2020 has forced businesses to reevaluate ideas, get rid of old practices and quickly embrace change without having any time to think about the consequences. We have all been forced to make quick solutions, realise what is important and leave long-term considerations for another day.
It has been a year of gloom with devastating losses but also growth and unexpected success for some businesses, industries, and sectors. While there has been an enormous amount of learning and stretching, before the new year begins, it’s worth taking note of what to leave behind.
Focusing On The Wrong Things
Working in the ever changing, fast paced technology industry (or any industry for that matter) often means that we can become obsessed with what our competitors are doing in order to 1. Drive what we do next and 2. Help us understand our place within our industry. Focusing attention on outside factors like competitors will only distract you from the things that will deliver positive outcomes and get you the results you wish for.
Consumers priorities have shifted, they want to be treated with empathy, trust and respect. It’s become more critical to listen carefully to your customers. Research shows that consumers are willing to spend more on the products they purchase if they receive a great experience, so if you show true dedication to your customers during these challenging times, you will earn their trust over the long haul.
Similarly, the same amount of attention should also be given to your employees, after all they are at the centre of your success. For the majority of 2020, employees have been forced to juggle personal health concerns, family complications, economic uncertainty, and a huge change to their daily routines with remote working and homeschooling. It’s likely that employees are putting on a brave face right now, but the stress and anxiety that everyone is shouldering as we enter the new year is huge. Research shows that businesses with engaged employees outperform the competition, so become obsessed with your corporate culture, employee wellness and engagement.
If 2020 has taught us one thing, focus more of your attention on the voice of your customers and take a hard look at building an internal healthy culture for employees. If you aren’t already taking this approach, give it a try – you will see how you are naturally outperforming your competitors… without even trying!
A continuous planning approach will allow your business to continue to grow its performance as conditions change. It’s become apparent that what we thought we had control over can be torn apart within a matter of days and completely outweighed by uncontrollable factors.
So for once in your life, don’t plan too far in advance and make sure that you have a Plan B in case another unexpected event, big or small were to happen, and have a new Plan C as a backup to that. Always be prepared for the inevitable (thanks 2020) and aim to operate on back-up plans for back-up plans.
Consider introducing a continuous feedback loop that promotes constant growth. Utilise your customers and employees to provide feedback and likewise, be in touch with the problems, issues, and opportunities that arise within your internal teams. Evaluate monthly and even weekly, assess a range of scenarios and course-correct more often thank you think.
Businesses that are able to plan and strategise more than once every 12 months will be the high achievers of 2021.
Putting Off Digital Transformation
During the pandemic, a business’s ability to adapt quickly with an accelerated timeline has become critical. Supply chain disruptions, market pressures, and rapidly changing customer expectations have all become more apparent than ever before.
The need for digital transformation has increased. It’s a cultural change that requires challenging the status quo, experimenting and getting comfortable with failure. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business to change how you operate and deliver value to your customers.
In 2021, businesses must constantly find new ways to digitise and optimise with an accelerated timeline. When you’re armed with modern cloud technology, you can rapidly push forward change, achieve insights and analyse data quicker. This can be done via platforms that are gaining the ability, through AI and machine learning, to capture massive amounts of data in near real-time for faster understanding.
An important element of digital transformation is, of course, technology. But often, it’s more about shedding outdated processes than it is about adopting new tech. It’s also about enabling innovation. Speed is essential – without it, businesses risk being left behind.
Tying Them All Together
As mentioned above, refocusing on your customer is a key factor for 2021. Digital transformation plays a huge part in this by introducing new ways to improve your digital customer journey.
Secondly, digital transformation projects are not successful without continuous planning and analysis. They are necessary in order to create gains, positive outcomes and make digital transformation possible.
Businesses are all in different places on the road to digital transformation. If you are feeling stuck or don’t know where to start in your digital transformation work, you are not alone. One of the hardest questions in digital transformation is how to get over the initial humps from vision to execution. We are here to help you every through every step of the way with your digital transformation journey. Reach out to us today to see how we can work together to set you and your business up for success in 2021.
With the right tools and the right people, the old saying goes, anything is possible.