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Digital Transformation Post Covid-19

Apr, 2021 - By CMI

Digital Transformation Post Covid-19

 

Humans were adapting to the emerging technologies but the situation due to Covid-19 have led to drastic increase in digital usage. People were literally dependent on digital media for everything. Right from schools and colleges to business deals, everything were online. Though the comfort of using digital media for getting the work done was fascinating, have people become addicted to it? Now that the world is getting back on its feet after the strict lockdown in 2020 due to the pandemic, it seems like people have become very reliant on digital platforms, which is sure a time-saving and easy process but it also includes spending hours on mobile phones, laptops, and other such devices. This does not add up to a healthy lifestyle.

Everything has its pros and cons, and so does the digital transformation people have experienced. Digital transformation has proven to be a blessing during the hard times of Covid-19, but also has certain negative impacts that have become habits, especially when it comes to business and education areas. Children have been introduced to the emerging technologies at such young ages, which is not resulting in many positive outcomes.

Digital transformation might sound like a distraction from an academic point of view, but it can be absolutely vital. All the major universities are confronted with at least two factors arising out of globalization. First, increased financial pressure from all directions. Second, uncertain enrolments. These pressures combined with the introduction of new academic and teaching methods, as well as the growth of online teaching methods are increasing pressure on the universities. The need for professional teachers of all sorts, who can combine theoretical knowledge with real life application, is also rising.

The challenge for colleges and universities is to respond appropriately to continuing uncertainties. The long term impact of changes to curriculum, teaching, and student learning needs to be assessed, and must be able to co-exist with continuing budgetary pressures. It is important to acknowledge the changing phase of higher education and consider the adaptations that will be required.

The key to any successful college and university lies in thinking differently. It has become clear that some of the approaches we currently employ do not work well for complex sociocultural organizations, for example; ethnic or cultural groups that differ significantly on gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status. The challenge therefore is to think differently, in order to meet the needs of the students and the communities that rely on the institution for education and career opportunities.

A group of researchers led by Dr. Steven Webster of the University of Manchester, UK, applied a series of qualitative methods to understand how digital transformation can help higher education to meet the changing needs of its students and communities. Their report published in 2021 in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management identifies several strategies for colleges and universities to adapt to digital change. The basic recommendation is to think differently, but in a more flexible way. This helps to overcome some of the problems inherent in traditional strategic planning.

The researchers noted that creating a digital transformation strategy is only part of the solution. In order to successfully address the issues of change, colleges and universities need to develop appropriate ways of working. This will take time and many are already facing financial pressures. The researchers recommended six strategies that colleges could use to improve digital transformation. These include building on existing frameworks and developing new ones, providing digital education support, developing workforce and recruitment strategies, providing personal communication support, and preparing for the future.

Talking about business sectors, they have actually shown a lot of improvement and the industries have mostly had profits with the digital transformation. Digital transformation is a marketing strategy that has the potential to transform the way businesses are conducted. It transcends traditional marketing roles such as sales, promotion, and customer support. Instead, the digital transformation starts and ends with how you interact with and think about customers. As the consumers have shifted from traditional paper-based documents to spreadsheets, to advanced smart software for tracking business, there are opportunities to reinvent how one can engage with consumers in new ways. There are various ways to engage with the customers and here are some of them:

Design for the Digital Age: Today's digital technologies require customized experiences for every consumer or the wrong experience could lead customers away from your brand. For instance, social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest encourage social engagement. Customers want to connect with other consumers, share information and data or just simply stay connected. To engage customers, companies should design for the digital age and use customized experiences for all the business processes.

Work with the Business Processes: Companies need to adapt to digital technologies, and not the other way around. Companies should customize processes to suit digital technologies. For instance, consider how email can improve customer service. Rather than waiting for the email to arrive in the inbox, send a quick email at a certain time to remind customers of the company’s products or services. If the company cannot customize their business processes, they risk losing or misplacing important documents, leaving their customers without necessary documents, or having your computer crash. For these reasons, companies must work closely with their designers to carefully create business processes that are optimized for digital technologies.

Work with the company’s technology partner: Working together with company’s technology partner allows company to leverage their experience and knowledge of specific business processes to make them more effective. For instance, if the company’s technology partner is good at mobile apps, incorporate those into the company’s marketing campaigns. The technology partner may be able to offer insights into the best demographic for particular services such as mobile payment options or mobile access to maps. Working with company’s partner will allow the company to take advantage of the partner’s knowledge and expertise, while benefiting from their digital technologies.

Work with the Customers: The world is social. In fact, it is faster, more convenient, and easier to stay connected than ever before. As a result, businesses should embrace the opportunity to connect with their customers through social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and other social media platforms will connect one to a whole new audience. In addition to connecting with customers, digital technologies are making it easier to improve customer service via e-mail, on-demand delivery of goods and services, messaging, surveys, inquiry lines, live phone support, appointment setting, technical support, and others. By using digital technologies to improve company’s customer service, they are enabling themselves and their business to move quickly through this transformational time.

One cannot avoid the fact that the internet will change the business in ways one cannot see yet. The key, however, is in how people react to the digital transformation - by being adaptable, being responsive, being thoughtful, being proactive, being open, being innovative, being socially responsible, and more. If one is going to work with Netflix, do so responsibly - engage with company’s customers, use company’s technologies effectively, and deliver an overall positive experience.

One important aspect of digital transformation is that it allows companies to gain access to deep, live, and up-to-date data, which they can then use to optimize their performance and to make strategic decisions. One example of such a decision is the use of machine learning to analyse customer behaviour and adapt to changing market conditions. This can improve both product design and sales techniques, and also create new opportunities for advertising campaigns. Machine learning has made significant advances over the past few years and is now an essential tool for companies who want to achieve maximum productivity, profitability, and security. Many companies that practice digital transformation also employ artificial intelligence to further improve their business performance.

Talking about the negative aspects, the major negative aspect of digital transformation is the impact it will have on the consumer's mind-set. The consumer's mind-set is largely affected by traditional media and broadcasting such as flyers and advertisings. This impact is usually not immediately noticeable but it does have long term consequences. The consumers will need time to adjust to digital technology in order to be able to appreciate the positive aspects. Another aspect is that consumers tend to pay less attention to digital content, as compared to their attention to traditional content such as newspapers or flyers. This means that marketers will need to work harder to ensure that consumers are aware of digital content. The effect of this could be an increase in the amount of digital advertising that is required to generate significant amount of revenue.