Digital Transformation Guide
The coronavirus outbreak has affected businesses and millions of people globally. Governments around the world are announcing lockdowns and undertaking measures to break the chain of the virus and limit its spread. Consequently, a majority chunk of the global population has been forced to stay away from their workplaces and self-quarantine themselves in their homes. Business leaders, political heads and economists have painted a grim outlook across industries and countries.Interactions between customers and businesses have declined significantly with many scurrying to find digital alternatives. Communication and collaboration tools like Skype, GoToWebinar and Zoom have replaced meetings and events. The Covid-19 pandemic has jolted organizations into recalibrating their business models around technologies to operate in an unforeseen social distancing economy. Digital transformation holds the key to override this crisis by earning customer trust with mechanisms that ensure transparency, efficiency, and quality. To that effect, we have explored multiple technologies that have the potential to transform business operations in this brief Digital Transformation Guide.
COVID-19 | The Change Catalyst No One Saw Coming
The apocalyptic situation we find ourselves in can be viewed as a blessing in disguise. Digital transformation discussions that were once put on the back burner are back in focus to explore potential economic and efficiency gains. Glitzy industry events, client entertainment budgets, and attractive shop front displays are suddenly out of fashion. It warrants businesses to boost their customer outreach and shopper engagement efforts.
A Call for Digital Transformation Initiatives
The sectors that COVID-19 has impacted the most on a global scale include technology, aviation, automotive, pharmaceuticals, banking, consumer electronics, travel and tourism, and many more. Businesses from these sectors have started realizing that they need to change their operations for good. The transformation they need to undertake is inside out starting from how their employees work leading on to how customers interact with their offerings. A remote working culture can benefit companies by reducing their infrastructure costs significantly and provide employees an opportunity to achieve work-life balance. Businesses of all sizes are busy promoting virtual meetings that are proving to be more efficient than in-person meetings. There’s a significant growth in the usage of virtual web conferencing and meetings, cloud-computing and cloud-based document sharing, making communication seamless and flexible. Organizations are also embracing new technologies like robotics and telehealth services.Leading companies and startups are focusing on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning augmented and virtual reality to deal with the pandemic and its outbreak more effectively. The adoption of emerging technologies is essential for businesses to thrive in an environment where innovation is the name of the game. The right combination of collaboration tools, technologies, and methodologies are required to beat the negative impact of the pandemic. Embracing a new work culture anchored in global connectivity is the way forward.
In this “Digital Transformation Guide”: Emerging Technologies that can Foster Innovation
Artificial Intelligence or A.I. has already shown the potential to enable a promising future for businesses as well as communities. But, how can AI solutions shape businesses? They can use AI technologies in the following ways to innovate.
- Increase manufacturing output and efficiency by integrating industrial robots into the workflows and prepare them to perform labour-intensive and routine tasks
- Improve customer services using virtual assistant applications that provide real-time support for a variety of services
- Optimize logistics using AI-powered solutions to monitor the supply of goods including weight, temperature, and real-time location
- Market and advertise effectively by tracking user behaviours and automating routine marketing tasks
3D Printing is the solution that holds the promise to achieve economies of scale with minimal human intervention. 3D companies have expanded significantly with applications across multiple sectors like automotive, aerospace, health, education, electronics, and more. Businesses can use 3D printing in several ways:
- Greater flexibility and more customized designs: Consumers have a desire for personalization of designs. 3D printing is a process that enables manufacturers to experiment with product designs in a highly flexible manner
- Scalability, from prototyping to production: 3D printing provides scalability from prototyping to full-scale manufacturing.
- Reorganizing the supply chain and normalizing digitization: 3D printing techniques are enabling distributed manufacturing. Also, manufacturers can connect the physical supply chain with a digital thread and manage products more efficiently.
Camera and sensor fitted drones augmented by computer vision solutions are effective at gathering and interpreting visual data in a rapid, safe, cost-effective and unobtrusive manner. Drones are suitable for a wide range of businesses. Here are some business applications of drones:
- Delivery couriers that deliver goods to customers without requiring human intervention. Due to this, drones are gaining a lot of popularity among food delivery businesses.
- Inspection of existing and new infrastructure development and maintenance in a fast, cheap, efficient, and safe manner
Video conferencing solutions are proving to be of immense help for businesses and their teams to connect remotely for meetings and other business-related work. There’s a rise in video conferencing usage in this lockdown situation. People are using video conferencing apps like never before. Businesses can embrace video conferencing solutions to:
- Grow and globalize their operations
- Maintain quality relationships with suppliers, internal teams, investors and customers
- Boost productivity by focusing just on the tasks at hand
- Save time by avoiding the need to commute for business meetings
- Reduce travel and accommodation costs
- Promote better collaboration by bringing teams together
The pandemic has compelled businesses to think of alternatives for paper or fiat currency. Businesses can adopt digital currency solutions considering the advantages they offer over traditional means of currency. Let’s take a look at the key benefits:
- Fast Transactions: Business can process transactions globally within a few minutes.
- Enhanced trust among customers: Customers only need to share their temporary encrypted codes, instead of their credit card numbers. It establishes trust with customers
- Expanded reach to international customers: Digital currencies facilitate the mitigation of economic fluctuations and increase revenue
- Low transaction fees: With no requirement for intermediaries, businesses and customers pay a much lower fee by using digital currencies
AR and VR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality)
Big fan of this emerging technology included in this Digital Transformation Guide.
Apart from entertainment and leisure, businesses can use AR and VR solutions
for diverse domains. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Healthcare: Doctors can visit patients remotely for diagnosis, which is a critical requirement considering how much they are at risky today due to the Covid-19 pandemic
- Retail: Customers can use AR to sample products in real-life settings. A variety of ecommerce applications already exist that have AR features that enable shoppers to try spectacles and furniture
- Real Estate: Real estate businesses have an opportunity to showcase their properties in a more engaging way so interested buyers can thoroughly evaluate them
Amid this crisis, the implementation of blockchain solutions can streamline several business processes. Tech companies and startups are recognizing the applications of blockchain technology that go beyond cryptocurrencies. They have started to build blockchain solutions that can support digital transformation. Hence we have also included blockchain within this Digital Transformation Guide to highlights Some of the benefits of blockchain :
- Streamlined remuneration: Hassle-free payments to employees through cryptocurrencies
- Supply chain communications: Real-time tracking of products throughout the supply chain from the point of origin to end-consumers
- Cloud storage: Utilization of distributed cloud storage solutions with incentive mechanisms
- Money laundering protection: Encryption-based blockchain solution to combat counterfeiting and money laundering
Businesses can transform how they store, access, and manage their data by maximizing the following cloud computing benefits –
- Scalability: It is easy to manage unpredictable demand for data storage and processing with cloud computing service providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure
- Cost Savings: Cloud computing enables businesses to cut down on IT infrastructure costs by providing pay as you go options. You only pay for the data you consume
- Better security: Leading cloud computing service providers have robust security mechanisms in place so the security of your data is the least of your worries
- Increased collaboration: Opportunities to work 24/7 with business partners without any information sharing limitations
As COVID-19 continues to spread, healthcare providers are exploring opportunities in telemedicine. It is a remotely administered practice of consultation. It can aid greatly in preventing healthcare infrastructures from being overwhelmed as it is happening right now in countries like Italy and Spain. Some of the ways healthcare organizations can benefit from telehealth solutions are:
- Remote patient monitoring: Checking a patient’s health after being released from a hospital
- Live video conferencing: Virtual spaces for doctors to meet patients “face to face” for medical appointments
- Medical information sharing: Providing a secure platform to share medical information among healthcare providers
COVID-19 has forced almost every business domain to digitally transform their operations and processes. The current situation demands businesses, brands, and enterprises to adopt digital transformation with these emerging technologies and solutions. The opportunities that these technologies create are like goldmines waiting to be discovered as the world battles its way out of this unprecedented event in modern human history.
We hope our super simple Digital Transformation Guide
could help you to focus on the things that can still work during this pandemic of COVID-19.