The need to invest in digital infrastructure amid COVID-19

Spread the love

Digital infrastructure has always remained the unsung heroes of economic growth in the modern world. Today if companies want to digitalize their core business or make use of digital services, they have no option other than to invest in digital infrastructure.

Brands that haven’t invested in digital transformation are struggling to cope up with the current pandemic situation. Compared to those brands who made the right strategic moves much before by adopting digital infrastructure are in a position where they can compete with any crises without disrupting company management.

Why do we need digital transformation?
Digital infrastructure has become the nucleus for industry as a whole, forming the foundation for the higher layers in all value chains, more and more so as industry undergoes digital transformation.

In the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic as many countries are locking down, enterprises mainly need to actively plan and prioritize their digital investments so that they are prepared for growth and emerge more competitive when current challenges subside.

Without high-speed networks and highly secure, available, and reliable data centers, there can be no digitalization – for companies of any size.

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the mettle of enterprises across the globe. The need for digital infrastructure is constantly increasing in line with more explosion in digital innovation.

Supply chains stand disrupted, scheduled projects have been put on hold, product launches have been shelved, there is upheaval in financial markets and even basic business activities such as sales meetings or providing customer support services have been interrupted.

The collaborative office, online marketing, video conferencing, customer management, remote support and service and other digital systems have provided tremendous support in coping with the challenges.

Rise in use on technology
As the turmoil continues, a silver lining has appeared in the form of digital solutions in ensuring continuity, resilience and agility of processes. There are a number of projects that involve private companies contributing research, processing or other valuable resources to medium- and long-term response efforts. 

The use of technology to accelerate scientific research into sustainable solutions for emerging pathogens is extraordinarily effective and, mostly, straight forward.

It may hold significant potential for abuse, contributing resources to regulated research is one of the safest and most valuable ways for companies and experts to use technology to contribute to the COVID-19 response.

Now companies face the existential challenge in which digitization will play an outsized role in determining which retailers survive. The digital experience which brands provide to their customers will have a massive impact on their ability to win new customers and retain existing ones after the crisis has passed. 

To deliver the quality digital experience and customers crave, brands must first ensure that they are up-to-date and set up each employee for success as an agent of the transformation. 

Quality in work
There is also the reality that while social distancing and shelter-in-place orders may be temporary, once customers and employees taste the benefits of digital experience, the expectation of operating an effective digital business will be lasting.

Enterprises must prioritize their digital channels internally to ensure employees can be productive and externally to deliver quality experiences to their customers. 

Internally, that encompasses everything spanning the purchase of new hardware, like transitioning employees from desktops to laptops so they can work from any location, to video conferencing tools such as Zoom, WebEx, or even enabling contact center agents to work from home. 

Externally, companies must invest and lean into digital optimization tools designed to enhance the customer experience and powering sales growth. This will ensure customer loyalty that will keep them coming back posts-crisis.

One thing is certain—non-contact connected businesses and services will continue to gain traction over the mid-to-long term as boundaries between online and offline services blur. Convergence of digital technologies such as 5G, AI, cloud, data analytics and IoT will only fuel the trend.

These will continue to play a critical role in ensuring continuity of business operations and customer service by automating routine tasks, facilitating remote connectivity and safeguarding critical data.

Hence, enterprises need to actively plan and prioritize their digital investments so that they are prepared for growth and emerge more competitive when current challenges subside, the global economy rebounds and a ‘new normal’ emerges.

The stakes could hardly be higher. When no business can afford to lose precious revenue, offering a seamless digital experience is a matter of survival.

(Manoj Kumar Pansari is Chairman and MD – Astrum India. Views expressed in this article are of the author).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *