Build Wise

Digital Transformation vaccinates businesses

Digital Transformation Vaccinates Businesses from COVID-19

With the spread of COVID-19 across the world and its effects on the Construction Industry continuing to evolve, we now have two types of clients:

  • Those who want to pause all digital transformation work because of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt of what COVID-19 may cause.
  • Those who are pushing forward—even accelerating—their digital transformation efforts.

We were reassured this week when a large healthcare client who recently signed a digital transformation engagement told us that COVID-19 would have no impact on the initiative. In fact, they redoubled their commitment. They reminded me of a natural resources client who, as I wrote about in the LinkedIn post “Survival vs. Innovation: How the Fearless Thrive” four years ago, was facing significant headwinds and opted for the challenging—but extraordinarily rewarding—path of innovation.

They acknowledged it wouldn’t be easy, but they understood the value it would provide was even greater now with the operational challenges caused by COVID-19. Becoming a digital organization would enable their teams to work more efficiently in what are increasingly difficult circumstances.

Organizations like this understand that moving forward with digital transformation efforts now will put even more distance between them and their competitors.

Operational Ailments Exposed

With many companies transitioning to a remote workforce—at least in the short term—manual processes and a lack of effective digital skills, systems, and practices are exposing painful symptoms:

  • Slow review and approval processes stagnate further.
  • Accessing fragmented systems and data is difficult, even more so when working remotely.
  • Productivity declines as the usual way of conducting work doesn’t translate when team members are separated.

Co-located teams can accommodate such inefficiencies and suppress evidence of operational maladies. A remote workforce, however, will cause operational ailments to be exposed. As we expect organizations to rely on an increasingly remote workforce, these ailments cannot go untreated.

Diagnosing Your Business

To be clear, organizations are not automatically eligible to be considered a digital organization just because they have enterprise applications and kit out their teams with hardware. That qualifies them only as an electronic organization. Being a digital organization is a much higher—and difficult—achievement characterized by a lack of operational friction—automation of manual processes, system-enforced control points, immediate data validations, data federation, and dynamic alerts, among others.

There are several diagnostic questions an organization can employ to identify its digital deficiencies:

  • Does it take you more than 5 clicks and 10 seconds for you to access each business-critical report or dashboard needed by your team or department?
  • Do you rely on intuition and instinct more than algorithms to optimize your project portfolios?
  • Do you spend more time figuring out who owns data, where it is, and how to get it than you do on analyzing it?
  • Do a minority of your team understand relational databases, how to enrich and process data, and how to convey an accurate, compelling story with data?
  • Do your systems often have incorrect or invalid data that needs to be remediated?
  • Do you have multiple systems that do the same thing?
  • Do you rely on wet signatures and manual processes to get a project or budget approved?

Survival in the Time of COVID-19

If any of the questions above are true for your organization, a digital transformation can infuse new life into the organization and unlock enormous enterprise value. Doing so will enable your teams—both co-located and remote—to operate more efficiently and autonomously, which will increasingly become a competitive differentiator, if not a necessity.

The corporate mortality rate has been increasing for decades, as noted in the 2016 Harvard Business Review article “The Scary Truth About Corporate Survival” on the research by Dartmouth professor Vijay Govindarajan and University of Calgary professor Anup Srivastava. As COVID-19 further accelerates corporate casualties, digital transformation offers a potent vaccination.

Author Bio

Steven Hayhurst, Senior Vice President in EnstoaSteven Hayhurst, Senior Vice President, oversees the delivery of Enstoa’s portfolio of projects across the globe, leveraging over 16 years of experience in project management, advanced analytics, business process improvement, and software development. In his tenure at Enstoa, Steven served as a project manager for several complex capital project management solution implementations in North America, Australia, and the Middle East in the natural resources, healthcare, education, and public infrastructure industries.