Realigning Digital Strategies to Yield the Best Business Outcomes in Testing Times

Aug 27, 2021
Corporate | 4 min READ
This article was originally published in ET CIO  - Source link
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The pandemic has ravaged one nation after another, leaving economies and businesses in shambles. Technology has become the backbone of every industry and have ensured business continuity. Due to the pandemic, the adoption of technology has increased across industries to ensure business continuity. While the adoption has increased, there is also a need for skilled talent to ensure easy adoption of emerging technologies by businesses.
Roop Singh
Roop Singh

CEO, Americas


The American pharmaceutical and biotechnology major Moderna, was quick to leverage their cloud-first strategy deemed for research and development (R&D) of personalized cancer vaccines towards COVID-19 drug-development pursuits as soon as the pandemic hit. Virologists and engineers at Moderna relied on the proprietary web-based application, Drug Design Studio, which runs on scalable cloud computing and data-warehousing technologies. The adoption of cloud principles helped the vaccine development major automate processes towards their end objective of accelerating therapeutic drug development.
As a result, within 42 days of the initial sequencing of the virus, the United States National Institute of Health was in a position to run phase one trials of the first clinical batch of Moderna’s vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273).
Since the pandemic hit, most businesses' journeys can be viewed in three phases – The Beginning, The Lockdown, and The Unlocking.
At each of these stages, technology tools, innovation and people-acumen were saviors for organizations to overcome the limitations imposed by this global pandemic, Analyzing the Digitalization Imperatives.
Analyzing the Digitalization Imperatives
Phase 1
The Beginning: This phase was characterized by the globally prevailing confusion. The business outlook nosedived, and beyond the profits and margins, organizations lost valuable human resources. Initial attempts at digitalization during the early onset of the pandemic were more in line with ensuring business continuity, employee communication, and disaster management. While small steps in this regard helped avoid financial disasters for several organizations, it also reaped considerable benefits in terms of optimizing process efficiencies, as digitization brought about greater visibility in terms of supply chain management.
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Phase 2
The Lockdown: With the world witnessing an era of government-enforced lockdowns, the imperatives to ramp up efforts of digitalization in the new normal arose from aspects of newly changing dynamics in employee-employer and customer-supplier relationships. However, the situational awareness had fairly evolved during this phase and the focus was on empathy – towards customers: service providers, employees, and all the stakeholders of the eco-system. This phase was also signified by automated business and operating models to offer improved and competitive customer services. The universal adoption of virtual service models, be it the likes of telehealth consultation in life sciences, Zoom and Microsoft Teams for workspace collaboration, or educational technology services for remote learning, was a rather welcome industry trend during these difficult times.
Phase 3
Unlocking: Coming to the current reality of phased unlocking, the imperatives to digitalize have changed considerably. These include:
Shift in Customer Sentiments towards Online Channels
From contactless manufacturing to digital banking and from online meetings to virtual tours, there is an evident shift towards adopting online channels for creating customer engagement, influencing customer decision making and collaborating to deliver seamless virtual experiences
Permanent Shift towards Altered Workforce Models
While the key to several business operations is physical presence, continuity is possible for a host of specialized services either remotely or through hybrid workforce models. The likes of Facebook and Twitter have announced remote work policies for the foreseeable future. Even corporates like Morgan Stanley and Mondelez are adopting hybrid models as we advance.
Permanent Shift towards Altered Workforce Models
With the precedent being set, more and more businesses are eyeing this opportunity to digitalize to do away with real estate costs of physical operations and benefit from increased budgets to hire talent.
Acceleration of Digital Models, Product, and Services
The scope for innovation and offering differentiated products is immense at this juncture. Virtual assistants have become central to contactless customer servicing. Towards the objective of improving product offerings, cloud service providers have stepped up their game. Anticipating increased demands in technologies associated with the facilitation of hybrid workplaces, Amazon has plans to increase investment in cloud services.
Uncertainties to Persist for Longer than Anticipated
A prominent driver of digitization in the context of the pandemic is the uncertainty of the nature of the coronavirus disease. We've already seen two significant waves since the outbreak, and the top authorities on health globally have been warning us about the persistence of the virus and its changing nature. This reality is one that must be lived with, and in the face of phased unlocking, organizations will need to innovate and digitalize to meet the need of the hour.
Finding the Silver Lining
Business leaders today are presented with an opportunity to make a historical impact. Technology service providers are building transformative solutions to bridge the gaps between physical and digital across industries.
The definitions and consumption patterns are changing. We experience this every day with introductions to newer concepts such as hybrid workforce, virtual workplaces, work tourism, takeaway restaurants (offering options besides and beyond fast food), virtual events, virtual visits, online shopping for premium products like cars, contactless deliveries, and many more. The most important thing to note is that these experiences and concepts have been created in the past year-and-half.
Finding the Silver Lining
Experiences have transformed the legacy approaches by delving into the realms of modern analytics while delivering unparalleled outcomes at unrivaled speeds. Partnerships with leading technology platforms and system integrators have played a crucial role in enabling these outcomes.
The buck does not stop at collaboration. Organizations are constantly trying to strengthen their portfolio of offerings further to accelerate clients' digital transformation journeys. For businesses and their leaders, if there were ever an appropriate time to consolidate the digital positioning, without a doubt, it is here and now!
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