The current ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 has played a bitter role for the economies of the world, driving companies and governments to adopt digitisation. Underlying this shift is the need for greater organisational agility as well as closer ties with customers in a changing world order. The process of digital transformation, however, is complex and long-drawn-out for businesses as well as consumers. Enterprises leading in digital transformation are significantly less vulnerable to the epidemic, while enterprises leading in work resource transformation have a better ability of long-distance coordination and higher overall work efficiency (IDC).
Since the start of lockdown in March 2020, there has been a significant increase in the screen time of people using gadgets. The main causes for this to happen were mainly the sudden spike in online learning and teaching along with providing the population, especially students, with thousands of new online courses to learn from. All companies had to shift to working from home allowing the employees and managers to communicate virtually. Secondly, more than half of the world population was staying indoors when all the OTT platforms provided them with some sort of entertainment to binge watch. These factors along with an increase in social media proved how a pandemic can accelerate the digitalisation of our lives.
With its emphasis on video and user-friendliness, Zoom soon became the most popular application for video conferencing, virtual meetings and online courses, but also for personal use. To become a more ‘user-friendly’ video conferencing option, the platform seemed to yield the fruits of years of effort. It also made its Zoom Phone cloud phone service accessible in more nations in March.
Financial services and transactions are among the main fields that have seen a substantial rise in digital offerings and adoption, which are crucial aspects of the economy. Although it is not new to the market to go digital, the outbreak has greatly intensified the usage of smart technology, with far-reaching consequences not just for the financial industry but also for the broader economic system for the future. The virus outbreak is spurring the adoption of contactless digital payments; and there has been a surge in digital payment volumes across online grocery stores, small retail outlets, online pharmacies, vegetable and fruit vendors, recharges, bill payments as well as OTT (telecom and media). Contactless payments, through QR Code, wallets, UPI or contactless cards, are gaining popularity as they offer convenience, safety and security while allowing the consumers to maintain physical distancing.
According to UNESCO, that tracks the COVID-19 impact on education, on April 10th, there were 188 country-wide closures with almost 1.6 Billion affected learners. To ensure learning continuity, organizations, schools, governments, and teachers scrambled to provide distance education possibilities with online platforms.
Early March, IDC conducted a CXO survey in China. It showed that enterprises leading in digital transformation are significantly less vulnerable to the epidemic. The outbreak boosted enterprises’ sense of response to force majeure, which will accelerate their all-round digital transformation. Collaborative office, online marketing, video conferencing, customer management, remote support and service and other systems have played a tremendous role in coping with the challenges posed by the epidemic (IDC).
In conclusion , it is possible that the COVID-19 crisis will substantially speed up the transition to digital and radically redefine the general market environment. Consumer preferences and desired interactions are evolving rapidly, and the digital revolution we are seeing will accelerate inexorably as they are expected to continue to change. This transition also entails revisiting the whole value chain, which covers not just the consumer experience, but also other participants, especially merchants.