HomeBlogBusiness ProcessHow business transformation has accelerated amidst Covid-19

How business transformation has accelerated amidst Covid-19

Transformation is a continuous journey and constant process, which changes the way businesses operate and how people choose to work on a daily basis. During the global pandemic, more urgent changes have been forcibly imposed, and have been particularly bestowed upon working behaviours. It means transformation has been quick and unexpected in these unprecedented times.

In essence, COVID-19 has been an equaliser in many ways, with businesses having no choice but to find ways to mitigate against the economic impact it’s had, whilst also looking seriously at their workforces, how they need to interact differently, how they can ensure they maintain quality of delivery, the effectiveness of their operation, and the retention of their customers, whilst also navigating the personal impacts COVID-19 has had on all of us. These pressures have compounded in such a way that homeworking is now a new normal, and the need for large scale office accommodation may take a huge hit as a result.

For a business to embrace transformation in what is our new commercial normal, the task requires a very significant breakdown – and one that doesn’t just mean ‘we instruct what the new transformation impact is and employees respond’ but rather ‘here is the new normal, and we are going to put in place effective strategies, policies and procedures linked to training that will ensure that you can continue to effectively and professionally continue in your role’.


Savings based on reduced need for as many employees

In skillfully transforming their business operation models, some businesses have legitimately found savings based on a reduced need for as many employees, making the case that home-working – and the capacity of an individual in any given workday – has the time to deliver more. That theory is justified by – and linked to – a more flexible working pattern, mainly connected to reductions in the need to travel. In this new pandemic linked working world, we are much clearer on what the outcomes of a person’s contribution should be. Connectivity through video calls is now the natural way to stay in touch and work based communication has been heightened in a more positive and productive way, as each call is far more agenda driven than just a general ‘day at the office’, with it’s obvious distractions and small talk. There is a negative set of results to the huge increase in home working – as has been noted by larger employers – and that is a reduction in actual face to face ‘social’ interaction. Complaints that mental health is being negatively impacted due to the reduction in human interfacing has some employers very worried about these factions of their staff who devote a large portion of their motivation and drive in either ‘natural competition’, or just the fact that there are ‘people around and that makes their world more normal’.


Call for increased digital services

We are all well aware that there has been a drive towards modernising the ways in which we work and how businesses should look to change and adapt their operations. Even before Covid-19 knocked us all off of our normal routines, there had been significant changes and calls for increased digital services to be incorporated across the public, private and charitable sectors. With previous pressures to evolve and make the shift towards digital, many might argue that Covid-19 has provided the most significant test of what exists and what will need to be planned for in terms of digital task driven operations for the future. An unnatural catalyst to this accelerated shift, with a virtually overnight requirement for everyone to adapt and transform their businesses and working styles urgently and without clear direction, or understanding about how this might impact on the outcomes of each workplace. Quite literally, digital transformation switched from a nice to have and luxury to an absolute necessity.

Using e-signature technologies that have given businesses the ability to continue processes with the aim to assist in the reduction of human contact – among many more advances in the digital during a time of lockdown – needed to be created and functioning not only successfully, but also fast.


So, what did this mean for business?

Businesses have had to make some incredibly costly changes; purchasing vast swathes of technology, supporting those employees with poor or no internet, and making some incredibly hard choices regarding the size and impact of their staff in relation to their client base. You would almost be right in thinking that Covid-19 has literally and in huge unpractical ways created such a need for economic contraction, and that the resulting transformation of businesses is that they have been forced to become leaner, tougher, capacity and delivery driven machines. The need to reduce social contact has accelerated a push toward digital currency, robotic delivery in increased daily routines, and where robotics are not yet fully integrated we can see that there will be a very definite push toward technological answers to customer services. In retail as an example, the increased use of self-service denotes a reduction in human till agents, and we will see an overpowering and almost frightening amount of movement in the artificial intelligence (AI) market place. One that will actually present an even more threatening (in term of jobs) and frightening (in terms of customers) impact as the actual magnitude and opportunity that AI presents. A future of AI will completely reshape the way we all do business. This one transformation – and its absolute growth potential and expansion of uses – will automate so much of our lives that it will take many by surprise.

In closing, the transformation of businesses and the impact on what is a multi-generational workforce will see the strain linked to those who can adapt and those who can’t, and might see a more natural discrimination towards many seeking to be recruited who – even though they meet the technical and knowledge criteria of person specifications – simply do not meet the new culture of working and the technological expectations.

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