The onset of the Coronavirus has been fast and furious catching many companies and businesses worldwide unprepared. Once travel restrictions, gathering bans and social isolation came into effect, it has become clear to everyone that this is serious and might last much longer than anyone thought. Just like thousands of other companies, life Science organizations are now struggling with numerous tasks and regulatory commitment scheduled deadlines exacerbated by the onset of the virus.
“Work from Home (#WFH)” as the new reality
The Coronavirus outbreak has forced the life science industry into a new reality. Most of the workforce worldwide is now confined to working from home or remote locations; face to face meetings can only occur virtually via video; and, god forbid, sick employees are not available to conduct their day to day responsibilities and tasks.
But in many ways, the Coronavirus might be a blessing in disguise. Many companies have been discussing digital transformation in the organization however for many this process was only in its infancy. Yet the restrictions and sudden disruption to all aspects of business are bringing digital transformation to the center front. It seems that those organizations that are farther along on their digital transformation maturity path, are able to better cope with the onset of business disruption as many of their business processes and policies are supported by digital platforms and tools.
Coronavirus Outbreak as a Digital Transformation Accelerator
Now might be the right time to really embrace the transformation process.
We highlighted the following key supporting drivers for why implementing your digital transformation strategy and plan is the right thing to do during and after the crisis:
- Business continuity – interaction between employees, suppliers and other 3rd party stakeholders has been disrupted due to the virus. However, companies who have already setup remote tools, video-conferencing and electronic, cloud-based real-time systems have been able to quickly switch to alternate modus operandi or continue their business with little to no interruption. If the Virus proved us anything, it’s that technology can really support business continuity, anywhere, anytime especially when people can’t come to their work sites. As many companies switch to a “work-from-home” setup, this concept that has been around for years now yet not fully adopted by everyone, is likely here to stay long after the virus crisis is over. And it should. As it has proven as a solid backup plan when executed the right way.
- Automation and Supply chain management – over the past 20 years, globalization has become the norm for business operations worldwide. Life science companies have distributed their operations, clinical sites and more across continents, taking advantage of many efficiencies gained from a globalized supply chain model. The Coronavirus outbreak reality has proven the vulnerability of the supply chain especially if not supported with technology and electronic systems that can be used to overcome the challenges when suppliers can’t make it to their work location or when airports close or employees can’t be physically present to conduct shipment.
- Virtualizing the workplace – Collaboration and engagement tools such as ,,Zoom, ,,Webex, ,,Trello, ,,Monday.com to name a few, have proven as strategic assets for continued collaboration, engagement, training, document management and control and more during this virus related crisis. It is already clear that those companies that have invested in transforming their business activities to a virtual workplace, where it makes sense, are benefiting from business continuity during the virus restrictions and are managing to continue working uninterrupted for the most part.
- Customer support and interaction – during these challenging times, companies who are setup to continue providing their customers with top notch service, an “always open” business environment supported by digitizing their customer interaction points (direct, Social media, other) are experiencing much less disruption than others. It is already clear that their customers are happier and will continue to provide them with business since the customer support is unaffected by the Virus. Critical success factor for any business during any time, let alone a crisis time.
Take advantage of the changing business environment imposed on you by the Coronavirus outbreak. Now is the time to push forward digital transformation initiatives that have proven to be directly tied to business continuity.
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