In 2020, there was a meme on LinkedIn with a poll asking who leads digital transformation in your company. Surprisingly, the choice was not a CEO or top manager, but COVID-19. This picture perfectly illustrates how at the beginning of the pandemic many companies were forced to urgently implement new technologies or rebuild their business model to survive.
But today, when many countries are experiencing a second wave of the virus and implementing social distancing restrictions again, new questions arise. Should companies invest in long-term innovations in such an uncertain and difficult period? Or wouldn’t it be better to focus on the core business and save capital on costly investments until more stable times return?
In the European Summer of 2020 we, with the help of independent research company Savanta, spoke with heads of innovation in enterprises. Here are the three main points that they believe have been a benefit to their work during the pandemic.
A moment to support your customers
The pandemic outbreak meant that everyone, both businesses and individuals, found themselves in completely new circumstances that they could not predict or prepare for. People changed their personal plans. Companies had to suspend or, at least, seriously revise their development strategy, for example, to open new offices or to promote their business at live events.
And, as one of the innovation leaders noted, customers – both B2B and B2C – are expecting brands to share their knowledge and expertise to help them navigate through these tough times. So, introducing new projects to solve your customers’ problems will help to increase trust in your company.
Such expectations also create a fertile ground for exploring new business opportunities. First, customers are now more open to sharing their needs and pain points. These insights increase the chance that the future project will be in demand. Of course, numerous customer requests may increase the amount of work, but one of the decision-makers we talked with believes that this is a ‘positive challenge’ for business.
Secondly, enterprises that work with corporate clients noticed a certain mind shift. Previously, customers believed that their usual way of working was quite effective and might be reluctant to try something new. In the new environment, they are now more eager to test innovations, such as those that promise to reduce costs or make work more convenient. For your business, it is the ability to quickly check if an idea meets customer needs and fine-tune it if required.
Image source: IT News Africa