Technology has played an enormous role in our lives this year. More than ever, people have become aware of just how important things like a good Internet connection and a smart device are.
At home, technology has helped us to practice social distancing without feeling completely isolated. Without tech, could we have stayed apart from others for so long? It certainly would have been a lot harder without all those regular Zoom catch-ups with friends.
In business, there’s been a lot of COVID-19-inspired digital transformation going on, too. Many organisations were quick to implement new platforms and tools to enable employees to work from home. Others were able to extend their application of existing technologies, too. For example, organisations that only used DocuSign in one department previously were quick to roll it out to other areas of the business.
What can we expect beyond the crisis?
There’s no doubt that we’ve seen some big changes in recent months. Question is, how will the lessons of COVID-19 shape organisations’ digital transformation strategies into the future? What will businesses do differently?
We posed these questions – or variations of them – to the executives who generously gave their time at our recent DocuSign Momentum Live APAC event. A common theme in the responses was that the tools we’ve been leaning on during COVID-19 are here to stay – particularly given that more people are expected to keep working from home beyond the crisis.
So, things like videoconferencing to enable collaboration amongst a distributed workforce. Document sharing to enable co-authoring. eSignatures and contract lifecycle management platforms to enable anyone to sign and manage contracts from anywhere.
Businesses will keep pushing the envelope
We’ve all had to adapt fast this year. Craig Wishart, CIO, KPMG Australia, expects that this fast adaptation will continue post-COVID-19. He said, “CIOs must keep thinking about the experience they want to deliver to their business. Those that have been able to adapt the quickest will be most responsive in market, and all CIOs must become increasingly obsessed with the technology they provide.”
According to Craig, these new technologies must quench organisations’ growing thirst for real-time data and insights. They need to be able to support organisations’ goals of delivering always-on services that are accessible to all, from wherever they are. And, ultimately, new technologies need to fill the gaps that we’re experiencing during the crisis.
He explained. “If we reflect on what we miss the most right now, it’s the human interactions, the five-minute discussions with colleagues. Technology must find a way to replicate this and keep these things alive using new tools and platforms.”
Ongoing enablement is key
Sherwin Siregar, Head of Distribution Business Management, Prudential Singapore, predicts that up to 40% of workforces will be remote in the future. For example, a large swathe of employees at an organisation might choose to work from home two days a week. So, on any given day, almost half of workers may be remote.
With this in mind, technology will continue to be an enabler of flexible working – with new tools and platforms emerging that solve the issues raised by this new normal.
And as for the technologies that have been embraced this year? It’s hard to imagine that organisations are going to about-face now, saying, “Well, DocuSign or Zoom was handy for a few months, but we’re going back to the old way now.” Rather, tools like these will scaffold up to new and even better digital solutions.
With all this in mind, it’s safe to say that, from a technology and digital transformation perspective, the post-COVID-19 future is bright.