Your organisation post-Coronavirus: Why you need a digital transformation strategy

It’s been about two weeks since Corona Virus was officially detected in Tanzania.

For many organisations in the country, these last two weeks have been much like an accelerated 14-day MBA with a bias in digital transformation, if such a programme was ever to exist. They have had to embrace digital technology and within a very limited time in order to cater to the drastic changes in consumer behaviours and to keep their business operations running while practicing social distancing.

That is why we are seeing schools that have never explored e-learning rushing to do so; organisations without work-from-home policies embracing remote work and virtual meetings; conferences and meet ups going online; and of course some more creative uses of technology like online therapy by organisations like Safe Space.

Things are changing and changing really fast.

In the face of this unprecedented change, organisations will be forced to make more strategic and longer term adjustments to incorporate digital technology into all areas of their businesses in order to survive the business world, post the pandemic. 

In a Politico Magazine insert on the state of Technology post the Corona Virus pandemic, Katherine Mangu-Ward,Editor-in-Chief of Reason Magazine, writes that the pandemic has forced regulators to drop regulations that hindered the uptake of digital technology in education, healthcare and remote work to allow for e-learning, telemedicine and remote work. She predicts that regulators will have a difficult time reinstating the old regulations post the pandemic. As a result, she expects that the uptake of digital technology in education, healthcare and in the workplace, will increase.

While her examples and predictions are mainly for US based organisations, we can see some similarities in technology uptake in Tanzania too. For instance, the uptake of e-learning platforms like Shule DirectMyElimu and Ubongo Kids by local schools. Of course, this is a step towards the right direction in the short term. But in the longer term, schools will need to think about how they will keep engaging these startups and others like these for their services.

Meeting the needs of digital clients and remote workers through digital technology is now a necessity, and depending on how long the pandemic will go on for, the use of digital technology will become the New Normal.

Is your organisation prepared? Have you thought through your digital transformation strategy? It’s execution? Does your organisation’s leadership have the digital proficiency to lead such a transformation? What about your organisation culture? Can it accommodate such a big change? Do your employees have the right skills to thrive in a digitally transformed version of your organisation? How will your business model change?

All these are questions that organisations and their leadership should be finding answers to, and quickly so.

‘The future belongs to the doers; if you haven’t started with your business’s digital transformation, it may be too late,’ Lindsey Anderson, Event Chair, MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, 2018