The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has taken the world by shock, spreading at an alarming rate across the globe. Most countries are already affected, and more countries might be affected in the nearest future. There are over three hundred and three thousand (303,000)confirmed deaths and over four million five hundred thousand (4,500,000) of confirmed cases across the world. Many countries had no choice than to implement total lockdowns to mitigate the spread of this virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released situation report No65 which states the following
“Employers and employees have a crucial role to play in stopping COVID-19 and reducing the impact of the disease on society. A key area of WHO’s Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN)’s work focuses on how to create a safe COVID-19 workplace and prevent transmission of the disease between employees through some of these measures:
(1) implementation of remote practices(teleworking)
(2) Social distancing measures in the workplace when on-site presence is required (at least 1 meter)
(3) Restriction of visitors entering the workplace
(4) Hold fewer in-person meetings.”
The above measures were implemented by the Nigerian government through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Nigerians are advised to stay at home unless it is necessary to go out and also to keep a social distance when out.
We are in the digital age; businesses must adopt digital transformation. They must transition from the era of employees being physically present in the office and embrace a new way of working by implementing digital technologies into all business processes so that employees can effectively operate regardless of their geographical locations. Implementing digital transformation processes has become essential for organisations in Nigeria.
Overview of Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation is the process of incorporating emerging technologies to build new business processes, culture and clients’ experiences or to change current ones to meet clients’ needs. It can also be described as a complete transformation in the way an organisation uses digital technologies in all its processes to serve customers more efficiently, make profits and provide a better experience to internal and external clients.
The world is evolving, companies that want to succeed in a time like this must be ready to change the conventional way of doing business and be more agile, more engaging with customers and open to new emerging digital solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for digital transformation, and businesses should use this period to speed up the transition.
Areas where digital transformation can be applied
For companies to survive in the present situation and help to combat the spread of COVID-19 outbreak, it is best to adopt digital technologies into their company’s new ways of working.
In this article, I will highlight some key areas of digital transformation that businesses can implement as well as their benefits.
This is a work arrangement whereby workers do not need to gather at a central workplace like an office building, shop, warehouse before delivering services to customers. This can also be referred to as telework.
Remote work will allow employees to have a flexible work schedule. Employees will have the chance to set out their work hours without being restricted to a regular timetable and they will be able to spend more time with their families. By doing this, employees will be more productive, customer’s needs will be met, companies will make profits and there will be business continuity despite the COVID-19 pandemic that is ongoing.
These are online events that allow people to communicate in a web-based environment rather than gathering in person for an event or conference. Digital events are extremely engaging and sustainable. Some examples of this are webcasts and webinars. Virtual events should be embraced to replace physical events and conferences to promote social distancing. This will enable participants to interact with one another from the comfort of their homes or in any location.
COVID-19 has emphasized the need for institutions to look beyond classroom training and transit into virtual learning. E-Learning is an effective means of delivering courses through the internet to the target audience. Courses are made available from anywhere and can be taken at any time. E-learning has the advantage of being repeated at any time. Organisations or institutions need to engage more in digital education to enable both children and adult to learn from home.
This is the process whereby health officials diagnose, assess and treat patients by using digital solutions to provide services to patients remotely. Telemedicine will be very helpful to reduce the number of sick people going to hospitals to minimize the chance of contracting the virus
Organisations need to provide employees with the resources required to communicate and collaborate effectively and fulfil their core responsibilities. Examples are task management solution, customer queries tools, employees and client feedback solutions, collaboration tools, video conferencing applications, share files tools, chat/messaging, VPN, among others.
The global COVID-19 pandemic is a catastrophe and has affected most countries globally, including Nigeria. Nigerian institutions must embrace digital transformation, most notably during this period of lockdown and social distancing for business continuity, delivering top-notch services and also helping the government to mitigate the spread of the virus. By implementing digital solutions into their business processes, employees will be able to work remotely, communicate effectively with colleagues and customers, and attend virtual events and conferences. Children and adults will have the opportunity to pursue their learning programs online. Hospitals will be able to diagnose and examine sick patients online without having to visit the hospital. All these measures will not only help the government to curb the spread in the country, but productivity will also be improved, and services will be rendered while maintaining customer value.