A recent report from the McKinsey Institute revealed that in the space of 8 weeks businesses have “vaulted five years forward” in business digital adoption. So if your business hasn’t considered its digital transformation via a solutions upgrade yet, here’s a few reasons why you should.
It’s becoming increasingly harder to identify segments of our daily operations and environments that can be marked “safe” from the impacts of COVID-19. As many cities begin to shift their focus away from health crises and towards financial ones, ensuring your business is ready, set, and competitive for the ongoing return to “the new normal” is undoubtedly imperative.
Navigating the human and business impact of COVID-19 is discussed in Accenture’s May 2020 report; “5 priorities to help reopen and reinvent your business” which include:
*Becoming increasingly digital, data driven and in the cloud
*To have more variable cost structures
*Establish agile operations and automation
*Create Stronger Capabilities in E-Commerce
*Build long term digital security arrangements
- Becoming increasingly digital, data driven and in the cloud :
= Building a strong EDI Network
In the past, a business’s move to digital transformation was largely driven by an interest in streamlining processes, adapting to new customer expectations and adding value to interactions. In a post-COVID world, digitisation is an essential part of staying afloat, and at a minimum surviving the storm.
“The Cloud” offers faster sharing of resources and economies of scale by delivering computing services (servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence) over the internet. The Cloud has been heralded as an essential business solution for years now, but it’s ability to cut costs (by eliminating the need to purchase hardware, software, and operate on-site data centres) further proves it’s essentiality in a post-COVID world.
Digital transformation adds value to each and every customer interaction a business carries out, and a strong Electronic Data Interchange network or EDI, is another method of assuring digital success. Businesses use EDI to integrate, share and arrange documents to reduce errors, improve processing speeds, lower processing costs and provide detailed reports and reminders via document analytics. You can learn more about Smartech’s Software and IT Managed services including EDI here: https://smartech-asia.com/smartech-products/electronic-data-interchange/
2. Improving your ability to offer more to your customers:
= Increasing variable cost structures
Expense structures that vary with production output are simply classified as variable cost structures, and while minimising costs is likely to be the highest priority of Finance Departments across the globe, a diversified product portfolio can leverage out the challenges of a COVID economy. Applications Development is one way of diversifying offerings, income streams and your competitive edge.
The Application Development market has experienced unexpected, exponential growth in some sectors, despite being in the midst of economic devastation. Australian mobile technology company Elegant Media has seen their workload and profits increase by 180%, as a result of increased demand for home/food delivery apps, fitness apps and e-commerce applications.
Applications Development can serve as an extension of your current business offerings or allow you to completely reinvent operations and adjust to changing market conditions. Smartech’s Software and IT Management team have developed Mobile Applications for leading Fortune Companies and StartUps across Asia Pacific. You can discover more about our seamless mobile experiences here: https://smartech-asia.com/smartech-products/application-development-mobile-and-digital/
3. Smoothing out Workflow Processes:
=Building agile operations and automation.
Automation is at the core of what we do here at SMARTECH, so it’s no surprise that building agile operational structures, with an emphasis on automation fits into our top 5 ways to instantly improve your business.
With the bulk of digitally transformative moves introduced to boost customer engagement and satisfaction, shifting that focus to employees and their office experiences can boost productivity in a post COVID world. 2020 has been a challenging time for both individuals and businesses, so it makes sense to put in the extra effort to ensure employees safety during their return to work.
Smartech’s Thermal Palm Scanner automates the busy rush into the office each morning by creating a touch-less authentication system that also checks temperature upon entry, and records office entry and exit. Both of the latter mentioned features work to create a healthier office environment and very quickly identify unwell/or COVID-19 Positive staff members to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Our Document and Bank Note Disinfection Cabinets make it safer for employees and customers to confidently handle cash, mail and other documents, by removing up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria on various surfaces. They’re available in a range of sizes, and customisable to varying home and office needs.
4. Setting Up Shop Online:
= Create stronger capabilities in e-commerce.
In light of the initial round of COVID-19 retail shutdowns, a number of offices and retail stores have transformed their operating models, and decided to shift 100% of their customer facing interactions online.
Chinese retailer Lin Qingxuan was able to achieve 200% sales growth in Wuhan, (compared to prior YTD figures) despite having to close down 40% of its physical retail stores – China wide. Employees that had previously filled their brick-and-mortar stores as sales and beauty advisors were re-trained as online influencers and leveraged digital tools to continue sales processes 100% online.
A strong print, packaging and mail distribution network can equip businesses of all shapes and sizes with the tools they need to move their operations online, and remain competitive in a crowded e-commerce world.
You can learn more about Smartech’s Mail Creation and Sortation solutions here: https://smartech-asia.com/print-mailing-inserter-and-sortation/
5. Protecting your employees and customers, beyond the physical:
= Building long term digital security arrangements.
As discussed in our May 2020 Smartech Insights: Data Security Overview , data disasters unfortunately occur more often than expected and the ways they are carried out continue to evolve and increase in complexity. If the global shift towards online operations continues its predicted trajectory, the increased prevalence of COVID-19 themed cyber security attacks poses more of a risk than we could have ever anticipated.
It’s a great time for everybody to revisit their personal and business data security arrangements- particularly if your business has employees working from home, on devices and networks not held to the same security standards as those in your offices.
Smartech recommends the following six encryption methods, providing protection of sensitive data at all critical points in its lifecycle.
- Application Encryption: Application Layer Encryption methods increase security by reducing the amount of possible attack vectors.
- Database Encryption: Database Encryption or column level data spoofing involves the encryption of any type of database without changing code or impacting query types, providing a consistent solution to multi-vendor databases, editions and versions including: Oracle, MySQL, Amazon Aurora etc.
- File Encryption: secures unstructured data on servers (incl. credit card numbers, logs, passwords and other personal information configurations) Generally covering word processing documents, database files, exports and backups.
- Virtual Machine Encryption: allows a business to regulate “privileged users”or administrators, and control their access which is vital in multi tenant environments, and while employees are accessing databases from unprotected devices and internet connections outside of the office. Without virtual machine security an organisation exposes itself to data breaches.
- Email Encryption: An email encryption service is essential for businesses sharing sensitive data via email, and in todays world you’d be hard pressed to find a business that doesn’t. They provide a critical layer of security to businesses from malware, viruses and data hackers.
- Tokenisation: turns sensitive data into random string characters called “tokens”, which means they they no longer have meaningful value if exposed. Tokenisation is applied to structured sensitive data across virtual and public clouds.
There are of course, health and safety measures available for retail stores and offices, to keep customers and employees physically safe during interactions. Some increasingly popular examples include automated hand sanitiser stands, UV Cash and Document Disinfection Chambers and Automated Entry/Exit Temperature Palm Scanners.
The current climate presents an ideal opportunity for many businesses – the opportunity to establish or build upon the skill sets, security measures and offerings they wish they had invested in before. A solutions upgrade is an ideal way to reinvent and subsequently re-open your business post-COVID shutdowns.