As WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic, this event is impacting our lives and the way of working in unprecedented ways. Are we ready for this new world? Are businesses prepared to tackle the change?
Earlier this year, at Reltio, we identified five transformation initiatives across Global 2000 enterprises, and "Shift to digital innovation" was one of them. Little did we realize that the urgency to move to digital will be upon us sooner than we thought. COVID-19 is accelerating many companies' plans to transform to digital businesses.
Check out some of the recent announcements:
- Postponed Conferences (Gartner Data & Analytics Summits, HIMSS) others going virtual (Google Cloud NEXT)
- Companies asking employees to work from home
- NBA and NCAA first recommended playing games without audiences for the health and safety of their fans (Warriors to play home games without fans) and NBA now suspending the season
- Colleges, including Harvard, UW, NYU, UC Berkeley, and BU are canceling the classes and holding online lectures
- Dwindling attendance in cinemas, restaurants, and malls
- Movie releases getting postponed, bad news for James Bond fans
- Many airlines are reducing the number of flights and the US announcing travel suspension to Europe
- And close to my heart, Holi festivals getting canceled
The companies that are at the forefront of digital have a huge competitive edge over the companies that are lagging on their digital initiatives. Virtual conferencing companies like Zoom, food delivery such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Green Chef, retailers like Walmart.com, Amazon, and Netflix are better positioned than many of their traditional competitors.
The pressure to move to digital has never been higher. Marketing teams are huddling to figure out new strategies to connect to their audiences, whereas sales and eCommerce teams are figuring out how to increase their digital revenues, under duress.
The current situation underscores the need for agility and why it is essential to today's dynamic businesses. Companies who have invested in the people, processes, and technology to build an agile business will be able to survive today and thrive tomorrow.
For instance, there are organizations such as Hyperion X that were designed from day one to go digital, HP Inc transforming itself from a transaction-centric to service-centric organization, are using data to serve the needs of customers.
CarMax is changing how people are buying or selling vehicles. “Lengthy [selling] process has been reduced to just a few clicks before photos are uploaded to the website. And because it's not just about the exterior of the car, the company also launched a 360-degree view of the interiors for consumers to browse before making a purchase. CarMax also found that customers wanted to launch the financing process in their home to make the in-store experience faster and easier. So the company created its own digital finance pre-approval product, going from testing to full rollout in under six months. Should a customer choose, they can finish the entire car purchase online and have it delivered directly to their home through digital channels.” Read more here.
Shift to digital requires that companies have a good handle on their data. Leading enterprises know their customers, employees, suppliers, stores, and digital assets well and can quickly pivot and respond to business changes, taking advantage of their digital innovation. Once you have reliable data, more in-depth information about the constituents you can:
- mobilize your marketing efforts to digital channels,
- move sales and service to digital channels,
- Understand your suppliers and your exposure to a supplier, and quickly operationalize alternate suppliers,
- Speeding up launches of new products, including reducing time to market for new drugs (Data: The difference between Life, Death, And Profit, By Stephan Zoder)
Covid-19 has created this sense of urgency for the shift to digital. It has forced companies to look into their data and digital strategies to make sure they can cope with the situation today, and when then next time such an event happens, they are not caught off-guard. As we figure out how to best manage our businesses in uncertain times, let's take time to understand our customers, the experience they are looking for, the right data strategy to meet their needs, and evaluate our processes and technology that expedites the shift to digital.
Watch the Hyperion X Virtual Fireside Chat with David Crompton, Head of Data Governance at Hyperion X, the technology division of Hyperion Insurance Group. David leads the Data Governance, Master Data Management, Business Architecture, and Data Quality teams at Hyperion X. He will describe how the data and analytics division of Hyperion Insurance Group is shifting from a paper-based to a digital business, capitalizing on internal and third-party data, and personalizing products and services using Reltio Connected Customer 360.
Learn how Hyperion X is:
- Streamlining existing manual processes
- Lowering the cost of business by utilizing data
- Hyper-personalizing products and services for brokers and clients
- Accelerating real-time operations at scale
- Simplifying compliance with current (GDPR, CCPA) and new privacy laws