The Covid-19 crisis plunges companies into an unprecedented period of uncertainty and instability
After the shock of the confinement and near-total stoppage of the economy, the recovery promises to be gradual and full of unknowns in terms of both demand and supply.
In this highly unpredictable environment, leaders will have to make decisive decisions for the future. They will have to rely on a resilient and agile organization, capable of adapting quickly to change, anticipating, and fine-tuning their strategy. The Covid-19 crisis, by precipitating the large-scale deployment of remote work and the use of technological platforms, makes the digital transformation of companies a critical and urgent issue today.
Digital transformation is not a one off. It’s a continuum of change that needs to be owned by the whole business
The most advanced of them have been able to deploy digital tools in the management of their activities and production and to develop new working methods. They continue to invest relentlessly in cutting-edge technologies based on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, and to organise new expertise and the upscaling skills in their organisation.
Studies show that these companies achieve better results in terms of innovation, growth and value creation. Others, however, encountered organisational blockages and obstacles.
Investing in digital transformation will create a fairer future for everyone
Today, this is no longer an option. Leaders must accelerate their transformation and focus on four imperatives.
The priority is to protect employees and ensure business continuity. To achieve this, it is essential to continue adapting the IT infrastructure needed for massive remote working and to continue the deployment of the collaborative digital systems.
Beyond these new challenges, the increased risks related to cybersecurity and the maintenance of IT assets, particularly the application base, require vigilance. After responding to the emergency, the project portfolio and the technological agenda must be rethought. This may involve postponing or freezing projects that do not create short-term value in the new context. Conversely, it is necessary to strengthen transformation efforts capable of increasing agility and resilience, in terms of cybersecurity, advanced data analysis tools, planning, or even optimisation of the supply chain. value.
The third major line of action in this crucial period of transition is to tighten human resources management, focusing on the large-scale deployment of agile methods, the development of sensitive expertise such as data science, artificial intelligence or cybersecurity. The war for talent will re-emerge in force when the recovery comes, and it is therefore important to strengthen the attractiveness of the company.
Particular attention must be paid to managing the risks of its supply chain in order to consider reorganisations or relocations if necessary.
Investing in new digital experiences, interactions, innovations, or new products and services is key for transformation to continue
Finally, the large-scale implementation of modular, flexible digital infrastructures, designed according to strict and solid rules of cybersecurity is more than ever an imperative. To successfully complete this technological transformation, it is worth focusing on strategic applications capable of creating value in the short term, leveraging cloud services and supporting the simplification efforts already undertaken.
Accelerating the digital transformation to address Covid-19 crisis challenges
The Covid-19 crisis is expected to test the digital performance and agility of businesses. To withstand it and seize the opportunities of the recovery, companies must accelerate their transformation.
About the Author
Bruno A. Bonechi is a Senior Partner at Strategy& who advises executives on digital strategy, business processes, organizational design and appropriate use of digital technology to better support strategic business transformation. Find out more: www.strategyand.pwc.com
Featured image: ©Sdecoret