As the news releases present us with the statistics of a global social and economic disaster, alas in Romania either an increasing number of companies are facing declining demand, supply chain difficulties, lack of liquidity, but even more acute, a lack of perspective. What's next? What will it be like after the pandemic passes?
Companies are forced to adapt quickly to new operating realities. Instantly we have seen how everything moves in the online environment and we discover remote working or remote education.
The pandemic shows companies the value of information technology and digital transformation. While some companies were better prepared, others took refuge in state aid waiting for the end of the pandemic and the resumption, perhaps, in a different way.
To the latter, but not exclusively, I also address the following recommendations with the confidence that they will help them to be better prepared for what is to come:
Online collaboration tools – companies must identify, evaluate, and have a mix of online collaboration tools relevant to their business, to work remotely. Beyond companies that have such well-known solutions, even premium, at high prices, some companies can offer similar tools and solutions at affordable prices. The criteria that it is good to keep in mind are the security and scalability before choosing remote collaboration tools, in any access option.
Sales channel relaunch strategy – because buying behaviors have been seriously affected by the social distancing, companies that operate mainly in the offline environment can no longer afford to see online only as an option but as a necessity. Integrating online presence into daily operations means strategy and investment to ensure greater business sustainability.
An agile continuity plan – even with a continuity plan in one of the My Documents files, company leaders had little to do. Therefore an agile plan that starts immediately and is simulated monthly, especially after activating the work from the home system is the most appropriate. The environment characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity requires quick answers, and sometimes the consideration of telework as a permanent solution is appropriate.
Automation technology – most production companies when they have not completely closed their production, have reduced it considerably. Under these circumstances, the pressure on the supply chain increased commensurate to the growing demand. Automating a production company with minimal operation through human intervention must become a common reality to ensure better preparedness for future health crises.
IT security – securing company data, consumers, or other sensitive information is imposed as an obligation dictated not necessarily by the GDPR but by the security of the business itself. Cases of data breaches that have caused immense damage to the victim companies are well known. Teleworking brings challenges from this point of view. The explosive use of tools or platforms for remote work may expose companies to security risks that the instrument supplier did not take into account in the product design phase. IT security should be considered in advance and not post facto.
Transforming digital transformation
Complementary to the above is the latest technologies: RPA, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, Augmented and Virtual Reality, 3D Printing also more or less directly relevant to companies depending on the industry.
Beyond the decline in sales, the inability to restart production, and have business meetings, the "acquisitions" of this crisis are the widespread adoption of telework, the refining of the use of digital tools, and the recognition of the value of digital transformation and information technology by employees.
But the key to digital transformation is not just technology, but collaboration. At the intersection of technology and people is the solution to the digital transformation of companies. For companies that have not made efforts for the digital transformation in recent years, Covid-19 will likely be the catalyst to push this transformation beyond the finish line.
ConstantinMagdalina has 9 years of working experience, while he performed in multinationals both in Romania and abroad. Constantin has a master’s degree in Marketing and Business Communication at the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest. He is certified Lean Six Sigma and ITIL which provide him a good understanding of processes and transformations within organizations. The Chartered Institute of Marketing certification furthered on complemented his expertise and knowledge in business. In those over 4 years working activity in a Big4 company, he initiated and conducted studies which analyzed different aspects related to the business environment in Romania such as the economic growth predictions of companies in 2013-2016, knowledge management, the buying experience in the age of digital consumers, social media 2013-2015, the utilization of mobile devices in Romania. He is the author of numerous articles on topics related to innovation, the efficiency of business processes, social media, the consumers’ buying experience in the age of digital, trends and emergent technologies. He is invited as a speaker at numerous events and business conferences.