Digital savvy orgs aren’t just leaders in today’s economy, they will lead in “the next normal” – the era after the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we’ll discover in this article, companies can no longer afford to wait and watch the digital economy evolve.
Instead, to keep pace with the evolving economy, it is important to become digitally savvy by proactively pursuing digital transformation agendas.
To understand why, let’s look at some of the major trends dominating the business landscape.
Why Digital Savvy Orgs Will Dominate in the Post-COVID “Next Normal”
There are several reasons why companies should invest in digital transformation.
Here are a few of the most compelling:
- The post-COVID economy will be founded on digital technology. Today’s economy, as many business professionals already know, is built upon the machinery of digital technology. But the COVID-19 crisis has fueled digital change, so we can expect to see an even greater reliance on digital technology in the coming years.
- Change will be constant in the next normal. As McKinsey and other research firms have described, the next paradigm will be characterized by significant change. Today’s volatile business landscape, in other words, will remain volatile for some time to come. Digitally savvy orgs will be better suited to such a dynamic and uncertain environment, since they will be more agile, more resilient, and more innovative.
- Digital savviness helps organizations become leaders in their space. Agility, resilience, and innovation often depend on digital savviness. A high level of digital maturity allows companies to respond quickly to external events, innovate in today’s technology-driven world, keep up with changing customer sentiment, and more.
Becoming a digitally savvy org is easier said than done, however.
As with any other organizational change program, it requires significant effort, resources, and time – and success is not guaranteed.
This line of thinking causes many business leaders to hesitate when it comes to digital transformation and adoption. After all, change can be risky and costly.
Yet in today’s business landscape, the costs of not changing often outweigh the costs of change. And as we saw above, digital savviness will become even more important in the next normal.
Let’s look at a few ways companies can prepare, starting today.
Key Steps to Becoming a Digitally Savvy Company
Digital transformation initiatives are complex, long-term organizational change programs.
We certainly cannot do them justice in such a short space, but we can highlight some of the most important areas to focus on.
For instance, companies that want to become more digitally savvy should:
- Place digital at the heart of business strategy. Digital innovation drives disruption and change in the current business landscape. To obtain and maintain a competitive advantage in such a digitally-driven environment, companies must integrate digital strategies with their overall business strategies. This doesn’t mean that every company needs to become a tech company, but it does require a strong focus on digital technology.
- Set clear objectives and define metrics. To understand the actual impact of digital transformation initiatives, it is important to tie the program’s goals to metrics and KPIs. That data can inform decision-making, offer insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the program, and demonstrate the bottom-line value of the program.
- Implement a structured employee training program. Employee training is essential in the modern enterprise, which are continually adopting new software. Existing software, likewise, is being regularly updated and features are being changed. To keep up, employees must become perpetual learners, and organizations must provide them with the necessary training.
- Cultivate a digital workplace culture. Organizational culture plays a large role in employee productivity and performance. In the modern enterprise, it is important to create a workplace culture that is willing to embrace digital technology and new work processes. Though there is no such thing as a “best” workplace culture, certain traits can benefit the digital-first organization, such as data-centrism, a pro-learning attitude, and self-reliance.
- Modernize IT systems and digital tools. It should go without saying that modern IT systems are needed to maintain a competitive edge in the digital economy. State-of-the-art tools, after all, enable many of the other topics covered in this article, from modern business processes to remote working.
- Design and standardize digital business processes. It is not enough to simply adopt new tools and technology. To actually use those tools to their fullest extent, companies must also design modern business processes. Agile business practices, for example, often rely on modern technology, such as real-time data and analytics.
- Continually optimize the digital workplace. A digitally savvy org cannot stay relevant by changing once every so often. Since the digital economy continually changes, they must also continue to change with it. Adopting a philosophy based on continual improvement will ensure that the workplace stays relevant, innovative, and competitive.
Digital strategies such as these should become a top priority, especially as the world moves further and further into the digital age.
Organizations who are willing to adapt to the changing business landscape, after all, will stand a much better chance of surviving and thriving in the post-COVID era.