Executives say COVID-19 sped up digital transformation

    November 10, 2020

    As McKinsey Digital points out, in addition to the coronavirus pandemic being a dire humanitarian crisis, it’s also a significant catalyst for change. When it comes to the business world, much of that change is a result of the majority of organizations having undergone, or currently undergoing, a digital transformation.

    Earlier barriers to digital transformation

    Interestingly, even before the pandemic hit, more than 90 percent of companies believed they would have to transform their business models due to the adoption of digitization. That being said, there has long been a set of specific barriers to digital transformation in the more conservative, slower-moving companies, including:

    • A lack of a clear strategy to transform both core business processes and revenue-generating initiatives
    • The inability to gain executive approval due to low buy-in among CEOs
    • A reluctance to replace legacy software due to operational and budgetary concerns
    • A lack of time due to the scope of current and planned operations and projects

    An acceleration of six years

    According to a Twilio survey of more than 2,500 executives, 97 percent of respondents believe COVID-19 accelerated their company’s digital transformation and sped up their digital communications strategy by an average of six years. And 79 percent say that the pandemic increased their budget for digital transformation.

    This is a logical step, considering that social distancing prevents people from getting together in groups—whether that’s working in an office or at a business venue. But it doesn’t make it any less remarkable that so many companies have managed to adapt to digital so quickly.

    Engaging customers

    The Twilio survey also showed that due to the pandemic, 95 percent of all organizations are looking for new ways to engage customers. And 92 percent of all companies say that transforming their digital communications is critical to addressing the business challenges they currently face.

    The same number of businesses agree that they’re likely to expand their digital communications channels. To illustrate: 54 percent are now focusing on omnichannel communications, and more than half have added new channels. On top of that, one in three organizations started using IVR—interactive voice response—channels and live chat to handle the influx of customers looking to connect.

    Be aware of future developments

    Even if your company has already made the leap to digital, it’s important to be aware of future developments in technology. By staying up to date, you’ll be able to connect faster and more easily with your team—as well as with your business’s partners, clients, or customers.



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