3 minute read 7 Apr 2020
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Why COVID-19 makes your digital transformation program more critical now

By

Anthony Rjeily

EY Canada Advisory – National Leader, Digital Transformation & Innovation

Digital transformation leader. Known for building trustworthy relationships with clients and team members. Traveller. Enjoys spending time with his wife and five children.

3 minute read 7 Apr 2020

This blog reviews challenges organizations are faced with due to the global pandemic and how digital transformation can help address them. 

COVID-19 continues to disrupt our world and force companies to press pause on digital transformation programs in order to adjust their business and operating models to deal with the crisis. 

Recalibrating investment priorities to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 should continue to be the first priority of any company, but pushing forward with your digital transformation program should still be a priority for the organization. Now, more than ever, transformation can provide organizations with the necessary business and operating model capabilities it needs not only to handle this crisis, but also to position itself for success post-crisis recovery.

Some of the challenges that businesses face now include:

  • All customer engagement models need to shift to online mode. To protect revenue line and retain customers, the digital customer experience needs to be first-class.
  • Traditional customer service models cannot cope with the new volume of customer support required, making enhanced digital capabilities within sales and service functions more critical than ever before.
  • Employers have to move to a new talent model, where employees are required to work remotely. This has created the need to have new or enhanced employee experience, all with a digital employee interface.
  • Many organizations need to shift their talent capacity to crisis management activities, which in turn creates a major gap in capacity to perform business-as-usual activities. The ability for organizations to leverage robotic process automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to free-up talent capacity has become imperative.
  • A significant number of industries are experiencing staff shortages, restrictions in delivery routes and changes in buying patterns that are disrupting their supply chains.
  • Companies across the globe are more vulnerable than ever to cyberattacks arising from the pandemic. With attackers trying to take advantage of the situation, the ability for all organizations to defend against this risk has become critical.

Organizations that either are or can become digitally powered and connected during this crisis will be the winners coming out of it. And to make that transition smooth, they’ll need to focus on powering four key digital dimensions:

  1. Customer interactions: Designing and enabling seamless digital interactions, digital sales and digital channel distribution capabilities.
  2. Enterprise and employees: Digitally enabling operating models and business processes, decision making capabilities, digital employee experiences to enhance productivity and optimize the cost structure.
  3. Digital supply chain: Implement digital and automated supply chain capabilities paired with strong manufacturing excellence by leveraging automation and IoT solutions for smart manufacturing operations to mitigate reliance on labour intensive processes.
  4. Innovation and new business models: Curating innovation capabilities, products and services, ecosystem partnering while balancing the agility and stability of the business.

Innovation programs may not come to mind as the top priority for businesses struggling to manage the impact of COVID-19, but the reality is that it’s an ideal time to drive enterprise-wide innovation programs to create meaningful solutions to manage the crisis, as well as develop innovations that will enable organizations to position themselves successfully over the long-term.

What’s your advice for organizations looking to move forward with their digital transformation programs while battling the current COVID-19 pandemic? Access more insight in how to manage the current pandemic at ey.com/ca.

Summary

Innovation programs may not come to mind as the top priority for businesses struggling to manage the impact of COVID-19, but the reality is that it’s an ideal time to drive enterprise-wide innovation programs to create meaningful solutions to manage the crisis, as well as develop innovations that will enable organizations to position themselves successfully over the long-term.

About this article

By

Anthony Rjeily

EY Canada Advisory – National Leader, Digital Transformation & Innovation

Digital transformation leader. Known for building trustworthy relationships with clients and team members. Traveller. Enjoys spending time with his wife and five children.