By: Gert Jonk, Senior Vice President of EMEA, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
A business’s ability to thrive post-pandemic is inextricably linked with its digital transformation. The health crisis has undoubtedly accelerated companies’ digital transformations, with almost all businesses forced to quickly migrate to new platforms and ways of working to adapt to ‘the new normal’. However, businesses now need a clear transformation strategy to build upon these foundations and future-proof their operations to ensure they can thrive and gain the full advantages of their digital shift.
Digital strategy was, at one time, only one aspect of a wider business strategy. However, it has now become clear that digital strategies are leading business decisions for most successful organisations, and that such a strategy should focus on connectivity, automation, new business models, and a move towards a single, simple platform.
The idea of connectivity continues to grow as technology advances and the industry innovates. We are at the point now where connectivity means more than connecting one entity with another. Today, it not only encompasses connecting people and objects, but also processes, opening up a multitude of opportunities. Indeed, many analysts have written about the post-crisis world, and the rise in the use of connectivity solutions to streamline workflows, increasing efficiency and productivity.
The goal for every business is to boost revenues, reduce costs and, in an ideal world, achieve both. By connecting people, processes, and objects through a digital transformation strategy, enterprises can reap the business benefits of being more connected, and utilise these advantages as more than just a means of coping with the health crisis. Technology innovations including IoT, location services, and collaboration platforms are at the forefront of business process and services automation. And by integrating these components into a digital transformation strategy, enterprises will reap the benefits of their technology investments.
New business models
As technology evolves, so too should the relevant business models, ensuring that the enterprise advances as a whole and embraces innovation in every sense. If we have learned anything from the health crisis, it is that business models must be robust and that digitalisation is a way to ensure this.
We have seen, and will continue to see, a rise in the hybrid workforce and it is becoming paramount that businesses can give their employees access to the tools and information they need to work remotely, in a safe and secure way. Remote working, at one time a crisis reaction, is now a staple of the modern enterprise model.
Unified communications solutions allow for the office to be anywhere and everywhere, opening up opportunities for diverse recruitment, uninhibited by location and enabling businesses to take advantage of a larger talent pool. With seamless communication solutions, employees can span the globe and still collaborate as if they shared the same office. The possibilities offered by a hybrid working model and the business advantages of having a team with such agility, fully validate an investment in remote working solutions.
Stemming from this, subscription is another business model which really came to light during the health crisis. Enlisting the services of others via an “as-a-service” model means that these services, or software, or whatever it may be, are accessible without having to invest large amounts of money upfront. Providers intend to lower the investment barrier by offering XaaS solutions, which lead to capital expenses being transformed into operational expenses, with customers benefitting from lower usage costs and general service availability. Many businesses took a hard hit financially during the health crisis and as a result, making large investments towards digital transformation may simply not be possible right now. But through subscription-based business models, enterprises can keep pace and gain momentum on their digital transformation journey, without making significant initial outlays.
The singular platform
Finally, the foundation to many of the points discussed so far lies in the cloud. For connectivity, automation, and a robust business model, the cloud is the solution on which enterprises can and ought to rely. The agility of cloud-based solutions to adapt to changing business environments makes it a strategic choice for businesses looking to future-proof their operations. Whatever challenges the market faces, such as a global health crisis, cloud-based solutions can enable businesses to scale, adapt, and above all, ensure agile, always-on activity.
The health crisis has highlighted how businesses really must be ready for anything, and that digitalisation is an invaluable step in preparing for the future. The more that businesses can assume this future-proof mindset and build on the progress made over the last year, the more likely they will be to thrive in the new normal and beyond.