The Impact of COVID-19 on Organisations Globally

We are in a time where COVID-19 has transformed the future of business forever. Organisations from all sectors globally have been focusing on transforming digitally to ensure that the needs of their organisation, customers, citizens, patients, and greater stakeholder community are met. The move from physical and on-premises to digital was critical to ensure organisations’ survival through COVID-19, as well as setting an example for potential challenges that may occur in the future.

There are very few industries unimpacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, retail is an industry that has seen Digital Transformation skyrocket. With the breakneck pace of change required for retailers to compete for business online further compounded by the influx of bricks-and-mortar businesses to e-commerce due to global restrictions and lockdowns, full-scale Digital Transformation very quickly became inevitable. Nasdaq expects that 95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040, leaving the brick-and-mortar retailers in the overwhelmingly low minority of 5%.

All this is to say that the conversations in business have shifted rapidly over the past year to a unanimous understanding that digitisation of services in addition to industry disruption due to rapid advancements in the technologies available to businesses are now changing the shape of commerce forever. Businesses that want to keep up, or survive in reality, will need to transform radically – not just digitally, but in mindset too.

How Does Digital Transformation Help Organisations?

Organisations can improve their performance by up to five times through digitising physical business activities wherever possible. The 2020 leap to video calls being the default for most meetings has increased productivity substantially across all markets. What used to be a half-day site visit to a new customer is now a virtual meeting (which is only getting shorter due to digital fatigue!).

89% of companies recognised that, because of the pandemic, they needed more agile and scalable IT infrastructure. This trend towards agile and scalable infrastructure helps organisations on the journey to becoming digital-first, which is looking more and more crucial to success in 2022 and beyond.

Although we are in the relatively early ‘stages’ of organisations choosing mass digital transformation (based on Version 1’s experience of reviewing customers’ IT estates), the statistics indicated we could get there quicker than we could have imagined before COVID-19 hit. Dell found that 80% of organisations globally accelerated their digital transformation efforts in 2020. A recent example of effective digital transformation has been the rapid growth of the banking platform, Revolut. What was previously a ‘physical’ visit to your local brick-and-mortar branch, possibly queuing on your lunch break, can now be done in a few clicks through Revolut’s application. This level of convenience achieved by a Digital-Native for customers leaves no other option but for financial institutions to focus on digital transformation to provide solutions that are convenient and optimised enough to retain their customer base, particularly the youngest demographic.

The Threats of Remaining Physically Focused

There are very few, if any, organisations that are not focusing on digital as the primary medium to reach their customers. What you would traditionally associate with a physical experience could now be digitised – a trip to the dressing room to try on clothes can now be done in Augmented or Virtual Reality. COVID-19 has reshaped the way we approach everyday processes – the way people bank has changed, with less physical store visits and an increase in online banking, alongside the decline of cash which could spread the virus. The housing market has changed – with viewings taking form over a digital experience or tour from agencies and digital brochures of properties playing a more prominent role. It’s clear to see – organisations need to adapt digitally, becoming “digital ready” to ensure they can continue serving their customers effectively.

Being ‘digital ready’ refers to the ability of an organisation’s workforce to transition into digitised workflows. Not all companies have a digitally ready workforce, but most are making it a priority. However, modernising and transforming an organisation’s underlying infrastructure in tandem with upskilling employees or hiring new employees isn’t easy. Engaging with an external Technology and Digital Transformation partner such as Version 1 will be a key pillar of many organisations’ business strategies going forward to weather the storm of industry disruption and rising digital user demands.

How Version 1 Has Been Enabling Our Customers’ Moves to Digital to Stay Ahead

Version 1 has created DAPx (Digital Acceleration Platform), which allows businesses that are creating new customer-focused applications to do so at scale and with speed, using pre-built digital components deployed in a standardised way.

Below are a few examples of how DAPx has driven real business benefits to our customers through digital transformation.

  • Insurance Organisation – A leading insurance company that operates across the UK and Ireland, occupying a unique position in the market across both personal and commercial insurance. Version 1 was engaged to provide a strategic technology and implementation approach for this insurance provider’s customer-facing Digital Application. DAPx was utilised to provide high-quality design and delivery of AWS Cloud Architecture supporting high availability and secure solution – all within 6 months.
  • Premier Banking Organisation – A premier banking organisation, occupying a unique position in the Irish market across retail, corporate, wealth and insurance.,Version 1 was engaged to provide a strategic technology and implementation approach for Digital Transformation across the Wealth and Insurance business covering multiple subsidiaries. As a result of this project, a new next-generation insurance platform built on DAPx was delivered, helping the organisation gain market share.
  • Life Assurance Company – As part of an ongoing digital transformation and innovation strategy, Version 1 partnered with the customer to define a strategy to deliver a technology transformation approach to decouple point-to-point solutions limiting reuse, and to assess key solution providers for core transformation initiatives e.g. Broker Connectivity, and Insurance Services. DAPx was leveraged to deliver a Digital Broker Application for onboarding new business to market in less than 5 months.

Why focus on Digital Transformation?

Businesses need to digitally change – the proof is in the pudding. If they didn’t do so yesterday, they need an agile means of doing so today to avoid falling behind, edge out the competition, and to keep up with customer’s expectations. Businesses that digitally transform benefit with expedited go-to markets with new applications – disrupting the market and meeting customer demand in a changing world.

About Version 1

As the chosen Digital Services partner of central governmental departments, local government authorities, leading energy companies and major retailers – the impact of Version 1 digital solutions is evident at scale across multiple industries. We are leading the charge in empowering our public and private sector customers to become recognised as digital leaders within their individual verticals.