Digital Transformation Now and Beyond the Pandemic

By Jyotika Singh, Head of APAC Transformation Office

So much has changed in the past 12 months. The onset of COVID-19 not only validated but made it clear to organizations that sustaining long-term growth can only come on the back of digital transformation. In fact, businesses that began their digital transformation journey before the pandemic found it easier to survive, and realized the benefits of optimizing processes in terms of efficiency gains and their competitive advantage.

It is about time we took a hard look at how we go to market and build our digital muscle to create ecosystems for value creation at all levels – now and beyond the pandemic. As leaders supporting or guiding transformation, here are 3 things to keep in mind as we create ecosystems for value creation:

New Tech for the Sake of Tech vs. Genuine Transformation

For most businesses, the disruption brought on by COVID-19 saw the increased use of digital technologies. This wave of digital transformation helped transport us to a “new normal”. However, there is more to implementing a transformation strategy than introducing new technology at breakneck speed. Achieving meaningful digital transformation requires the right insights and data on the state of the business and customers, privacy and data security as well as resources that enable that transformation.

Plan First, Then Execute

While Covid taught us there are many things beyond or control that we cannot plan, planning is still essential any time we are working on value creation. It’s well known how complex Digital Transformation can be, especially as we start working in large ecosystems vs. traditional, linear processes. This makes the planning harder, but ever more essential. When you’re planning your transformation, keep in mind what problem you’re solving for, the end goal, dependencies and stakeholders. Setting your charter and following it while remaining agile and ready for change will be key to reaching your transformation goals.

Transforming How We Work is Real and Happening Now

Managers need to break their long-held beliefs about where and how work gets done most effectively and trust their talent pool to work productively, regardless of location. COVID-19 has massively reshaped traditional office spaces and businesses have made the leap to remote working, making telecommuting the new normal. Gone are the days of 9-5 work schedules where employees are expected to come into the office to drive collaboration, and create social balance and well-being. As we have come to see, this changes the expectations of how we work and, where. With a location agnostic workforce, we can now choose to create and build talent pools across geographies and leverage the potential of diverse thinking to the fullest.

While Covid-19 may have expedited our need for Digital Transformation, the key tenets of successful transformation are still essential: resource the transformation and make it genuine (teammates will not get behind processes, tools or systems that don’t work!), always plan first and then execute; and recognize the larger impact of the future of work and how this will impact access to resources, talent and flexibility for teams going forward – then tap into that. We can expedite digital transformation and creating ecosystems for value creation by working with the changes happening in the world around us or work against them. I say harness all of those benefits! What do you think is critical for creating ecosystems of value creation through digital transformation?