What are the key digital priorities for 2021?

Harry Bolser, Client Solutions Executive in London, UK
19 November 2020

It’s no secret that the pandemic has driven mass acceleration towards digitalisation and digital transformation. The world has slowly been moving towards digital over the last decade, but as CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadelle said in April: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”. Although many organisations have opted for ‘quick-fix’ solutions, this is not a sustainable way to create a lovable customer experience and to drive business value. 

Our recent white paper highlights the top priorities for digital leaders that will help businesses create an effective digital transformation roadmap. Using these pillars as a guide, organisations can thrive in the ‘new normal’. We believe the key digital leadership priorities for 2021 are: 

  1. Building resilience through digital scale

  2. The need to replicate physical through digital

  3. Automating digital to generate efficiencies

  4. Embracing the new digital operating model for work

  5. Digital Innovation to generate new alternative revenue streams

Our newest white paper explores each of these in detail with examples of companies that have successfully solved problems using digital tools. It also contains insights from senior industry experts and thought leaders on opportunities and challenges of succeeding in the new normal. Here’s an insight into some key themes we explore in the white paper. To download your free copy, head to our website.

Strong end-to-end digital experiences win

Many brands have failed to replicate the physical experience through digital channels. The digital experience must properly reflect the full end-to-end customer journey. Banks, for example, have scaled back on their brick-and-mortar branches and replaced these with digital channels. However, the pandemic highlighted barriers for customers in access to loans, credit and overdrafts. Digital-first start-ups lead the way here and have managed to retain exceptional customer experience despite the changes in consumer behaviour. How can big legacy brands replicate that success and evolve to once again become customers’ number one choice?

The new digital operating model

A clear impact of the pandemic is that organisations have had to adjust their ways of working so that their employees can work remotely. In early 2020, giving employees the freedom to work from their sofas was not an option for the majority of organisations. However, the pandemic has necessitated such a shift and, in many cases, this has been a welcome change. Twitter has told employees they can work from home forever, which is just one example of how there has been a real shift in accepted working practice. Flexible working is here to stay – the focus for businesses should be on how they maintain their culture and create an environment that fosters employee development, particularly for new starters and younger, more junior employees. 

Innovation should not be side-lined

The pandemic should push leadership to promote the innovation agenda across their company. 38% of respondents to BIMA’s State of the Digital Market survey from July 2020 are launching new products this year. Product development is not on hold. Innovation will provide businesses with additional revenue streams, enabling them to not only survive but to thrive in the ‘new normal’.

Digital transformation will be the key to success and growth post-COVID-19. Maintaining a flexible and agile approach will ensure that businesses can pivot easily to explore these new opportunities. The ‘new normal’ is here to stay and therefore should be embraced by leadership as a catalyst to providing value to both customers and employees. 

Interested to learn more? We’re organising a webinar to dive deeper into these topics. Join us for a virtual panel discussion on Thursday 3rd December, where we'll host digital, tech, and innovation experts to discuss how business leaders can accelerate value through digital transformation in the ‘new normal’, and explore the key digital leadership priorities for 2021. Sign up here.

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