Accelerating digital transformation amid pandemic

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As a countermeasure against the spread of COVID-19, governments across the globe have implemented social distancing measures and lockdown policies. The pandemic has also affected companies and forced them to review their business strategies to overcome the crisis.

Digital transformation is a complex process and research shows that the percentage of successful digital transformations is low. This is because companies need all functions to be involved, aligned and coordinated to change their cultures. For that change to come, it takes time.

But with the current rapidly changing situation, companies’ ways of doing business have been significantly altered. Business continuity, such as balancing the best for the company, protecting employees and providing the best experience to customers, has caused many companies to accelerate the process of digital transformation because without the right technology, these goals are almost impossible to achieve.

With the right technology, companies can ensure that essential functions will still be carried out during the pandemic.

 Ensuring the proper flow of information

 During a crisis, internal communication must be clear, transparent, easy to understand and reach the right employees at the right time.

This is the time when employers and leaders should significantly improve their communication efforts.

It is important for companies not to let employees miss important information, such as urgent updates or recent changes. That is why improving a company’s internal communication is the most important part of a digital transformation.

With the implementation of appropriate technology, leaders can ensure that information is available, can be found within seconds and can reach the right recipients with message filtering, personalization and push notifications.

Many companies use more than one communication channel, such as e-mail, SharePoints and Confluence for one-way information and e-mail, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts for 2-way information.

Enhancing employee collaboration

Working remotely has become a new method in all companies. It was once only used by small and medium-sized companies and technology startups. Many company leaders agree that they will continue to implement this working arrangement even after the pandemic subsides.

Employees, being physically apart, have completely changed the way they collaborate and work together, as companies have begun to enhance collaboration between various departments within their organizations.

When working remotely, employees are required to be more connected to improve communication and align their strategies, which must be supported by the right tools. Technology that can support collaboration has become favored, ranging from Zoom and Whereby for video conferencing to office suites such as Microsoft 365 and Google Suite for collaboration applications, including word processors, spreadsheets, presentation decks and video conferencing tools.

Many companies have realized the benefits of using technology to ensure collaboration and automation in their internal processes, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions like Deskera for accounting and for finance processes of purchasing, billing and payment orders; HR solutions like Catapa for leave and reimbursement requests; asset management solutions such as ManageEngine; and legal solutions like Docusign. All are also equipped with online approval tools.

Maintaining employee productivity

As a company’s top priority is to protect employees from the spread of the virus, many have accommodated the need for remote working since the beginning of the outbreak. They are now looking for solutions on how to keep employees productive while they work from home.

Combining culture and the right technology is the key to keeping employees productive during this crisis, such as:

  • Helping employees to feel psychologically safe. This means allowing them to speak their minds freely and try new ideas.
  • Allowing employees to work flexibly. Employees with children will find it difficult to work normal hours, and companies can offer them the ability to make adjustable schedules.
  • Conducting a work-from-home assessment with the team. Companies can work with employees to decide the proper communication and collaboration tools, meeting schedules and how to track progress.
  • Implementing one-on-one meetings for managers and those who report directly to them. This is not for project status updates but rather to get insights about their emotions and expectations.
  • Allowing employees to avert notifications. Among the most strenuous aspects of workspace tools are notification alerts, which can occur at all time. Employees need time to focus on their work and get things done.

Digital technology can help improve efficiency and productivity and can make companies more resistant to operational disruptions.

Sherief Caesar Mursyidi is a technology enthusiast and has been working in the technology industry for more than 20 years. A graduate of Gunadarma University, he started as a software engineer. Now as a CTO, he helps startups plan and build technology products and run their businesses.

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