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Transforming for the New Normal (part 1)

Tackling Forced Transformation in the ‘World’s Biggest Work From Home Experiment’

This is the first in a four-part series giving an overview of how organisations are coping with both business transformation and digital transformation as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown.

The rapid changes businesses have had to make to enable effective home-working have shown beyond doubt the realities of successful flexible and remote working, in industries where this was previously thought of as impossible.

Industry sectors already used to remote working have found things easier, but for other sectors it has been a steep learning curve. This is particularly true for ’24/365’ industries like manufacturing and engineering, for which moving operations entirely online is simply not an option.

Even those already used to working from home (WFH) have had new challenges to deal with – the mental strain of lockdown, family or partners home constantly, or difficulties with isolation for those living alone.  It’s had a huge effect on employee productivity, engagement, and wellbeing.

Not sure how to assess and prioritise your current business challenges? Follow this link for guidance.

Forcing Digital Transformation

To ensure the continuous communication needed for business continuity, organisations have been forced to transform digitally.  Prior to the pandemic this was something that many businesses had on their ‘to-do’ list, or had even written a business case for, but hadn’t quite got around to making the leap.

The fact that this has been forced has been a good thing in many ways. It’s true that cumbersome IT has long been a common pain point and catalyst for digital transformation. But the sudden mobilisation of the workforce brought a range of key issues to the forefront, putting a high-intensity spotlight on problems with outdated IT systems and service arrangements.

The urgency behind the move to WFH has also accelerated the adoption of web-based SaaS and cloud technologies to facilitate communications and collaborative working, which many businesses had not previously considered using, or had not felt the imperative to investigate. Platforms such as Zoom, MS Teams and Google Hangouts have become essential for leaders to manage and communicate with their teams.

The Security Issue

Although moving to the cloud has been a logical step for the majority of businesses, to give convenient access to key IT applications and company files and data remotely, this has also raised a range of issues and challenges – the most significant being security.

Cybercrime has risen phenomenally as the pandemic has progressed – it’s now estimated that over 80% of organisations have experienced some form of cyber-attack attempt.

There has had to be a heightened focus on security transformation. This is made complicated by the fact that leaders have had to relinquish control and visibility of their employees through remote working.

The problem hasn’t just been that the workforce has been scattered, but also that there are issues with attitudes to security. Around half of employees have admitted to being more lax about security whilst working from home, and many have been regularly sharing their work device with family members.

In complex and highly-regulated industries the stakes for dealing with sensitive data are even higher.  For example, delivering digital transformation and integration in the public sector, in local and central government and in educational institutions, was already taxing at the best of times but has been further complicated by the challenges of flexible and remote working, particularly as these sectors are not only tightly regulated but also typically have large numbers of external service users accessing their systems.

What next?

If you’d like to hear more on how to deliver practical business transformation, whether triggered by Covid-19 and the lockdown or other business challenges, please subscribe via the form on the left. Or to use me as a sounding board for your transformation programme, please do get in touch to set up a free (and obligation-free!) consultation call.

Look out for part two of the series, where I cover how effective team building and teamwork has become even more important to ensure success in the Covid-19 and lockdown world.