When we look back to 2020, the history books will paint a picture of doom and gloom. Yes, it was the worst year of a generation, but let’s put a positive spin on things – 2020 was the best year for digital transformation.It was the worst year of a generation, but let’s put a positive spin on things – 2020 was the best year for digital transformation. This article via @TOPdesk explains why. #ITSM #digitaltransformation Click To Tweet
The worst year for a generation
You were there; you know the calamity that was. But looking from a purely business perspective, let’s explore the challenges we faced.
First, despite the warnings, remote working came as a surprise for many organizations. I’m talking about those that exclusively used desktops in the office, the ones that followed ‘old school’ methodologies, had their servers and data on-site, and favored pre-tech methods of communication. They suddenly realized that their ways of working were not made for a pandemic. There were, of course, businesses that were far more prepared – they had workforces who could just shut their laptops and head home only to open them back up and pick up where they left off.
Then, having adjusted to our non-contact working day came the fight to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of our employees. How do we keep them engaged when at home? Even organizations with seemingly unbreakable company cultures found this to be a challenge.
Those experiencing this reality will know that there were far more hurdles to overcome: the economic struggles to navigate, retaining customers, keeping data secure, ensuring every employee had a suitable work environment, Wi-Fi bandwidth, and more.
So, what would it have been like without digital transformation?
2020 without tech…
Imagine running your business remotely without the technology we have become accustomed to. Staff communication would be limited to email and telephone – how would you collaborate internally? And those company-wide Zoom calls to keep everybody in the loop; they’d be a lengthy email. Not great for staff morale, huh?
Worse than that, could your organization even continue to operate? When relying on face-to-face meetings, there’d be limited new business opportunities. Perhaps your products or services couldn’t be delivered by staff on the end of a telephone, rather than in the office or warehouse.
Let’s be honest. For many businesses, it just wouldn’t have been possible.
The power of digital transformation
Thankfully, the above is just a figment of our imagination. In reality, we were able to call upon the prowess of digital transformation to get us through the most turbulent of times.
We implemented communication and collaboration software to allow employees to work together as if they were sitting beside one another in the office. Virtual meeting tools became essential as we looked to stay in touch as a business, reassure our staff, and keep them motivated in a tricky period.
Then, we were able to run at a level of business-as-usual. Keeping our services moving, supply chains operating, and support online – but why? Because we had the technology to help us at home and in the office. If our product needed an office or warehouse, we were able to bring in the multitude of tech at our disposal to ensure staff could work safely by:
- Ensuring staff safety in the workplace by reserving spaces/desks with software
- Liaising with external suppliers, like cleaners, to set strict protocols and ensure they were followed
- Automating processes that don’t need a human touch.
Whether a SaaS software supplier or a building merchant, technology-facilitated businesses continued in a worldwide pandemic.
A bright future ahead
Our reliance on digital resources helped us cope with the worst 12-plus months (technically, we’re now 24 months into this thing at the time of this writing) in recent history. Still, it looks set to elevate our businesses for many years to come.
Organizations yet to embrace digital transformation, those already well on their journey, and the early adopters have a newfound respect for the tech that kept them running. And because of this, 63% of business leaders say their investment priorities lie in technology and infrastructure.
Henceforth, the future is bright for digital transformation. Those collaboration tools we implemented look set to stay, hardware to accommodate both office and remote working will become the norm, and we’ll see more process automation. In fact, the events of 2020 forced us to be open to trying new things so that any innovative tech on the horizon will have far more uptake than before.
From a personal and business perspective, when the world seemed to be falling apart around us, technology became a savior. It was one of the only things linking us (from our living rooms) to society, it was our source of entertainment, communication, and hope, and it kept the world of work ticking along.
Despite being the worst year for an entire generation of people, 2020 was the best year yet for digital transformation. It opened us up to the generational decade of digital transformation that the 2020s are proving to be.
Luis Soares is managing director of TOPdesk UK, an international IT service management provider with offices in more than a dozen countries worldwide. He has held his position since 2016, overseeing the overall growth of the business and working alongside international colleagues to elevate the TOPdesk brand and product.