Top 5 Lessons Learned from Digital Transformation During the Pandemic

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Since the pandemic took hold, the transition to digitally dependent remote workforces has become a way of life for businesses across the globe. Limits to what organizations thought they were capable of when it comes to digital transformation have been surpassed. Here are five lessons my team and I have learned that support digital transformation initiatives during the pandemic.

1. Collaboration is key to a successful digital journey

While the pandemic propelled business leaders to implement digital solutions quickly, digitization without planning, collaboration with cross functional or interdepartmental stakeholders, and an understanding of impact to the organization will not have desired results. This means having strong leadership and well placed champions aligned on common goals throughout the organization are critical for success.

2. Businesses need to make resilience part of their DNA

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s no surprise that business leaders everywhere are expressing a desire to futureproof their businesses by quickly working through disruptions, identifying vulnerabilities and being able to maintain business operations. However, resiliency in business can be an abstract concept.

As the business continues to change at an accelerated pace, companies need to embrace opportunities to become more adaptable and agile. Since resilience prepares a company for the unknown, it should account for the ways the business can quickly mitigate external pressures. In IT, this can be done by transitioning into modern frameworks that leverage tools to resolve issues quickly, even automatically. Application performance monitoring (APM) and artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) are products that can empower technologists to be proactive problem solvers for their business and drive innovation. This is a practical way for companies to make resilience part of their DNA.

3. An aversion to risk is no longer an option

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were slow to develop digital transformation strategies. Concerns about complexity introducing new technology across the enterprise made it seem too risky to be worth the challenges.

Not unlike making a lifestyle change, there is greater risk waiting for external circumstances to force a change than proactively incorporating meaningful change for positive outcomes.

At the height of the pandemic, countless companies were left with no other choice but to digitize their operations. They were adopting modern technology tools and undertaking bold initiatives to meet the changing business and market needs. Unfortunately, many of these businesses, and their IT departments in particular, experienced significant growing pains from these last-minute changes. The new demands on their business exposed weaknesses in their digital strategies. These challenges could have been identified sooner as opportunities for growth if business leaders looked to modernize their companies ahead of time.

4. The (digital) customer experience is essential

The global impact of the pandemic is so extensive that digital applications have become central to businesses seemingly overnight. According to a recent report, 90 per cent of technologists in Canada shared that the digital customer experience is now the priority of their business. IT decisions makers need the right tools and data to make the best decisions in real time, and connect application and digital performance to key business outcomes.

It’s important for business leaders to recognize that only with relevant insights can IT departments align with the needs of the customer, ensuring optimal performance across digital services. With comprehensive business solutions like cloud monitoring and end user monitoring, IT can optimize key business transactions with a complete view of the customer journey. This is essential to improve digital experiences for customers during the demands of COVID-19 and in the future.

5. Technologists must embrace their role as Agents of Transformation

As more organizations prioritize digital experiences for both internal stakeholders and external users, they need to recognize the importance of technologists when responding to the changing demands of the pandemic, and maintaining business operations moving forward. Leaders in business and IT must identify and support high-performing technologists who have the determination and the skills to deliver innovation under pressure.

It is these Agents of Transformation that are uniquely capable of tackling the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19 and what comes after. They are the driving force of the ongoing digital transformations that have become, and will continue to be, necessary for global business continuity. For technologists looking to expand their solutions offering but aren’t sure where to start, there is free software available to help maintain business performance during these uncertain times.

I know that the global digitization we’ve seen over the past six months has brought us revelations from the world’s brightest minds in business and IT. These insights are born from the challenges I know many organizations have had to overcome throughout the pandemic. While managing a company’s more immediate issues is the top priority for most business leaders – the time to embrace digital transformation and secure long-term business continuity is now.

About the Author
Carlo Marcanio is a Regional Director at AppDynamics, part of Cisco. He has more than 25 years of experience in Enterprise Sales as both an individual contributor and sales team leader.

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Carlo Marcanio

Carlo Marcanio is a Regional Director at AppDynamics, part of Cisco. He has more than 25 years of experience in Enterprise Sales as both an individual contributor and sales team leader.

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