The specter of the pandemic
The world as we knew so far has ceased to exist. But we will prevail and rebuild and, in many cases, make technological leaps over existing technologies.
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has spread like a wildfire across the globe affecting all walks of life including societal interactions and businesses. Different streams of businesses have responded to the outbreak with various degrees of impact. Moody’s asserts that in its coronavirus impact heatmap, sectors like automobiles and hospitality are set to experience the maximum fallout, while business services and manufacturing are poised to be moderately affected, and IT-ITES and telecom & media are gauged to have minimal impact.
What this shows is that irrespective of the severity, all streams of businesses will experience some degree of disruptions that mostly arises from the sweeping movement restrictions and social distancing measures in place. Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that businesses have been coerced to introduce radical overhauls to their existing organizational structure and processes. The changes have surged from the very fundamental levels and seeped across all chains and extended branches of the framework.
Within HCL, I’ve witnessed enormous effort to ensure customer operations are not disrupted. We experienced an overnight change in how we did business. Both our customer and our teams collaborated closely on how to best change our ways of working.
Drastic measures have forced enterprises across the spectrum to realign their workforce into a remote-working or work from home (WFH) system. Banks and financial service providers including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc., have all taken measures to protect their workforce and move into a work from home structure. As a result, a recent study revealed that up to three times more people are joining remote meetings as compared to January. This has also led to widespread adoption of remote-collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack, Google Hangout, and Microsoft Teams.
A Finnish furniture manufacturer was looking to target a business overhaul by leveraging digitization. Peering towards the trends, they stumbled upon a report that showed that 92% of shoppers had reported the visual experience to be the defining factor for a purchase. Another report revealed that 73% of mobile AR users had a positive perception of AR experiences. Moving quickly, they were able to leverage the insights and frame a robust transition plan. It included leveraging 3D and AR through websites and apps to enable an immersive product visualizing experience for their consumers. The fact that this enabled easier decision making on the customer’s part was an inevitable outcome.
At the other end, an Irish low-cost carrier airline that decided to institute a complete overhaul of its web and mobile solutions to make the experience more seamless and user friendly. The new interfaces simplified the booking experience with its user-friendly and fast web and mobile platforms. The mobile app saw up to 60% faster booking times resulting in a drastic shift in customer experience and engagement. The carrier also decided to introduce a loyalty program for the customers that enabled them to capture valuable user-data for analytics. The insights gathered were judiciously utilized to offer a range of hyper-personalized services to the customers. This set a great example, one where an organization aimed a digital transformation not just for the sake of it but planned and executed digital transformation to gain the maximum ROI and significant market advantage.
To sum up, the outbreak and the subsequent business modifications have thrown open perhaps the most significant aspect of business resilience– digitization.
Introducing the New “new normal” in the post COVID-19 world enabled by HCL
At HCL, we’re helping our customers manage through this period with digital workplace services as it is our constant endeavor to ensure that our customers are always geared up to overcome any business challenge faced by them. In the COVID-19 scenario, we are enabling BCP plans, enabling e-commerce in record time, providing remote agile development approach via our Enterprise Studio, cloud security through our Cybersecurity practice to ensure remote work is secure and effective, and we are assisting organizations frame effective and sustainable plans to work from anywhere by deploying HCL’s Fluid Digital Workplaces.
I wish everyone the very best and pray for a fast recovery of any loved ones that are affected, for the first responders and front-line community. I am certain that we will come out of this stronger and more resilient. All good thoughts to everyone.