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Digital transformation in the pandemic landscape

Published on 20 Jul 2020

The pandemic is a massive disruptor, crushing economies, forcing everyone into a contactless world and speeding up digital transformation in all industries across the globe. The time is now –  organizations should accelerate digital transformation in order to improve efficiencies and meet consumers in a new world where digital has taken the reins.

We have selected three articles that highlight the need for organizations to accelerate their digital transformation efforts in the current landscape and how it will help them adapt post-pandemic.

Also included is some great input by Brent Haumann who says companies need to transform digitally in order to provide much-needed support in these uncertain times and meet the evolving needs of an ever more digital consumer base.

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Transformation: The second best time is now

This article has a clear message for organizations: don’t wait to transform digitally. “The second best time is now.” The author urges companies to enable their workforce to “act with urgency and aim high,” as this will not only present immediate benefits, but also prepare them to better service customers in tumultuous times.  

It is noted that change takes time and often, organizations, when not immediately threatened by disruption, choose to patiently ride the wave. However, an organization that didn’t succumb to this temptation is Target – a great example of how their more urgent approach to digital transformation “made them ready for a 282 percent increase in e-commerce, almost overnight” when the pandemic sent customers home.

Aiming high is another aspect that helps drive transformation efforts, but the author believes that many companies aim low to make their digital goals more attainable and avoid failure. Read further to learn more about how a hospital’s chief executive describes “a strategic vision driving digital transformation”.


  • Publisher: CIO
  • Access: Public
  • Download: None

Accelerating digital transformation in a changed world

The pandemic has fueled a global economic crisis, forcing organizations all over the world – especially those in Africa – to digitally transform. The main drivers being business efficiencies, cost savings and market competitiveness. 

However, Veeam’s 2020 Data Protection Trends Report, “which surveyed more than 1,500 respondents globally, including over 150 from Africa and the Middle East,”  identified the following barriers to digital transformation:  43% of respondents in Africa and the Middle East said lack of IT staff skills or expertise is preventing their organization’s DX plans from going ahead. Other barriers in Africa and the Middle East were dependent on legacy systems (40%), limited budgets (29%), lack of buy-in from senior management (23%) and lack of time (16%).”

The author encourages IT, leaders, on both an executive and technical level to work closely together, as this will give them clarity in terms of their digital transformation road map, where they currently stand and enable them to scale based on their needs. Read further to learn more on how organizations can accelerate their transformation efforts by “modernizing their backup, enabling a hybrid cloud strategy as well as ensuring data security.”


4 Ways digital transformation can help you adapt to a post pandemic world

It’s evident that mid-pandemic, digital transformation is key to business survival and the author reiterates this. Also, that digital transformation requires fundamental change and this includes a change to corporate culture. But, change is not easy and especially today, when the pandemic has necessitated so much of it in such a short space of time. 

Quote from the article: “So culturally, digital transformation for any organization is the 800-pound gorilla that leadership knows is right, but dreads taking on.” Peter F. Weis

However, digital transformation is not unachievable and the article discusses why organizations should accelerate their digital transformation efforts. It mentions that the benefits are significant – improves customer experience and finances, increases competitiveness and accelerates innovation. And the pandemic is forcing organizations to transform digitally to avoid further disruption and prepare for future uncertainty. Retailers also have to consider a more omnichannel approach to engage consumers who are now being impelled to interact online.

Read further to learn more about the four ways digital transformation can help organizations succeed in a post-pandemic world, namely: new distribution channels, new ways to reach customers, access to new talent, reduced operational costs.


Our digital transformation expert’s opinion

“In a matter of months, the world changed. One of the most significant shifts resulting from the 2020 pandemic is the absolute necessity of providing services digitally. While customers may have to stay at home, they still need products, services and information. Except now,  everything has to be delivered in a different way. 

Companies that transform digitally and quickly,  stand to benefit from what is essentially a massive shift in consumer behavior. 

This is a stressful time for everyone, and consumers are looking to brands to make their stressful lives easier.  

Companies should be taking all the necessary steps to support their customers using digital processes and communication.

Brent Haumann

MD, Africa