The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we organise and operate our businesses forever –here are the key areas to think about when revisiting your digital transformation strategy.
The pandemic and ensuing lockdowns caused a huge rush to embrace digital transformation and new ways of working. However, with a semblance of normality now returning to our lives, it might be tempting for business leaders to slow down on DX investments – hoping, in some way, that things will go back to the way they were before.
It’s very unlikely that we can pick up where we left off in 2019. Having a robust, ongoing and intensive digital transformation strategy is now arguably more important than it was at the height of the pandemic. Those who have seen the benefits of new technologies such as low code and robotic process automation during these disruptive times know that DX will be the difference between success and failure in the short, medium and long-term.
When sitting down to discuss your digital transformation strategy, and how you will continue to progress it, emphasise these key factors.
Encourage rational decision making
Many organisational reactions to the pandemic were, justifiably, irrational. When an emotional and unpredictable ‘black swan’ event occurs, we revert to fast and intuitive ‘fight or flight’ decision making. This would have been a great way to get out of danger a few thousand years ago, but in our relatively safe world today it can lead to short-term and sub-optimal decisions. Take a step back and engage your System 2 ‘slow’ thinking when considering new DX initiatives – think the availability of your connected services, how you will align with the business strategy and where you want to be within a dedicated timeframe.
Rethink employee skills and the working environment
There is a flurry of restructuring occurring in large organisations as we get used to the idea of hybrid and flexible working arrangements. As change happens, new support systems – technical and otherwise – need to emerge. Consider a wholescale reimagining of how you have worked in the past. Go back to first principles – those initial basic ‘truths’ of how and why you do what you do. Just because something worked before doesn’t mean it needs to be continued or will continue to work into the future. Think how best you can support employees, encourage work-life balance, drive collaboration and ensure efficiency on a day-to-day basis.
Implement new change management processes
The covid pandemic was an overwhelming event for everyone. In a state of panic, many business leaders began digital transformation projects not knowing what the future held, or how they would progress the project past a certain time. Now that change no longer has to be dictated by a global crisis, we can take a different approach. Take the time to craft a vision for your future, and plot out carefully why each technology you choose will be crucial for the next five years.
The five critical stages for a new change management process are as follows:
- Prepare the organisation for change
- Craft a vision and plan for change
- Implement the changes
- Embed changes within company culture and practices
- Review progress and analyse results
Invest in intelligent automation
Digital transformation is not a one off project. It is a continuous process that transforms and iterates in accordance with the needs of the business. Intelligent automation and agile delivery must become baked in processes for any new DX strategy. The different areas of intelligent automation – AI, low code and RPA – can be used to transform and scale any business process, whereas the iterative nature of agile development will allow for small wins to compound without excessive technical debt.
Learn more about post-pandemic digital transformation by attending our webinar: MANAGING THE RETURN TO WORK PROCESS: How to manage post-pandemic WorkforceSafety with Appian