The original impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the business world was devastating for many, the fallout far-reaching and its effects will be long-lasting. But, the prospect of a vaccine that could return the world to normality has become a reality, with many governments across the globe now methodically working their way through vaccinating whole populations.
But does this mean that post-vaccine we’ll go back to the way it was in December 2019? Are we about to do a metaphorical ‘factory reset’ on 2020 and start over?
Highly unlikely. Aside from the fact that scientists warn it will take some time to get back to what we might all recognize as a pre-COVID-19 reality, few would want to. That’s because, while the pandemic undeniably has its desperate moments, it has also revealed patches of opportunity for change that we would be foolish to dismiss. Adapting to the Digital Business Imperative , a whitepaper from Martech Insiders, sponsored by censhare and Kontave, was published in July 2020 but remains highly relevant - exploring how the pandemic is, even now, leaving opportunity in its wake:
Lockdown forced employees into bedrooms, box rooms and kitchens for the nine-to-five. But despite the sometimes fragile nature of home broadband , many realized the benefits of a five-minute commute, the ability to collect the children from school and less time wasted traveling to meetings. As various lockdowns ended, many workers – and indeed their employers – noted that a full-time return to the office did not have to be the default alternative .
Already, organizations are exploring what needs to be put in place to enable more of their workforce to adapt to a hybrid way of working. With fewer people in offices at any given time, businesses’ physical footprints can shrink , making cost savings. They recognize this means beefing up remote working technologies such as centralized and cloud-hosted software solutions , but the pandemic had already accelerated much of this change.
Office working had, to some extent, disguised the inefficiencies inherent in most workflows. Instead of fighting through an antiquated permissioning process or hunting through servers, it would be quicker to pop over to a co-worker’s desk. Remote working revealed just how unfit for purpose some collaborative processes and technologies were.
The pandemic has been a period for reflection for any number of reasons, but it has been a real crucible for understanding where process refinements are most needed. Centralization has become an imperative for many, realizing that having a single source of truth for product data and digital assets is a boon for efficiency and cost savings. From removing duplication of assets to ensuring product accuracy, centralized systems deliver ROI and improve customer experience.
One of the biggest tensions in organizations has been around understanding what it really means to be an omnichannel business. Channels have often been adopted by companies in a somewhat piecemeal manner, and strategies grown organically rather than as part of a planned omnichannel approach.
Retail, for example, continues to struggle with striking a balance between the twin purposes of its on and offline presences. The pandemic gave a valuable insight into how customers really interact with each of these channels. Ecommerce has really begun to shine as a pragmatic problem-solver and day-to-day needs fulfilment channel. On the other hand, bricks and mortar retail is beginning to occupy the experiential space , a channel for destination shopping and inspiration.
How companies organize to reflect their changing relevancy to customers will be one of the more transformational impacts of the pandemic, but also one that is long overdue. The pandemic has been traumatic, and it is not over yet, but there have been benefits. For more insight into how organizations can transform their systems and workflows to meet post-pandemic expectations, download Adapting to the Digital Business Imperative, here.
Exploring why and how companies need to address the challenges of the remote workforce and the digital consumer, and the vital role of integrated content management in supporting the transformation needed for these new efficiencies.Download Now