Digital Innovation Amid Pandemic: The Show Must Go On
Strengthen your digital business strategy now to position yourself for growth tomorrow.
The speed at which our daily lives have been suddenly changed by the onset of a global pandemic is eye-opening, to say the least. What began as a rumored bug on the other side of the world has crossed the threshold of our home and undeniably impacted businesses and economies in every country. We’re all of one mind now, with a unifying attention drawn to a universal threat.
We live in interesting times. Considering current events, it’s tempting to put our projects on hold as we focus on weathering the storm. However, while it may be tempting to rapidly quit on digital innovation plans, due to either budget cuts or simply because it does not seem like the right time to pull such a bold move, doing so is a mistake. Virus or no virus, the time to strengthen and activate business strategies revolving around tech innovative solutions is now.
Think about what is holding the world together right now. We are supported by our two greatest assets: the heart, work, and grit of the working class, and the fine connective threads of technology. Losing either of these columns would be akin to sweeping our legs out from under us. There is no greater situation to remind us about the importance of digital transformation and innovation than a pandemic that has changed everything: the way we interact with one another, the way companies operate, the way we go about our everyday lives. New challenges need innovative solutions.
Right now, all nations are fighting to slow down the health disaster while trying to avoid an economic fallout. What we can learn from this is how to prepare for the future, for disasters both similar and unique to the one we’re facing now. The best course of action now is to determine how we can be two steps ahead and innovate now to prevent new crises in our future.
In a matter of weeks, schools were trying to implement efficient online platforms to continue with millions of students’ education. Likewise, companies across all industries were attempting to create efficient remote work protocols to send their employees home, guaranteeing their safety while keeping business running. Most of us have seen personally the difficulties that have affected us along the way, stem from a lack of 5G technology to supplement these new means of interaction.
The transition from in-person to online has been less than seamless. We can clearly see where both our infrastructure and technological standards have failed us. As difficult as it may be for us, we can only realize how outdated our traditional processes are when we are faced with a crisis. We may not be able to prevent the next pandemic or economic crisis, but harrowing experiences yield the best preparation.
Digital Innovation at the Right Time Ensures Resilience and Competitiveness Once the Chaos Subsides
According to a 2017 IDC press release, “By 2022, fully 80 percent of revenue growth will depend on digital offerings and operations. This means organizations can live or die by the way it designs and delivers technology services, responds to issues, and manages expectations.”
Simply put, the time to put your cards down and go all in is now. Hedging your bets and playing it safe will only result in losing ground to competitors who’ve taken the opportunity to expand amidst the pandemic. Those that continue to invest in digital transformation and technology will come out the other side stronger and more prepared for what’s ahead than those companies who decided to stall their plans. Keeping a balance between great talent, efficient processes, and the right technologies is the key for a resilient business. The lines between business and technology are a blur now.
Your path forward, from here on out, should be dedicated toward aligning those two sectors. The blurring of lines is an omen of things to come, and merging technology and business processes should be pounced on as quickly as possible. Essentially, the iron is hot, and you should strike while it’s most readily available to you. Doing so will ensure your company gets out of the crisis ahead of the curve.
There’s palpable, understandable hesitation about making bold moves at a time like this. Not knowing how the pandemic and economy will progress on a daily basis promotes anxiety in the hearts of mind of every neighbor. Despite that, these are not immediate decisions you are making, but ones that will last lifetimes. Fear should not guide decisions that will affect your company in the long-term, it should only be a factor in emergency, short-term decision making.
It’s a game of patience, to see who is capable of keeping their hand on the ball the longest. Most of the benefits resulting from your investments will not be apparent in the short term. The immediate satisfaction and validation that you’d want to see from bold choices will not come as expected. The fruits of your labor will come after the crisis subsides, and you’ll find that you will be steps ahead from your competitors on market dominance.
Let’s take the current situation as an example of long-term payoff. There are plenty of companies that have been adopting digital transformation for years now, like Google, Amazon, and Apple. These mammoths have been investing in cloud technologies and remote work long before this crisis, and because of that readiness they have been far more adapted to the resulting hectic nature of our current world makeup than those companies who had hesitated on doing so.
Disruptive times call for disruptive technologies.
Of course, considering how diverse the market industries are from one another, the types of challenges that each sector will face will be entirely unique from each other. The challenges that the fast food industry must tackle differ wildly from what the tech industry is handling. By this same notion, technology use cases are also very unique. However, the faster you discover, plan, and act upon your most pressing problems, the faster you’ll get to the other side.
Tips for Turning Crisis into Opportunity
The question is: how do you take active steps toward improving and evolving as a result of an onset crisis? We’ve got a few choice tips for you to tune your compass to, but where your roadmap leads is a responsibility all unto your own. Those around you can help you get started, but you’re ultimately the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.
1. Start Planning Ahead
When we said roadmap, we meant that in a somewhat literal sense. Now is the time to craft a vision of the future, planning your steps, projects, and spending to get you where you are now to where you want to be once everything has blown over. It’s crucial that, especially now, to keep a keen eye on what’s important while cutting anything that you don’t necessarily need.
Meticulous planning will ensure that you don’t end up overspending on your already affected IT budget. Not every project that would normally get a green light will get the same treatment under these circumstances, as much as you would like to. Keep your strategy aligned to the business’ strategic goals. Do they require digital transformation? Then stick to the plan.
2. Focus on a Strong IT Workforce
Right now, nearly every industry has been gouging their workforce in the wake of the pandemic. This in of itself has only added on to the critical nature of the situation. The U.S. was already facing a software developer shortage before recent events. Tech companies cannot afford to cut their own tendons by sacrificing their employees. Now is the time to focus on strengthening the IT workforce rather than letting it go slack in pursuit of retaining a larger overhead.
Your employees are your most valuable resource. Retaining your current IT workforce is your top priority, even branching off into hiring new talent should the opportunity present itself. Your competitors may favor cutting costs wherever possible, including their software developers, leaving them vulnerable after the pandemic goes through the worst of it. Rather than following suit, you need to make sure your IT team has the right tools, skills, and resources to continue thriving on the job.
3. Choose the Right Technology to Invest In
It’s easy to delve into the enthusiasm surrounding new, emerging technologies that get hyped up. It’s a leap before you think attitude that oftentimes winds up backfiring after you’ve poured too much money into it. Instead of letting the sunk cost control you, ensure that whenever new technology emerges you obtain essential research and a profound understanding of their capabilities and usability. You want to know what you’re dealing with and how it may benefit or harm your company.
This goes double for the current times. Even the simplest mistake can snowball out of control in the wild and unpredictable economic environment. Although it’s always beneficial to focus on initiatives that drive competitive advantage and growth, especially now, you need to make sure you’re doing it right. Seek internal and external advice, research different tech options and vendors, and perform extensive examination into all potential growths and liabilities that may emerge from it.
There’s no such thing as being too careful.
4. Outsource Digital Innovation
There’s a high likelihood that you’re looking at the numbers and you’re sorely tempted to just cut your budget entirely in half. We understand, times are tight and no one is quite certain when the boundaries are going to lift. Building an in-house team right now can be difficult, time consuming, and costly, so that may be at the top of your list for cost cutting. However, eagerly dicing your company can carry long term harm, especially when you have more efficient alternatives available in the moment.
Rather than invest in a brand new in-house team, it’s time to turn to more cost-competitive alternatives. Outsourcing provides your organization with all the benefits that your costly in-house team does while remaining substantially cheaper by comparison. Now isn’t the time to turn your back on technology, it’s time to embrace it through looking over the border.
Mexico offers a wide variety of software outsourcing company services at a portion of the cost while delivering on high quality digital products. Outsourcing IT can be a good fit for your company in both the short and long term. It’s worth your time to thoroughly investigate different outsourcing vendors and see which ones offer the services that you require.
The pandemic is just an extreme example of the rule of nature: disruption is inevitable. Businesses must choose to adapt to the changes or die in the process. Adapting requires preparation, foresight, and the will to make the bold choices necessary to come out on top. The lion’s share of the work rightly falls on your shoulders, but we can offer guidance to get you there. Start planning ahead, focus on a strong IT workforce, choose the right technologies, and begin outsourcing digital innovation.
We live in uncertain times, but there are always people around to help you get through them. We at iTexico want to lend a helping hand. We have resources perfect for enabling digital transformation across industries from many verticals in a highly collaborative model. We want to walk you through these processes every step of the way, to help ensure you get the most possible out of your investment. Feel free to ask us any questions and get a free consultation when you reach out to us through our contact page.