According to a study conducted by Studio Graphene, 64% of people said Covid-19 has encouraged their business to deploy digital infrastructure
Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of London-based digital tech developer Studio Graphene, looks at whether or not Covid-19 has changed businesses’ attitudes towards improving and developing their digital infrastructure.
With the coronavirus pandemic changing life as we know it, it has become clear that humanity is facing one of its biggest challenges in recent history.
Out of the blue, every one of us has had to adapt to a strange new set of circumstances, amongst which the starkest have been social distancing measures and nationally enforced lockdowns.
As our lives have changed in line with the pandemic – and continue to do so – businesses too have been forced to change their working practices in order to survive.
From shifting processes from offline to online, enabling all staff to work from home, and even reinventing the very nature of their business models – the coronavirus has not discriminated, and organisations across all sectors have been propelled into unfamiliar territory.
Although these might be unsettling times, in the face of adversity, many businesses have successfully digitised their offerings and transformed their digital infrastructure for the better.
In order to probe further into this phenomenon, Studio Graphene recently polled over 500 UK business leaders to uncover the impact that Covid-19 has had on innovation.
Perhaps most notably, almost half of the companies surveyed (45%) stated that their business has undergone the most radical digital transformation in its history since the start of the pandemic, while 50% also stated they had adopted new digital solutions that they had previously been hesitant to embrace.
The pandemic has forced businesses to implement ‘new ways of working’
Indeed, in these troubling times, it is a comforting prospect to note that British businesses have clearly made bold and necessary decisions in response to the “new normal”.
Without the luxury of time, digital initiatives that would once have taken years of planning have been implemented in just a fraction of the time out of sheer necessity for new ways of performing tasks.
The introduction of a nationwide lockdown left businesses with no other choice than to implement new ways of working.
The phrase “digital transformation” has been the watchword for quite some time now, and while great leaps have been made in this domain, some organisations have understandably been slower than others to adopt any major changes to their digital infrastructure.
Studio Graphene’s aforementioned survey suggests that many businesses put this reluctance down to a risk-averse culture, with 45% of businesses stating this has previously made it difficult to innovate and embrace new ideas.
More encouragingly though, the majority of respondents (64%) agreed that the pandemic has encouraged their business to explore and deploy digital solutions at a much greater speed than they would have otherwise, perhaps mitigating some of the red tape and bureaucracy that ordinarily holds them back.
While the pandemic has placed an unprecedented level of strain on organisations, it is also true that senior business leaders have had to adopt a shift in mindset and recognise that to survive, digital transformation is not just supplementary – it is elementary.
Will companies embrace more digital products post-pandemic?
That said, although companies are now acknowledging the value that embracing novel ideas and approaches can have on their day-to-day, it is important this momentum is sustained.
Business leaders must now ask themselves how they can push ahead further with this cultural change in the months to come.
The poll suggests that companies have now recognised the necessity of digital products and services, with over half (55%) of businesses stating that fostering innovation has now become a prime focus within their organisation, and 65% adding that the technology adopted during the pandemic will become a core part of operations going forward, even as life returns to normality.
It is reassuring news that in the wake of a crisis, companies are investing more and more in innovative technologies to drive their internal operations and business productivity.
Although it is a concerning time, the coronavirus crisis has given us a taste of how things could be going forward: a world where digital channels and automated processes are the norm, and not just novel ideas to be flirted with.
Ultimately, the steps already taken by businesses will serve them well going forward, ensuring they are well-situated to prosper in the new and challenging digital environment.