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How Has COVID-19 Fast-tracked Digital Transformation?

UK Hospitality

COVID-19 has been awful, by all accounts. However, there may be one thing that has improved throughout COVID-19 - and that is the rate of digital transformation.

As the world went into lockdown and online solutions became essential, companies have been forced to digitally transform in order to keep up with demand.

Whilst many businesses have put off digital transformation as a kind of last priority, COVID-19 has meant that the digital innovation process has been accelerated. Although the hurry and stress that has caused this digital transformation has been awful, the fact that it is now done and most businesses have fast-tracked years of digital transformation into a matter of months is definitely a good thing.

We’re taking a look at how COVID-19 has transformed the digital landscape and brought businesses up to date with digital solutions.

How Have Businesses Transformed Digitally During COVID-19?

Each industry has undergone their own kind of digital transformation, however the disruption of COVID has meant that almost every industry has had to move forward digitally in order to stay alive.

With the decline of the high street and in-person sales due to lockdowns, most businesses have had to move trading online. This in itself has increased digital transformation and meant that businesses have had to engage with software, mobile applications and online ecommerce platforms that they maybe hadn’t dealt with before.

Moreover, with employees working remotely, many businesses have had to make changes to how they allow their people to work flexibly. With this has come digital transformation and movement towards platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Asana, Trello and the like.

What COVID-19 has done has forced people to take action where previously they may have just shrugged off the concerns they had about their business not keeping up digitally. In 2020, these concerns have to be addressed for survival. The book The Technology Fallacy identifies this “Knowing-Doing Gap” that was a term coined by Pfeffer and Sutton over 20 years ago. It refers to the majority of companies in which people (87%) know that their company will be disrupted by digital technologies, but few of those people (44%) believe that their company is doing enough to respond to this disruption.

In this sense, COVID-19 has been able to close the Knowing-Doing Gap in some sense. Whilst previously this gap could exist and a company could survive without taking action to digitise their business, during the pandemic this gap proved deadly for many businesses. Those who weren't digitally literate either quickly made themselves so, or struggled to survive.

A recent paper published in Deloitte Insights hits the nail on the head in saying, “in the same way that a heart attack can serve as a wakeup call and impetus for lifestyle changes for those suffering from chronic heart disease, the COVID-19 crisis and other acute disruptions can serve as an opportunity for organizations to make some fundamental shifts and to implement structures and practices that will enable them to thrive”.

Top Ways That COVID Has Accelerated Digital Transformation?

Mobile Technology Has Accelerated 

With the removal of the hospitality sector for the first part of the year, mobile technology was essential to bringing it back to speed. As hospitality re-emerged after lockdowns lifted, consumers were sceptical of coming into contact with eftpos machines and people for cash payments. This meant that mobile and contactless technology has accelerated in all sectors, but especially in hospitality.  

In the UK alone, contactless technology has been accelerating rapidly, with the percentage of contactless payments jumping from 3% in 2015 to 21% in 2019 and even further in 2020.

Remote Working Technologies Have Been Implemented 

As companies have scrambled to keep working remotely, online platforms that aid remote working have accelerated. The implementation of these technologies have been a long time coming, and are now transforming the ways that we work. A recent earning report from Zoom showed that they had more than doubled their revenue during Feb-April 2020 compared to the same period last year.


Security Measures Have Become A Priority

Prior to COVID-19 many companies were putting their cyber security strategies on the backburner, but with COVID accelerating the use of digital, cyber security has become a huge concern. 58% of respondents to a recent Microsoft study reported that they have increased security budgets due to COVID-19, which is undoubtedly a good thing in the fight against cybercrime.

Digital Transformation For Your Business

Are you considering digital transformation for your business? If you are a hospitality business wondering how you can get ahead with mobile payments and contactless solutions, head to our contact page to chat through your options.

You can also read up on how hospitality is changing post-lockdown to stay up with the latest news.

October 16, 2020

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