Digital technologies in business – what to use to deal with the crisis

In the context of COVID-19, plummeting revenues and the volatility of the global economy are making it difficult for many companies to stay afloat. They are forced to revise their business strategies. Information technology (IT) will help to take a breath of fresh air in these times.

Looking at what is happening, we can conclude that IT technologies help companies get back on their feet during a crisis. In addition, some solutions automate the tasks of the organization in various areas, thereby facilitating the work of employees. This article will cover in detail the topic of introducing information technology into business architecture, it engagement model  and the potential benefits of such a step.

The use of digital technologies in business has become especially relevant since the advent of COVID-19. This is explained by the fact that such solutions make it possible to secure the client as much as possible during purchases.

Benefits of digital technologies for business

Performance improvement

The lack of necessary technologies is one of the reasons why the staff does not achieve the desired performance.

According to statistical surveys, 85% of employees would prefer their organization to provide a complete IT ecosystem, including tested and supported devices, accessories, and remote teamwork tools. Such a system would help them improve their productivity.

Cost reduction

Most companies in the current uncertain situation are in no hurry to invest in new technologies for doing business. But with a smart approach, IT is self-sufficient, and each improvement will pay for the next stage of the organization’s development.

Let’s take cloud services for example. They allow you to avoid spending on the purchase of hardware solutions. Instead of buying your own hardware, you can rent everything you need from a cloud service provider.

The pay-as-you-go mode allows you to avoid spending on unused software and hardware resources. 47% of IT executives believe that after switching to cloud infrastructure, costs fell by 30-50%.

Improving the quality of customer service

In today’s competitive world, understanding the real needs of your customers is more important than ever. One way to achieve this is through the implementation of business intelligence tools.

Thanks to the collection and processing of big data using CRM systems and artificial intelligence, companies can now learn about the buying path of their customers and understand when and where they can be interested.

Revenue increase

According to  a study by IT  experts from SAP Corporation, conducted jointly with the analytical firm Oxford Economics:

  • 80% of organizations that have successfully adopted new technologies during their digital transformation report increased profits.
  • 85% of them say they have increased their market share.
  • On average, leaders in the application of information technology in business expect revenues 23% higher than those of competitors.

cybersecurity

Privacy remains a constant concern as phishing and other cyber threats rise. Businesses should rely on IT innovation. In a changing market, they will help you stand out from the competition and achieve growth.

Companies that do not have an effective way to ensure the safety of personal data are at risk of falling victim to cybercriminals. Loss of control in this delicate area leads to the loss of trust of partners, customers and market positions.

Crisis resistance

The use of digital technologies in business will not only give the company a chance to survive in the impending recession, but even allow it to grow.

Among other things, IT solutions will help to assess customer engagement and apply the obtained data to maximize growth potential. This will facilitate the tasks of employees and allow them to concentrate directly on sales and interaction with customers.

What IT technologies help business in a crisis period

Contactless shopping

COVID-19 has introduced new safety standards such as social distancing. This has pushed businesses to use technology to avoid unnecessary contact with people, goods and infrastructure.

Contactless shopping allows consumers to conduct all purchases through mobile devices, sitting at home and touching nothing. The same solutions can be used by those who prefer to go shopping themselves.

Omnichannel for retail

New computing technologies provide distributors with an omnichannel presence at all customer touchpoints. This means that they are moving from traditional physical stores to social media, mobile websites, e-commerce platforms and any other online channels that customers visit.

For retailers, this makes it easy to complete their tasks by attracting customers with a consistent quality of service across different sales channels.

Electronic commerce

The e-commerce toolkit makes it possible to centrally manage all orders and balances for both online platforms and traditional stores. This technology allows you to route your online order to the nearest branch for faster delivery, improving customer satisfaction.

Automatic stock updates provide better inventory management for all stores and automate the replenishment of running out of stock.

Self-service checkouts

Self-service checkouts with cash processing modules have become a big success for retailers. Initially, they were conceived to enhance security measures and reduce costs. Now such solutions have proved to be useful in reducing the number of contacts with banknotes of staff and customers.

Digital payments

For businesses that cannot access expensive devices, contact with money can be limited to digital payments directly in an offline store. To pay, the buyer only needs to attach a card or device with an NFC module to the terminal.

Virtual fitting rooms

Offline store sellers now have access to various options for customers who want to see and try out the goods before buying.

One of these innovations is the “Smart Mirror” (Magic Mirror). Responding to voice commands and gestures, the technology allows shoppers to see how they would look in different clothes.

Chatbots

Using machine learning methods, chatbots replicate human communication and provide information upon written or verbal request, thereby providing active assistance to customers during online shopping.

Online bots allow you to serve customers around the clock, providing high consumer satisfaction. They involve the interlocutor in interactive communication.

Chatbots ensure that the buying process goes smoothly. As an automated IT solution, they can serve multiple clients at the same time.

Robotization in logistics

Companies need a workforce to adapt to changing conditions. Around the world, COVID-19 has sent a huge part of the working population on extended sick leave, thereby causing a shortage of workers.

However, robotization can solve these difficulties. In a pandemic, it is increasingly being used, gradually becoming more accessible. Potentially, robotization can become a source of an unlimited workforce that does not require a pension, paid vacation or other costs.

The use of robots in logistics will allow you to perform the same number of tasks, but more efficiently and cheaper. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) reports that leading logistics companies, including 3PL operators, are increasingly turning to robotics and automation to survive the crisis.

Conclusion

The world is steadily moving towards the latest technology, which means that consumer expectations are also changing rapidly. The development of world events in connection with the pandemic only strengthens the trend that pushes goods and services towards emerging technical solutions. Companies should respond to these changes and start implementing information technology both for the convenience of customers and to increase the productivity of their own staff.

The pandemic is a serious wake-up call for all companies. In adverse conditions, crisis resilience and risk reduction are needed more than ever. Invest in the right technology to grow your business with confidence.


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