How Leaders are Optimizing Digital Transformation During Covid-19

Perspectives
Dec 3, 2020
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6 Min Read
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As the effects of Covid-19 continue, we can analyze its effect as a flashpoint for businesses and how they reacted to massive upheaval. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services’ (HBRAS) recent report, “Reevaluating Digital Transformation During Covid-19, delves into exactly what this means for organizations on their paths to digital transformation. While Covid-19 has certainly brought its fair share of challenges to organizations, leaders have actually seized this moment to advance their digital transformation and come out stronger.

This HBRAS report found some key focuses among leaders on how they are preparing for what lays ahead. Here are three ways that leading organizations have used Covid-19 as a moment to reprioritize and ensure their business models are primed for success for the future.

A major focus on resiliency and agility

Everybody has been shaken by the pandemic, and stability and resiliency has become incredibly valuable because of it. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, there has been a 33% increase in organizations prioritizing resiliency as a business imperative. Organizations are now starting to understand the need to stay stable and weather the constant change that could lie ahead. And leaders are using this chance to improve – 82% of leaders say they’ve successfully improved business resiliency and continuity since the beginning of the pandemic.

And that includes an increased focus on operational agility as well – the next level up from resiliency. Among leaders, there is a 12% increase in agility as a focus for organizations. With organizations now looking to flex and adapt their operations, technology, and information more often than ever before, operational agility will allow them to make faster decisions, leverage existing technology investments, and prepare for change. this new focus on operational agility is going to set leading organizations ahead of their competitors. 

Learn more about the importance of operational agility.
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A new call for culture changes

One of the biggest roadblocks to remaining successful during turbulent times comes from culture. When an organizational culture is resistant to change, it can be incredibly tough to adapt to new conditions and pivot to a new, necessary business model. This is why HBRAS found that 33% of leaders are using this opportunity to initiate culture changes for innovation. And further, they’re doing it across their entire business – these culture changes are coming both at the enterprise level and across business workflows.  

Leaders are making these changes more than both followers and laggards, again showing why leading organizations are positioned to not just survive the pandemic, but to thrive on the other side. While making culture changes can take some elbow greasesuch as building and leaning on a new governance model entirely, putting in the effort for these changes can pay off with an organization that is more flexible and prepared for constant change ahead.

Best practices for dual-track transformation success

A belief in low-code as the path forward

Among the strategies of leading organizations are taking on to navigate the challenging conditions this year has provided, low-code development has proven particularly valuable. 73% of leaders are capitalizing on low-code development, a figure that is 20 percentage points higher than followers and 33 percentage points higher than laggards.   

Low-code development allows organizations to build and consistently improve processes, empowering business users to make changes that they are closest to instead of dedicating IT resources to those changes. And as one-half of a dual-track transformation strategy, leaders are able to tackle problems both large and small as they forge ahead on their digital transformation.

Read the full report from HBRAS, “Reevaluating Digital Transformation During Covid-19.”
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