to digitise often stems from confidence and comfort in existing methods. Many firms have robust, reliable processes in place that work well, so are apprehensive about adopting new technology even if it could optimise their business and take them to the next level. 

As with any developments, we have seen some firms that are sceptical about embracing digital in this way. We often find that there can be an apathy within British business, they don’t need to change so they don’t. This attitude can majorly hinder an organisation, especially when their industry peers and competitors are digitising when they are not. 

Digitisation can be viewed as a threat, with many believing that if their employers or managers adopt technology they will be out of work, and their current roles made obsolete. 

While it is advisable to proceed with caution when making any major changes to your business operations, playing it safe can mean that growth and progression opportunities can get missed and your business subsequently left behind. 

However, technology is much more reliable and resilient than it once was. Digitisation should not be viewed as the risk it may have once been seen as. 

A common misconception of digitisation is that it is a threat to jobs. Adopting new tech needn’t be a threat to someone’s livelihood, but it can help to improve operations, allowing for a reallocation of resource, meaning staff can spend more time on value added tasks, removing the need for laborious, often time-consuming administrative activities, allowing them to spend their time where it is most beneficial.

A business’s existing processes may work perfectly fine and be operationally sound, but it is all about asking how can we improve these processes? How can we make it better and more efficient than it already is? How can we get the most out of our team and how can our customers get the most out of us? How can we provide a quicker, easier and more user-friendly experience? 

Lots of tech can also be modified to suit your business and address specific issues and concerns that you are facing, it is not one size fits all. 

As with our SwiftCloud platform, most pieces of tech can be customised and modified to ensure they do the job they are intended for. 

The pandemic then presented business to business retailers with a totally different set of circumstances. Physical access to customers and sales route were reduced, and in some cases eliminated, meaning that those without a digital presence had to scramble to get one in place or they might not survive. This may sound extreme, but these were the kinds of choices facing businesses who relied on physical interaction, visits and sales methods to conduct their business.

Digitisation has enabled firms to not only survive this global health crisis but to grow and thrive as a result. Technology and digital processes that were adopted as a means of simply getting by may very well help to catapult businesses into future success. This is a really exciting time for digitisation where we will get to witness how firms take these technological developments into a post-Covid world. Digitisation allows companies to maximise the potential of their team and their customers and truly get the most out of their efforts, both in crisis times and out. 

While the pandemic has been a true disruptor, the first of its kind that many of us will have or will ever experience, we must also recognise the opportunities that it has presented. While the decisions that were made and actions required may not have been the same under ‘normal’ circumstances, many firms are finding themselves in a really healthy position digitally for future growth and development. 

Covid-19 has given companies the opportunity to futureproof their operations and processes and has provided a much-needed nudge towards digital ways of working, especially for the sceptics.

Businesses are more resilient, both digitally and operationally, than they once were or thought they could be. 

Our market research revealed that app users are three times more likely to buy than mobile web users. 50 million apps are downloaded every day, with 81% of smartphone users searching for apps for the businesses they use frequently. Apps are proven to deliver 2.5 times higher retention rates than mobile websites, with convenience and reliability generating customer loyalty. 

Within our own client base, we have seen firms that have doubled their turnover once they have digitised and there are many more success stories that tell the same tale.  

All too often, we see apprehension or apathy holding firms back from adopting digital technology and methods, even though failure to adopt could be setting them back years behind their peers who are already taking the leap into digitisation. 

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