We have all lived through the rapid, chaotic changes of the last few months. As any individual business can tell you, there has been a lot of upheaval and change throughout 2020. But to figure out what this year has truly meant for the state of work, and how organizations made business adjustments for COVID-19 to meet the challenges of the moment, we can take a look at the way that organizations with Quickbase’s rapid-cycle innovation capabilities are looking to make quick changes and shift their business models.
By analyzing – in the aggregate – terms that citizen developers within Quickbase were using more and less often than previous years over the last 9 months, we were able to find key trends for how businesses looked to modernize and make their operations more flexible. As this data from across our Quickbase app creators showed, the need to shift to a digital-first operation was most prevalent in a few different areas.
Reaching Customers with Effective Digital Marketing
As the COVID-19 pandemic immediately eliminated the ability to reach customers in person, be it through large-scale events or in-person meetings, organizations needed to find the way to communicate with prospects and customers in lieu of those strategies. The term “webinar” was used in a whopping 733% more tables than the previous year. With a high co-occurrence of the term “event,” this shows that the Quickbase users worked to translate their previous in-person efforts onto digital channels as rapidly as possible.
But this push to digital channels didn’t just mean webinars. Terms like “email activity” and “social media” saw their usage spike as well, reflecting how businesses needed to build out and lean more on their online channels when the only way to reach a customer or prospect would come digitally. As organizations looked to make quick changes, the most nimble and accessible channels on which to make those changes and send out key communications were via email and social media. And to prepare for the future, organizations need to have healthy digital channels to reach customers no matter the state of in-person activities.
Building Remote Work Infrastructure
Some of the other most common changes came with organizations looking to analyze the state of their business and prepare for necessary changes. The term “subscriptions” saw a 233% increase from the prior year, with other terms like “payables” seeing a similar spike.
Specific to manufacturing, the term “global” saw the largest increase, with other terms like “ship” and “shipments” increasing as well. Coupled with a drop in the use of the term “job,” this shows a decline in local onsite work while sending materials across the world is a more manageable, remote-friendly model.
This reflects a need for organizations to be prepared to work remotely and change their business model to match the way that they can reach their customers during the current state of affairs. When the prospects of your business can be jolted in a matter of moments, being ready to adapt and adjust is key.
Leaning On Automation
Finally, one of the most intriguing trends through this data came from an increase in the term “automation.” With that term seeing a 171% increase, organizations with a now-distributed workforce now have to find ways to stay productive and continue to trust teams even without the connection of being in the office together.
By moving to models focused on automation, and taking manual, possibly error-prone tasks out of employees’ hands as they navigate their new remote work realities, organizations can increase their reliability and build in a layer of consistency where they may not have had it before. With digital transformation being a priority for leading organizations, it is worth noting this move towards automation as a potential piece of that move.
What Does It Mean?
This data all reflects the fact that the organizations that are succeeding and making the necessary shifts during this era of rapid change are the ones with the flexibility and agility to make changes to their business model. To manage through the end of 2020, and hit the new year running, it is critical to be ready for anything and have the flexibility to capitalize or adjust, without a technical life beyond your team’s capabilities or bandwidth.
While COVID-19 has certainly shaken businesses across industries, monitoring how operationally agile organizations can change strategies and quickly reprioritize shows that to survive and thrive going forward, organizations are going to need to prepare for rapid change.
Disclaimer: all data was analyzed in the aggregate, and was analyzed in accordance with Quickbase’s data security policies.