Why Your Organization Should Embrace Digital Transformation 2.0
This post is part of our series from Zoom’s Office of the CIO, a global strategy group focused on the communications challenges and opportunities facing CIOs and other enterprise technology leaders.
As we come upon a year of working in full-remote or hybrid environments, many organizations are realizing that the workplace will likely never look the same again.
Back in March 2020, organizations adapted their processes to move to remote work environments almost at a moment’s notice. We thought this would be temporary and we would go back to work in a few weeks, but as time went on, many of those solutions have become permanent fixtures. This brought about a new way of communicating and collaborating with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders, ushering in a focus on digital transformation centered on the virtual experience.
The emergence of Digital Transformation 2.0
When digital transformation first started gaining attention in corporate boardrooms, organizations analyzed their processes and separated activities that could be automated from those that needed to be performed by a person. Then digital models were created to automate these functions. This gave clients and businesses a win-win — businesses could improve efficiency and clients could receive the benefits of convenience and immediate satisfaction. Digital models that seamlessly integrated human and automated interactions became the norm. I call this Digital Transformation 1.0.
The pandemic pushed the pace of our digital evolution and a new component has taken root: the virtual process. Now organizations are analyzing their human interactions and separating activities into two categories — what needs to be done in-person and what can be done virtually. This stage of Digital Transformation 2.0 is already well underway, and what began as short-term reactions to pandemic lockdowns are likely to turn into long-term solutions with benefits for businesses and their customers.
Digital Transformation 2.0 in action
A good example can be found in the medical field. Traditionally, the medical profession has been as ‘in-person’ as you can get. Many medical practices use some form of an online portal with their patients to communicate test results or answer questions, but all other activities were largely performed in person prior to the emergence of COVID-19.
The pandemic became a catalyst for widespread telehealth adoption, introducing the virtual component into doctor-patient interactions. Today, a doctor may have an initial virtual visit with a patient, then schedule blood work, X-rays, or other tests at testing facilities if needed. The patient can access their test results on an online portal and the doctor can schedule a virtual follow-up visit to communicate results and next steps. The doctor’s office can send prescriptions to the pharmacy electronically, or the patient can order them through the online portal and have them delivered by mail.
The process of delivering and receiving care virtually feels integrated. Information is immediately available. Interactions are effective and orderly. Patients don’t have to drive, park, and sit in a waiting room, and doctors can leverage their valuable time more efficiently.
I asked one doctor whether he would continue this virtual/physical/digital process post-pandemic. He said, “Absolutely.” In fact, he believes this process is better than a fully in-person experience. His employees are safer because there are fewer patients in the waiting room to transmit illness. His older patients, who have trouble coming into the office, have a more convenient way to meet with him. And, he has been able to open up his practice to take patients from anywhere since they don’t have to come see him in person.
There are many other fields where similar transformations are occurring. Court systems are operating virtually and the legal community is discovering that most of their work can be done virtually. Virtual education continues to grow in popularity and acceptance, widening access to new opportunities in learning and sharing knowledge. Financial advisors are meeting with their clients virtually, eliminating the need for in-person meetings.
What digital transformation leaders should keep in mind
Digital Transformation 2.0 has taken off and will continue to grow. Standing still — or moving backwards to restore the way things were pre-pandemic — simply won’t cut it when employees, consumers, and businesses have already experienced the benefits of this new world of working and communicating.
Once again, we have a win-win — business efficiency and client convenience. That’s a formula for continued adoption. Organizations will continue to modernize their operations with the integration of digital, in-person, and virtual services. Companies that invest in Digital Transformation 2.0 will attract top talent with flexible work arrangements and grow customer loyalty by providing a seamless, convenient experience.
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