Post-Covid life: Why digital matters

Uma Ganesh | July 27, 2020 |

Workers need to be provided with effective tools and apps that would make work seamless and efficient

In the last few months, businesses, educational institutions, government organisations and citizens of the world have had to adapt to remote operations and remote working at a magnitude and for a period previously not anticipated. The mindset issue that most transformation programmes have to deal with was set aside by most organisations as every stakeholder recognised there was no other alternative and hence quickly came forward to adapt to the new phenomenon.

However, as the economy and businesses try to pick themselves up from the steep slides and recharge themselves for the post covid phase, digital officers have a major role to play. As we get acclimatised to the new normal, the digital infrastructure strategy needs to be reviewed in the context of how various stakeholders would be required to be supported. With the possibility of remote working or working from home for extended period of time or being introduced intermittently, employees need to be provided with effective tools and applications that would make work seamless and efficient. Cloud based services are being actively considered to enable easy access to most applications and data without hindrances to the employees. It is not just migrating on-premise applications and services to the cloud that would be necessary, but redesigning them as required would also be important to get optimal performance on the cloud.

With employees dispersed, facilitating collaboration and communication in the remote work environment with the help of appropriate tools such Microsoft Teams, Sharepoint and others are gaining attention. At times employees reside in locations with poor connectivity and hence to ensure optimal utilisation of such resources, processes governing their functioning including the underlying technologies would also require a redesign. Processes such as recruitment that have been traditionally involved meeting candidates in person before finalising the offers are being replaced with virtual hiring as well as onboarding. In the event of scaling of operations, innovative tools supported by AI have the potential to reduce cost and time to hire as well as provide confidence to the business owners.

Engaging with customers as well as key partners specially for streamlining supply chain by creating transparency and providing access to accurate information on an ongoing basis would help in strengthening the relationships and building confidence at these difficult times. Digital officers have to be also alert about the new options emerging from existing players as well as from startups for value addition to the existing digital infrastructure. They should also champion reengineering of current processes where required.

Phishing, misinformation and data thefts have increased during Covid time and therefore risk officers and IT teams have to work together to reassess the impact on business, litigation and safeguards to the intellectual property of the organisation and strengthen cyber security measures. Employee training and reskilling on a continual basis would be a pre-requisite while planning for new measures around digital infrastructure. In the long run, everything would not remain cyber centric hence the strategy should be agile to accommodate cyber-physical co-existence at all times to come and facilitate seamless transition from one format to another without any disruptions.

Originally appeared in Financial Express