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Steps to thriving in a digital age

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen companies globally rethink their business strategies and technology is on the front lines of navigating through these uncertain times. Majority of the shifts in work culture and doing business leverage technology in many ways. From working remotely to the dissemination of information on the virus & safety measures, to shopping online and food distribution.

With these sweeping changes, companies need to quickly shift from merely reacting to taking the initiative to see and tap into opportunities for our organizations. Here are some thoughts on how:

1. Learn, unlearn iteratively and communicate consistently

Digital transformation is not just a matter of what but who & why. The first of the who, being one’s team. Business leaders ought to regularly communicate new plans and measures to build resilience by adopting new technology and why.

Even more so in such critical moments, leaders should be CLOs - Chief Listening/Learning Officers who help the organization manage shifting waves. Pushing out digital innovations without engaging the people necessary to sustain it will not work. The new ways of working we find ourselves in, also demand new mindsets and a culture change.

2. Find and built upon root causes, not fragile petals.

The spread of COVID-19 has uncovered vulnerabilities in the fundamentals on which companies are built. As we engage with our clients to help them achieve product/market fit, one of the main things we focus on is identifying the right market to go after and gaining a deep understanding of it. If you don’t have these anchors, your ship will be lost at sea, it’s only a matter of time. Technology is an enabler, not a silver bullet.

  • What are the core problems you are trying to solve?

  • For whom are you addressing these challenges?

  • Do you have a clear understanding of your user needs, pain points, behaviour? Of customer behaviour patterns and thus, how your product or service lines up as a viable solution?

  • How does your business remain competitive?

  • What are your digital strategies (if any)?

Finding the answers to these questions will be pivotal to building a resilient and relevant company.

3. Do not lose sight of your customers.

The adjustments businesses are going to need to adapt to a digital age are no small feat. Nonetheless, it is imperative to keep your current customers engaged while strategizing on new acquisitions.

  • Are you pre-emptively planning for customer needs when the crest of the crisis has subsided?

Think about ways to keep customers engaged in specific ways to your business; keeping in mind digital is all about us.

If there was ever a time to test and iterate on digital solutions a company has been sitting on, it is now. Data shows, for example, an increase in e-commerce solutions to enable digital purchases and deliveries. Businesses ought to consider responsible ways to put well-hidden products/services in front of users and start learning.

4. Consider security & employee safety.

Remote working, especially for large organizations, carries with it the burden of protecting the company against security breaches through cyber-attacks. To this end, focus on protocols for remote access to sensitive information and authentications. Lastly, aim to reach out for assistance as needed.

This article was written by our digital innovation expert Maureen Macharia who is the founder of Spindle Design, a Product Design, Digital Innovation & Business Advisory firm. Spindle is committed to driving innovation in Africa and helping businesses thrive in a digital age.

If you have any feedback or questions for Maureen please contact her via >> Email Maureen

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