The world as we know it has changed and is transforming in front of our eyes. We’ve been tested in different ways every day trying to adapt to new working and learning routines.
It’s essential that small businesses across the globe get through the pandemic because they are vital to every nation’s economy.
The current crisis is accelerating the digital world, but also has the potential to accelerate a digital divide. At present, there are many technology-oriented solutions that can help your businesses to survive this crisis. Digital technologies can be essential not just to survive, but to thrive and have continued success after the pandemic.
New digital solutions are key to helping your business
At present, any business focused on providing the exchange of goods and ideas between people without in-person interaction should be able to survive. An example this kind of company is Zoom, which by now everyone has heard of by now as they’ve provided video chat and conferencing services to the world during 2020.
Online retailers such as Amazon are seen massive growth, as much as a 44% increase in stock price since a low on March 12. You can argue that there are some big and well-positioned businesses that are managing to survive and even see growth, but many big manufacturers are struggling to survive.
On the other hand, some small local companies are flourishing, for example, some local restaurants have reinvented themselves and are now focusing on delivery with Deliveroo, Uber Eats etc.
The common characteristics amongst businesses that are experiencing success during the pandemic:
– The ability to adapt to the new customers’ requirements
– A willingness to embrace technology in order to improve production and services.
To overcome this crisis, companies need to be receptive and responsive, and there are many digital solutions that can help them not just to carry out their normal activities, but also enhance business processes as well.
Here are a few examples about how technology can help businesses to go through this pandemic:
Going digital during the pandemic is not just something you can choose to do, it’s now a vital part of the day to day work life in every business around the world.
The first step to go digital is to update your company website where prospective clients/customers can check and order your products and services online. Then, you can start promoting your business on search engines such as Google or Bing, as well as social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Digital transformation is not just about having a digital presence; it is the integration of digital technology into every aspect of a business.
It’s not just a cosmetic change; it is a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge all state of affairs, experiment. Remember, don’t be scared of failure, we all learn from our mistakes.
Many companies and services have continued to remain open during COVID-19 by implementing new physical distancing rules and technology to keep their business running and their employees safe. However, due to increased lockdown measures, technology has become as important, if not more important to all businesses again.
During the pandemic, there has been an influx in the usage of online services such as digital signature or digital IDs not just to buy products and services; also, to connect with social organisations and hospitals etc.
It’s become essential to provide personalised and digital services during the pandemic. Before COVID-19, these types of digital applications were nice to have, but are now a necessity. For many organisations, these apps and digital software can help them with providing a good quality service whilst reducing/completely stopping in-branch visits.
Perfecting the remote working model
Companies across the world have had to shift to a work-from-home model due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a consequence of that, employers have needed to adapt and find the right tools to make the employee’s work day easier, and to be able to monitor their workers’ progress.
For many employers, time tracking is critical to figure out how productive employees are when working remotely whist other prefer to focus on productivity. Nevertheless, data should be available to both manager and employee in order to get optimal results and with the right technology and software in place. Businesses can maximise their employee’s ability to work remotely, and be more efficient
Information and communications technology (ICT)
During the pandemic, technology has allowed people to communicate virtually, regardless of location—making it essential for businesses that need to remain open and working.
Having the proper technology implemented within your organisation allows affective virtual communication when social distancing or lockdowns are compulsory by government officials.
Do you need to conclude a distance contract or communicate with other offices without physical presence?
Digital solutions such an electronic contract can improve relationships between clients, suppliers, workers and all those involved in the different economic sectors. In addition to being able to remotely carry out any of the above processes and solve the hiring needs in the best way with the most advanced technology, no matter the sector in question, these tools will lower operating costs as there is less travel involved within the UK and other countries. Therefore, reducing wasted tine and dedicate more hours to more important and demanding tasks.
This term was created by social scientists and refers to; “The use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and a wide range of information and communication services.”
This concept when applied to business is the total connection between all the areas involved such as employees, customers, suppliers and any other stakeholders. Hyper-connectivity makes information more easily accessible and available on any device, which can be easily shared amongst any of the stakeholders associated with your business. Hyper-connectivity helps organisations to become more agile as any new team members have instant access to the platform at any time, anywhere.
Improving workflow efficiency
Learning to improve all work processes is necessary to improve overall business performance. Technology now offers workflow software that enables businesses to restructure their way of working, like work order processing or accounts payable procedures amongst others, instead of having to use the old-fashioned pen and paper. These tools provide you with the ability to maintain normal operations, as online data backups and recovery systems can help in something like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Technology also helps us to improve productivity by eliminating all those unnecessary time-consuming tasks. File management software removes the need for data entry, filing and manual file retrieval. There are plenty of useful technology and software options out there to improve workflow.
For example; bookkeeping and accounting software that can automate most of the processes that used to take precious time to complete.
Improved data management
The volume of data we create on the internet is always expanding, in fact, at the moment over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created every single day. Every time a consumer conducts a search, completes a purchase, visits your website or comments on one of your social posts, you will add to that vast expanse of information.
As we all know, this information can be a valuable asset, but only if we know how to tap into and extract the bits that are relevant to business success. In the last few years, the volume of data has increased far faster than we have the ability to process it, but technology can help you to keep your information organised and indexed correctly.
There are a number of apps out there to help you organise and process relevant data, which can help us to make informed decisions from further analysis and research. Without data collection and analysis, companies would be using outdated practices and data to make decisions.
These are very challenging times; however, there are some tools available that can help you minimise the impact on your business. Many of those technologies already exist, you just have to know where to search, learn how to use them effectively and take advantage of their benefits.