COVID-19 took only a few months to become a global outbreak and made every day’s headlines. While the travel industry took the biggest hit, other industries were also impacted. Companies had to change gears overnight. In the beginning, we were all adapting to this unprecedented situation; trying to figure how the future would look like.
COVID-19 accelerated technology adoption for both organisations and consumers. This resulted from restricted mobility imposed by local authorities, remote working becoming the norm, and compliance requirements for local organisations.
This rapid technological adoption also changed the way businesses operate. HR transformation is a good example whereby onboarding, training, and salary were digitised to match the workforce realities during the pandemic.
Following governments issued orders of restricted mobility, consumers moved towards online channels. Most industries have responded in turn by operating remotely. Technology adoption has taken a quantum leap since and the world is binging on software applications.
For technology professionals, while tech adoption was seen more as an opportunity, the same phenomenon also posed a backbreaking challenge. Among the various niches, software application development gained momentum. The work dynamics worldwide also resulted in technology no longer being a luxury, but a survival need.
Technology professionals were also influenced by extrinsic factors mainly driven by a change in customer behaviour such as impatience. As such, the focus quickly shifted from functionalities to performance.
For instance, consultants constantly looked for ways to reduce complexities and frictions, simplifying requirements while keeping the lead on market competitions. To achieve this, technology professionals had to close the gap between technical expertise and technology integration skills.
Technologies that fuelled business transformations last year are no longer relevant. While they continue to evolve fast; they also dissolve at warp speed. Everyone is being asked to do more with less. This is not the time to recycle the same piece of coding for all clients. Customisation is the catalyst to our proposed solutions.
Looking at the customer spectrum, we have seen that the prioritisation of each client is different. Clients’ demands have different shades. It is no longer a one size fit all approach.
Investment priorities across organisations have changed. There are no blueprints to advise companies on the new framework to adopt because of the pandemic. It has been an uphill battle for companies to restructure their business model. Investment decisions have gone from ruthless shotgun decisions to surgical precisions.
Most organisations are looking to simplify their environment by reducing complexities and absorbing friction. Although the globe is living and breathing technological solutions, not everything should be digitised. Organisations’ tech leaders need to analyse the spectrum where they currently fit in.
Technology is now the panacea for organisations, industries and most importantly consumers. It is primordial that all industries do not jump to panic investment. It’s not always about acquisition, but how far you can adapt and sustain. While organisations continue to stand in the corners of the new norm, some perceive technology adoption as one way of saving money.
Others understand that technology sharpens the edges over competitors, and it is a one-way street to seizing new opportunities in the industry. As businesses realise these plus points, they will be positioned to keep adopting technology and at the same time adapting to what it has to offer.
Traditional resilience or succession planning is not a shock absorbent for a next surge of a pandemic or any epidemic. Having a half-measure system is better than having no system at all. Technology’s adoption truisms are that it is not about technology; having a vision and roadmap is a given. Adopting technology for technology's sake could well be a recipe for failure. Consult. Adopt. Adapt.
Jean-Pierre Young, ACA, CIA
Advisory Leader, PwC Mauritius
Tel: +230 404 5028
Partner, Cybersecurity & Privacy, PwC Mauritius
Tel: +230 404 5015
Senior Manager, Clients and Markets Development, PwC Mauritius
Tel: +230 4045029