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Coronavirus accelerates digital transformation

The changes that have happened over the last six months have seen many customers make a dramatic shift in their stance on digital transformation

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the move to digital transformation as customers reacted swiftly to the lockdown and the shift by their staff to home working.

There has been plenty of anecdotal evidence of rapid shifts across most verticals as the world has changed over the past six months.

To get some numbers to chart those changes, London-based developer Studio Graphene went out to ask decision-makers just what has happened.

Its survey found that not far off half of those surveyed (46%) said Covid-19 has produced the most radical digital transformation in their existence.
Since lockdown arrived in March, 50% have started using technology that they were previously resistant to use and 64% said the pandemic had accelerated the speed of deployment.

Those changes have been seen in the increase in the use of collaboration tools and Studio Graphene found that the shift to virtual was something many users have been grappling with. The survey revealed that 47% have migrated their offering from in-person to online.

“They say necessity is the mother of invention, and the pandemic is evidence of that,” said Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene. “While Covid-19 has put unprecedented strain on businesses, it has also been key to fast-tracking digital innovation across the private sector.
“The research shows that the crisis has prompted businesses to break down the cultural barriers that previously stood in the way of experimenting with new digital solutions. This accelerated digital transformation offers a positive outlook for the future – armed with technology, businesses will now be much better-placed to adapt to any unforeseen challenges that may come their way.”

Expectations across the industry are that things will not return to the way they were before the pandemic and a more hybrid approach will emerge around working.

Last month, Poly dedicated an afternoon to a webinar to go through its report Hybrid working: Creating the “next normal” in work practices, spaces and culture, which concluded that life would not return to the way it was before Covid-19.

“The unfortunate circumstances experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic present an opportunity for businesses to challenge current thinking and shape a new future of work,” said Darrius Jones, executive vice-president and chief strategy officer at Poly.

“The next normal is all about hybrid working moving to the mainstream as we respond, redesign and reinvent – flexible working across multiple locations, with immersive, productive workspaces that accommodate the working style of every employee.”

Printer supplier Brother has added its weight to the argument that a hybrid approach to working will be the way ahead.

It believes that resellers will play a vital role in helping the nation deal with a hybrid working world. It published research that revealed a divided response to returning to the office, with 53% saying they felt safer at home in the current climate.

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