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Digital Transformation Acceleration & COVID-19

It’s a struggle to find many positives about the current coronavirus pandemic, however there are a few interesting aspects that are starting to emerge. Trends that may well bring significant positive benefits as their full impact is felt in the months and years to come. One of these is the likely acceleration of digital transformation projects.


What Does The Current Digital Transformation Landscape Look Like?

Digital transformation isn’t exactly new news as companies have been pursuing digital transformation strategies for some time. A survey by Tech Pro research found that 70% of organisations either have a strategy in place or are working on and these projects are substantially more advanced when it comes to larger companies.

Cyber security and IT operational challenges, cost pressures, risk aversion and the skills gap are all driving the digital transformation agenda. On the plus side, benefits such as innovation and improvement of products and services, efficiency and an uptick in organisational agility are all expected outcomes.


Why Will COVID-19 Accelerate The Pace Of Change?

As vast swathes of the workforce shift to remote working and pressure increases to enable digital delivery of products and services traditionally rooted outside the online space, the pressure to be a truly digital organisation will only increase.

Aside from this fundamental shift in the way we’re doing business, there are other underlying drivers that will also accelerate the pace of change. Disruptions and disconnects in delivery across the value chain will necessitate smarter ways of working and managing that chain. An example of this is manufacturing, where we’ve shifted in a matter of months from component shortages resulting from China’s lockdown to now production in the West not being able to keep pace with the renewed supply.

Organisations of all shapes and sizes will face renewed commercial pressure to negate the downsides through digital transformation and realise the benefits it offers in order to remain viable.


What Will This Mean For The Investment Management Industry?

Investment management has already begun the shift from an in-person, manual delivery mechanism to something more automated and remote. Now that there is compulsory distance between the investor and the investment manager, there is an urgent imperative to be able to deliver that client experience through digital means. The productivity hit that will be experienced over the coming months in the workforce will add pressure to digitise, automate and streamline the investment decision making process.

Banks, investment houses, asset managers, insurers and other financial management firms no longer have the choice of when to digitise. It has now become critical and indeed essential for their ongoing viability.


Why Is Accelerated Digital Transformation A Good Thing?

With the current need to meet an immediate commercial and operational requirement, comes the increased likelihood that the projects will succeed. Adequate resourcing will become easier to obtain as the organisation’s priorities become more singular and its delivery mechanisms are forced to adapt to the new normal. In a world where delay to digital transformation becomes unacceptable, correct management and delivery of these projects will become a requirement as opposed to a stated aim.

Those pushing these strategies through will find they have vocal support from the very highest levels, not just warm words but concrete directives and budget allocations that will grease the wheels towards a fast and more comprehensive transformation. The current situation removes the need to watch what others are doing and try and pace your change accordingly. Everyone will be forced to move as quickly as possible and digital enhancement will become the new normal.

And when the dust settles and a new era of banking begins? We’ll be left with a landscape of firms that are truly fit for purpose in a modern world. And perhaps even more importantly, a client base who are already well versed in doing business that way. 

Want to learn more about ways in which businesses, especially in the financial services industry are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic? Read our blog Always-On Omnichannel Customer Engagement Is More Critical than Ever.

Key Ideas

  • 70% of organisations either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on implementing one
  • Cyber security and IT operational challenges, cost pressures, risk aversion and the skills gap are all driving the digital transformation agenda
  • Accelerated digital transformation will leave us with a landscape of firms that are truly fit for purpose in a modern world