The year 2020 started with a lot of energy and hypes associated with entering a new decade. Several businesses were charged with executing lofty, strategic, operational and corporate goals that could move their organizations forward.
Fast track into the year, little did the world know that a viral pandemic, tagged coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated and ravaged Wuhan in China would bring the whole world to a halt. The rapid global spread of COVID-19 in the first quarter 2020 was unprecedented. The devastating effect of the virus was alarming. The World Health Organisation declared the virus a pandemic. The entire world was brought to a halt.
As at the time of writing this article, there were almost Two million confirmed cases around the world with a death toll of over a hundred thousand according to worldometers.com.
Businesses were shut in, there was massive job loss and unemployment rate spiked globally. In trying to survive, a few organisations activated their technological plan B of working remotely. This was particular the case of organizations that were digitally ready.
Digital transformation is an essential project that every leading business must undertake. Its importance cannot be over-emphasized. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of business operation. It fundamentally transforms how an organization operates and delivers value to customers. More importantly, it is also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment and get comfortable with failure.
Digital transformation has two components namely Digitization and Digitalization. While digitization involves converting the organization’s raw and analogue data to digital data, digitalization involves automating core business processes for an organization. Digital transformation is, therefore, the entire process of digitization and digitalization.
The occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic further stressed the need and importance of digital transformation in an organisation that must survive in this century and unpredictable economic climate.
Majority of corporations worldwide had to shut down their operations due to lockdown and various social restrictions enforced in different countries. Worse hit are the companies and institutions whose business operations depend entirely on manual processes. These sets of businesses had their operations locked down as the pandemic persists.
On the other hand, some companies who before now already embraced digital transformation literarily continued their operations during the lockdown. Employees are typically working and collaborating remotely. That is significant.
As beautiful and impactful as technology is to businesses, it often comes with its pros and cons. As the need for digital transformation increases, so also is the cyber risk associated with data liberalization.
Cybersecurity is one of the greatest global risks currently being experienced today. As organisation embraces digital transformation, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, there is a strong need to also be cyber aware.
Organizations must build very strong cyber resilient strategies along with their digital transformation journey.
While the effects of this pandemic persist, many businesses will struggle with the disruption orchestrated by it. Organizations will never remain the same again. Most businesses would have to re-define their corporate strategies in a way to achieve operational efficiency. Succinctly put, it would be no business as usual post Covid19.
Change is the only constant thing in the life of every individual and organization. The same goes with disruption. If you fail to move ahead, you will be left behind.
In conclusion, this is the time when businesses have to re-craft their visions, aims and objectives. Post Covid-19, businesses will not only resume but will reset. Only the focussed would come back on.
Authored by Abiodun Odewale.
Abiodun is a digital transformation and cybersecurity consultant with over two decades of experience spanning various sectors of the economy.