Ten years from now, when the COVID-19 pandemic has long since come to a close, changes made during this time will continue to affect the way that people live their daily lives. Today, as people continue to stay separated from one another, the use of technology has replaced many conventional in-person interactions. The workplace and the way that many companies operate are almost certain to be permanently affected. By acting now, companies can stay relevant and grow during the changing times. Here are 5 ways technology will help grow your business during the COVID-19 crisis.
1. On-Premises Isn’t So Advantageous When Employees Work Remotely
While many companies continue to physically control their own infrastructure, running physical machines often costs more than using cloud services. From the increase in around-the-clock IT personnel to the potential liability if something goes wrong, on-premises is often not the right option. Many employees are working remotely and more people are using cloud services. Given this, many of the potential security and compliance advantages of on-premises computing no longer make so much sense.
Increasing flexibility is the big advantage of cloud computing. During a time when change is occurring rapidly, being able to scale and change computing workloads on demand significantly increases efficiency. By not having to run underutilized physical infrastructure or rush to buy more hardware, companies can save significant money. Entirely new optimizations become available when cloud-based computing resources can be spun up and shut down in seconds. Additionally, hybrid cloud offerings now exist to bridge the gap between on-premise and cloud infrastructure. Creating the best of both worlds.
2. New Digital Business Models Are Transforming the Economy
Many industries have had to quickly adjust to contact-less delivery, digital purchase processes, and other changes. An initial wave of businesses like restaurants and retail stores needed to make these changes to survive. Other businesses in less-impacted market segments might also find making these changes beneficial to their continued success. Even in relatively static market segments, digital alternatives to outdated processes can be a major differentiating factor between two companies. Offering completely-online experiences for customers can increase a company’s customer base beyond those who are comfortable going out in person. Delivery, drop-off, and similar initiatives can be applied to many traditional businesses that were hit less hard by the initial repercussions of the pandemic.
3. Automation Makes a Big Difference
Even when companies’ business models haven’t changed, their existing processes can be automated to increase efficiency. Greater automation can reduce large amounts of repetitive manual work from employees and decrease costs significantly. With modern machine learning and advanced artificial intelligence, processes that were formerly completely manually can now be better automated. Automation is a crucial part of any corporate digital optimization strategy.
Manual processes often differ significantly between companies. Given this, different companies will need to analyze their own repetitive processes to find areas that can be automated. In nearly all cases, efficiency gains from the effective use of automation significantly exceed the costs of implementing the automation.
4. Can You Reduce Your Real Estate Costs?
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many businesses is that expensive office buildings are not necessary for a significant percentage of employees. Since nearly everyone has been forced to work remotely recently, many employers are learning that more of their workforces can avoid coming into the office even when it becomes safe to do so.
Real estate costs in cities and other expensive places might have been a noticeable differentiating factor years ago, but many employees will no longer be willing to deal with a long commute to work in an environment that is not any more productive than their own home. In addition to the major cost-saving advantages from providing more limited office space, remote-first companies may be more attractive to employees who have gotten used to improved efficiency and flexibility at home.
When remote-first work is combined with automation and cloud computing, many organizations can simultaneously reduce their costs and increase productivity.
5. Personalization Might Help Your Company Retain Customers and Attract New Ones
For business-to-consumer companies, knowing and adapting to the customer’s needs can significantly improve customer satisfaction and retention. Digital technology has made large improvements in this area as data analytics and end-to-end customer experience monitoring have greatly improved in the last few years. Through these technologies, organizations can monitor the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and target user experiences to better optimize customer-facing processes.
Customer experience personalization can be a big differentiator for your company. Especially when combined with a digital business model and increased efficiency through automation.
How Will Your Business Transform?
During periods of rapid change, organizations must adapt or risk being left behind. Empowering employees, reducing costs, using new digital business models, and increasing flexibility and business agility are all important parts of running a business in today’s environment. By considering these changes, businesses are able to continue to do well even when the future is altogether uncertain. Which of our 5 ways that technology can help grow your business during the COVID-19 crisis will you implement in your business?
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