This article was originally published on Forbes.

In the new post-pandemic world, businesses have had to rethink operations, culture, and even customer relationships to ensure survival and continued growth. For many businesses this has meant a rapid digital transformation. Based on my experience as a tech CEO and business leader, here are a few insights to help you continue that digital transformation in three key areas of your business.

Business operations

Whether you had to introduce an online sales channel, transition your team to a fully remote work, or rethink your digital ad campaigns—you had to rely heavily on technology to implement changes.

Now you have to shift focus to better preparing your business for future disruptions and growth. Your new strategy should include careful consideration of how and where your valuable business data is stored, so you can better measure progress towards your goals, assess risks, and take a proactive data-driven approach to operations and growth.

To do that operationally, remove roadblocks and bottlenecks between teams to speed up execution and enable continuous innovation. If you have not already adopted an ERP or CRM system in your business—now is the time to invest in one that is both easy to use and flexible enough to fit your future requirements. This type of foundational technology will speed up digital adoption across the board, and as your business faces new challenges and growth you will be able to adjust and course-correct without wasting time and resources.

Organizational culture

For many companies the new normal means all-remote work and restricted in-person interactions and gatherings. And while we can easily connect with each other and stay productive thanks to a plethora of communication tools, there’s something to be said about people meeting up in a shared physical space where spontaneous conversations can lead to breakthroughs, creative ideas, and innovative thinking. Your company culture won’t just follow along into the digital realm or somehow reshape to fit the new normal. If you want to keep your people engaged and inspired, you need to be proactive about rebuilding your organizational culture and include it in your overall business strategy. One way is to reinforce your shared values through clear messaging and opportunities for people to take action—as a team or individually—to support internal diversity and inclusion and/or contribute to causes and projects that reflect your values in the society at large. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s also the only way a modern business can stay relevant and build meaningful relationships and trust both with the employees and customers.

Customer relationships

In a time of crisis and post-crisis recovery, you have a great opportunity to double down on your existing customer relationships, test new ideas, and find new opportunities. Find ways to identify with your customers and focus on serving them and they will become your biggest source of new revenue. Chances are the majority of your customers are now spending most of their time online. Develop a digital brand strategy that reflects your company values, provides customers with helpful information, and sets your business apart from its competitors. Use marketing automation tools to quickly build and execute campaigns, measure performance against your baseline expectations for engagement, and tweak as you go. If you are considering launching an online sales channel, make sure you select an e-commerce platform that aligns with your business model, is easy to manage, is SEO-friendly, and can scale as you grow.

Don’t wait for the economy to rebound, customers to start buying, or life to return to what it was a few months ago. Now is the perfect time to take a proactive approach and lean on strategic partners and your technology providers who can help you execute on your digital transformation and prepare for future growth.

Considering the importance of digital transformation, your technology providers should be on your partner shortlist. Don’t just auto-renew your software subscriptions. Reach out to your vendors to discuss your goals and explore options to solve your problems. They can also help you to decide on strategic digital investments—whether it’s to introduce AI, implement a new CRM system, or launch e-commerce. If your technology vendors and partners are not willing to help or have no solutions that can solve your problems and help with your digital transformation, it makes it that much harder to succeed, and it might be worth finding new vendors and partners.

The worst thing you can do now is stay inactive or stick to your old strategy and tools that do not reflect the new reality we’re all facing.


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