As we step into April, it’s astonishing the change that has taken place over the last 3 weeks. The world, and our part of it in the UK, has transformed beyond all recognition and becoming digital first services and businesses overnight.

Our homes now doubling as offices, classrooms and virtual gyms, cinemas, pubs and even campsites our day to day has turned virtual in so many innovative ways to keep us digitally connected.

This pandemic has impacted us all, and there have been fundamental shifts in many aspects of our lives which may never be the same again. Whilst there is nothing as constant as change, this change has been immediate, and the whiplash effect being felt throughout our everyday routines, let alone our business life and beyond.

The far-reaching ripples have just begun, and digital transformation and accelerated innovation is at the forefront to enable us to respond to the immediate demands and accelerate our digital needs.  What was once a 2-year programme has been delivered in weeks.  What was once thought not possible has been proven to be possible and achieved quickly.  There has been a seismic shift of digital change, which we now need to continue the momentum. We also need to recognise in the aftershock the people who need supporting and enable our own digital maturity to ensure we can continue this path. 

As our attention begins to turn from crisis management to adjusting to the new normal and what life be like in a post-COVID world, those who take the time to think through and prepare for what will come next will undoubtedly hit the ground running when we exit lockdown.  We have accelerated forward and returning to what was will not necessarily be an option.  The new normal has brought new expectations.  Whether you have a digital strategy or are thinking about your digital direction in the wake of COVID19 now is the time to begin to shape your thinking, build with a digital first person centric culture in mind and accelerate forward your own goals to ensure you thrive in this new era.  The reset button has firmly been pressed and now is the time to dare to dream.  

Navigating this path is not easy.  To help we have laid out some themes to consider in beginning to consider the immediate term quick wins and the longer-term realisation of your goals:

  1. Maximise what you have
    Too often we look for new, yet you will already have an armoury of technology at our disposal within our organisation. Before looking to reinvent look to see how you can maximise what you have and ensure it is performing to the best of its ability.   Focus on being digital first and optimising your customer experience to support a digital first customer offer.  Align your processes, services and systems to enable this and leverage your CRM and data to shift to more automated processes.   Everyone has had to respond to the COVID lock down and many organisations have enhanced their products or offered new support to ensure you can maximise them.  It is a great opportunity to find out what is next and how it might help you.
  2. Ensure you Work Safely and Securely
    We all still have a duty under GDPR to ensure the reasonable security and safety of information. Ensuring you use the right level of security and access controls to allow staff to access information from home.  This should include basics like Multifactor Authentication, use of VPN and ensuring devices and applications are managed – especially if you have allowed staff to use their own devices.    There are many tools on the market to support this and easy to implement.
  3. Engage with your Customers in the New Normal
    As we have all been impacted as employees and business owners, our customers have been impacted too. Their needs have significantly changed and what they will want now and in future will have too.  Take the time to gain feedback and understand how your services or products need to be offered in a digital first world to meet those needs.  Now is a good time to spark up a conversation and find out what your customers need.    Also consider that you have new opportunities and new customers who may not have previously been within your core business.
  4. Vision the Future in a Post COVID World
    We have all been hit hard by the rapid shock of the lockdown. Whilst it is fresh in our minds it is worth reflecting on what was and how we see the future – What do you know now that you would of like to have known 3 weeks ago?; What are the biggest risks to your business at present and as you look forward? How might you mitigate these? What does a truly digital business like for you?; What opportunities does a digital service offer you over traditional?; How might you blend these services to offer something unique?; What will your customers need in the new world and how might you meet these?; Where are you in your digital maturity model (people, process, technology and data) and how can you accelerate forward to help?; What one thing could you do in the coming weeks to transform your business?; How can you position yourself as leaders and first out of the gates as we exit lockdown?
  5. Don’t forget your People and Culture
    We may now operate in a technology first world – conversing in the main through screens rather than face-to-face, however, we need to recognise that our organisational values, culture need to be amplified to map to our digital first world. Digital does not mean we can’t be personal and in fact we should become more personalised.  Our staff and their skills will need to be enhanced.  Not everyone has the digital skills or leadership to operate.  How do you think differently, lead from behind a monitor and drive the change?  Digital can democratise our thinking and empower staff to lead more.  Now is the time to change our style of leadership and drive a new culture that you can thrive through. 

Here at OJO work closely as team.  We have transformed our business over night to support our clients and maintain operations in these times.  Our view is to support where we can.  If we can help you navigate the current and future landscape, we will.  We are offering free support and advice and reduce / delayed invoicing to help in every way we can and supporting charities with pro bono and discounted work through match funding and other means.  Every piece of help starts with a conversation, and we love to chat, so feel free to contact us by email, phone or video and let’s build a better future one day at a time together.