The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we all work, live, communicate, shop, and more. In fact, there isn’t a single aspect of life that hasn’t been affected by it. COVID-19 is responsible for spawning or accelerating a whole host of digital transformation trends.
An innately “physical” problem, everyone — whether they wanted to be or not — has been thrust into the world of “digital” and “virtual”.
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Instead of coffee catch-ups, we now have (Google) Hangouts. Instead of exchanging business cards at a conference, we connect at a virtual summit. And instead of head-to-toe corporate attire, we just dress the bits that are visible on a Zoom call…
By 2021, it’s unlikely there’ll be any digital luddites remaining in the corporate world. Thanks to COVID-19, they’ll either be digitally transformed or they’ll be extinct.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the 6 main digital transformation trends that have risen to the fore as a result of the 2020 global pandemic.
Digital transformation trends in a post-lockdown world
1. Working from home
Yes, the time has finally come: the necessary relocation of businesses from offices to individual staff members’ houses has cemented working from home as a viable practice in the corporate world.
What was once an occasional occurrence or performance-based incentive is now a necessity. Why is this a digital transformation trend? Without the rapid progression of digital in recent years, working from home the way we have been during the Coronavirus lockdown, just wouldn’t have been possible.
Now that everyone is required to work from home, it has become even more essential for enterprises to upskill their workforce and ensure staff members are as productive at home as they are in the office.
This has necessitated a fast-tracked approach to digital adoption. Digital Adoption Solution provider WalkMe has actually released WalkMe Workstation, so that the software’s guidance functionality can now be available on all Desktop applications.
We couldn’t discuss the latest digital transformation trends without mentioning 5G.
In a world plagued by COVID-19, there’s more reliance on fast internet than ever, as consumers take to their devices — en masse — to alleviate this period of enforced boredom.
The arrival of 5G almost exactly aligned with the global spread of the Coronavirus. In fact, this led to a conspiracy theory fuelled by social media that linked the two entirely separate phenomena together.
3. Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS)
“Everything-as-a-Service will gain even more momentum in 2020 than it did in 2019,” says Daniel Newman, writing in Forbes. This is particularly true as traditional businesses are forced to evolve and develop digital offerings that can easily be accessed online.
Online training has increased as a result of consulting businesses losing clients and/or budget, and turning their IP into an educational resource.
4. eCommerce rebirth
The Coronavirus sounded the death knell for traditional bricks and mortar retailers, as shopping centres closed and restrictions were enforced for non-essential services.
As expected, this has equated to a huge upturn in online sales, most notably in the following industries:
- Clothing and apparel
- Home and garden
- Food and beverage
- Health and beauty
Don’t be so sure that shopping habits will return to “normal” once restrictions end either. More people under 45 say they’ll continue to shop predominantly online once restrictions cease.
The above table shows learnings from previous pandemics. Note that, even by stage #6 (Living A New Normal), there will remain “permanent shifts in supply chain, the use of e-commerce and hygiene practices.”
Contactless delivery, contactless payment, contactless everything has taken over since the Coronavirus crisis. The less contact humans have with things like money, and with each other, the less risk there is of spreading the virus.
6. Adopt AI to survive
Businesses of all shapes and sizes will have to adopt AI to survive the post-Coronavirus world.
Things will never be the same again. Digital and eCommerce measures put in place as part of executing business continuity plans will likely remain to avoid forcing customers to adopt yet another change.
Customers expect high levels of attention to detail, engagement and service. They won’t stop demanding these things just because an organization is grappling with the unprecedented upheaval of a global pandemic.
With so much competition online — significantly more than ever before — businesses will need the latest intelligence at their disposal. That intelligence will have to be artificial.
These are the digital transformation trends we’re currently talking about within the digital-adoption.com team.
One thing’s for sure: the Coronavirus has very rapidly and forcefully made digital transformation everybody’s business, not just the CEO or CIO’s.
If organizations are going to survive 2020, they need to take heed of the 6 digital transformation trends we list above, prioritize software, and adapt accordingly.