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Why companies should rethink their pandemic digital strategy

As the global pandemic spread across the world, businesses everywhere moved quickly to invest in technology that would enable them to stay operational and keep employees connected. Those investments may have served your business well during the early stages of government restrictions and lockdowns, but as the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, it makes sense to review your business digital strategy for the future.

The impact of the pandemic on digital strategy

Put simply, a digital strategy is a plan that focuses on your business goals and how to put the right technology and processes in place to achieve those aims.

The rapid need to enable remote work forced the adoption of digital technology quickly, accelerating digital transformation by several years in a matter of months. There is nothing quite like a crisis to unleash the ability to adapt fast and the ongoing disruption to business operations created a perfect storm of technology innovations. Digital strategies pivoted to ensure businesses could stay operational, engage customers online, and invest in resilient business processes. This meant taking on cloud-based solutions, automation and predictive analysis tools, and finding ways to work remotely with increasing speed and efficiency.

But this speed didn’t allow time to think about how the technology would work on a long-term scale, if it truly did what was needed, and if it aligned with long-term business goals. The pandemic digital transformation was born out of necessity, rather than a well-thought out plan.

Today, business leaders are finding the digital technologies they adopted in response to the disruption imposed by the pandemic may not be the best choices to carry their organisation into this new post-pandemic world. Now is the time to consider what information technology will be kept, what needs to be changed, and what needs to go.

The digital workplace

Companies embraced digital technologies to enable their employees to work from home, as the pandemic forced governments to deploy lockdown restrictions across the country. This meant rethinking business processes, that as the post-pandemic world emerges, may need rethinking again.

Today, many companies are preparing for a hybrid work model, which offers employees the ability to combine office and remote work. This means reimagining how to best support employees to collaborate, be efficient and productive, by assessing the digital services and tools, alongside operating models and processes. Collaboration and productivity tools that enable automation and ease of communication, data collection and analysis that improve business insight and planning – these are vital areas to consider when looking at your future digital strategy.

Review technology capabilities

The speed at which businesses needed to get new services up and running in response to the pandemic meant there may not have been many opportunities to go to the market to see what was on offer. At the time, IT teams were scrambling to ensure the services needed were onboarded as quickly as possible, without necessarily considering whether those services and solutions were flexible and agile enough to accommodate future growth and change.

A rethink of the pandemic digital strategy would include a careful review of the IT infrastructure that was invested in at the time, to see if there are overlapping costs or capabilities, and whether there is the ability to consolidate contracts and services, to reduce costs and ensure innovation capabilities are available. It can be useful to search for any gaps in the services that have been onboarded, and whether there are any challenges with using a particular service or a need to move to a different technology. The goal is to create a unified and streamlined business process across the company, without losing productivity and efficiency for employees and customers.

Be ready for a flexible future

The pandemic forced business leaders to take a more strategic view of technology. Rather than seeing digital technology as a cost driver, organisations are starting to view technology as a way to differentiate themselves from their competition. Instead of investing in redundant technology that fills a stop-gap in terms of keeping the doors from closing, today’s business has to take into consideration new and emerging technology.

Without a digital strategy that embraces agility and a lack of tech savvy leadership, businesses can not hope to thrive and survive in the post-pandemic digital world. In fact, the business model used to push a company through the pandemic may no longer be appropriate for today, as employees, customers, and supply chain partners have all increased their technology use and expect the same from the businesses they work for and with.

Planning for the future means looking at where you’ve come from and choosing how you will go forward. With the right digital IT strategy, your business can emerge from the pandemic with increased flexibility and enjoy further growth and success. Talk to the IT strategy experts at INTELLIWORX today, and let them help you plan and implement a robust digital strategy for the future.

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