Digital transformation after COVID-19. How can you prepare your business?

blog cover: Digital transformation after pandemic COVID-19

We are witnessing an unusual technological revolution as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the most serious crisis is over and global economies are unlocked, we are going to face “the new digitised normal”, where consumers do their shopping and run errands online. Reliable software is a must in this respect. As the new breakthrough still awaits us all, you should find out what this digital transformation after COVID-19 will look like and how your business can be prepared.  

The effects of the pandemic on businesses and consumers 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused irreversible changes in the lives and habits of consumers as well as in company activities worldwide. Border closures, travel restrictions between countries, and limits on public gatherings, have all significantly impeded business. Some industries have permanently shut down.

A percentage decrease was recorded in the majority of consumer behaviours (purchase volumes, number of visits to stores etc.), yet one noted behaviour has multiplied massively – a 5-fold increase in online shopping to replace shopping in stationary stores.  

The first year of the pandemic confirmed the market shifts leading to the liquidation of companies not prepared for digital evolution. This new reality imposes a change in approach to business and technology to enable running businesses smoothly. Cutting-edge software (that yesterday used to be optional) today is a must.

The key to maintaining or gaining market leadership after COVID-19 will be in understanding the needs of consumers in “the new normal”. New customer habits and behaviours will largely depend on the industry, yet irrespective of this factor, the fear of physical contact with people will remain common, particularly with strangers. As a positive result, even older people will find it easier to overcome their fear of technology.

PwC (PriceWaterhouseCooper) carried out thorough studies on consumer behaviour before and after the outbreak of the pandemic. The digital transformation after COVID-19 will be considerably easier if you recognise how your customers lives have changed, and what they can expect from products and services in “the new normal”. This research shows that :

  • 74% of people work at home at least some of the time, 
  • 59% have increased their use of video chats,
  • 49% are open to sharing their data in particular conditions,
  • 36% spend more on media and entertainment, 
  • 35% buy groceries online/by phone.

The pandemic is still here. It is worth following the changes in your customers’ behaviour and reach digitalisation of your business toward the right destination. In this way, this “new normal” is not going to surprise you.

The increased trend to use online solutions and tools requires software that looks pleasant and works perfectly. Modern technologies need to be reliable, efficient, intuitive and accessible for everyone (regardless of health and place of use).

Stepwise has been supporting companies for years in developing software that expands their business potential. By using cloud solutions that allow flexible scaling of business, we can provide the most innovative SaaS, PaaS, e-commerce and CRM solutions.  

The digital transformation of companies at the outbreak of the pandemic 

From the moment the coronavirus pandemic emerged into our reality, global markets were blocked for security reasons. The successive lockdowns made traditional business activity impossible, showing up those companies that had not done enough homework in risk management. A lot of businesses have since failed. 70% of small and medium enterprise sector companies in Europe have experienced a significant decrease in revenues, half of which question their survival in the market in the upcoming 12 months (in many cases, even financial support from the government does not solve this issue).

In 2019, before the pandemic, the value of the software market was climbing steadily. Despite the growing popularity of modern technologies in business, innovative methods for automating business processes, cloud services and cutting-edge software development technologies were looked at rather as niche solutions. With such a wide freedom to conduct business activities, a large number of companies in many countries ignored e-commerce technologies, online payments and CRM systems. They could afford to do so, as potential customers were allowed (and wanted) to visit POS or the offices of companies in person.   

Despite the popularity of digital transformation of companies, it did not use to be as challenging in the past as it is today. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the market share of partly or fully digital products rose from 35% to 55%. Company leaders have understood that in order to survive they needed to change their business model and build a new digitalised image of their organisation, to use cutting-edge technologies providing the best and reliable service quality, despite global restrictions.

Even though your company survived the first year of the pandemic, it is high time to take care of its future and prepare your business for “the new normal” your company will have to face after COVID-19. How can Stepwise help you?

We have been supporting our partners in business digital transformation for years by developing most of our advanced digital products in “as a Service” (e.g. SaaS, PaaS) models. We have a wide variety of concepts and proven solutions for innovative methods of delivering products and services to customers. We develop software that is 100% resistant to the coronavirus. Contact us and use our experience.

The post-pandemic digital revolution – how can you prepare your business?

The post-pandemic digital revolution is a popular issue for every industry. There are a large number of prognoses regarding the development of coronavirus strategies and their potential effects on the economy. One of the most common scenarios predicts regular seasonal recurrences of this disease in the nearest future. In this scenario, the health services successfully cope with the crisis, and citizens can count on at least minimum support from the government. The coronavirus has an explicit influence on the economy and its customers. Although a rapid revival of the economy is rather impossible, in the long run, GDPs and the purchasing potential of customers are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

This prognosis seems very probable, especially in that some of these predictions have already come true. Companies that would like to survive the pandemic should:

– efficiently adapt processes, and sometimes even entire business models, 

– implement online tools for remote work and communication with customers,

– move marketing budgets toward digital channels of distribution,

– put a greater emphasis on automating organisational activities,

– invest in reliable software for their end users.

We are one step away from the next critical point in the global crisis – the time when governments will unlock national economies and the international market. COVID-19 will leave us with “the new normal”, where the majority of customers do their shopping and run errands from the couch. For that reason, technology that facilitates meeting these needs and lets your company stand out among the competition is (and will be) essential in business.

The Stepwise experts have devised several hints showing what the post-pandemic digital revolution will look like and how you can prepare your business for this.  

  1. Sources of financing IT investments  

Digital transformations adapted to your new normal will require financial investment. There are companies that have coped with the pandemic successfully and do not experience this problem. But from where can you receive funds for expanding your business and technology when so many companies are barely covering their fixed costs?

Sources of financing IT investments are one of the most significant factors for business development during the pandemic, and they will be equally important post pandemic. Companies can find external funding in a variety of places. Aside from preferential credit for developing business activities, entrepreneurs can receive financial support from VC firms and Business Angels. Crowdfunding has also become a common method for financing investments in recent years.   

The European Commission has developed a recovery plan to help repair the immediate social and economic damage brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. This new plan for 2021-2027 assumes implementing the largest stimulus package ever, financed through the EU budget. A total of €1.8 trillion will make this “new EU normal” greener, more digital and more resilient. 50% of this amount is intended to support scientific research, innovation and digital transformation.

  1. New strategies to reach customers 

The coronavirus has caused a nearly two-fold increase in the number of consumer interactions in digital channels. This is a natural consequence of limitations on the physical movement of customers and the implemented lockdowns. Companies were not able to provide services or sell products through traditional offline models, so they were forced to launch new digitalised points of contact for their consumers.

The companies that previously avoided technology yet wanted to remain in the market, had to instantly implement the new strategies to reach their customers. There are indications that in this “new normal” customers are more eager to do shopping online than they used to before the pandemic. 

New strategies to reach customers require access to the Internet and technical solutions. Ensuring an appropriate level of data and application security is essential in this context. In the European Union, gaining new leads is impeded by legal regulations and the GDPR, imposing obligations for proper personal data processing on companies. Any digital transformations of companies post pandemic should be well thought out and planned at the early stages of business digitalisation.

  1. Proven methods of communication and remote collaboration  

Border closures and travel restrictions in many countries have constituted a major problem for a smooth business activity. There are indications that the coronavirus will be present in our reality even after it is over. How can you make your business resistant to the limited possibilities of communication? Proven methods of remote work can be used in nearly any industry, at least for some positions. Studies show that after the outbreak of the pandemic, the number of employees working from home increased from 4% to 88%!

Stepwise has been cooperating with companies worldwide for years. Despite the huge distances, we often visited our customers in their offices and hosted them in our centres, yet our relationships are mostly based on online communication.

We had been improving optimum nearshoring and offshoring solutions for years, long before the pandemic. These days we are implementing the most effective methods of online cooperation for our business partners, which allow us to continue our initiated digital projects even during the lockdowns. What is more, you can use similar communication solutions for contact with your customers.

  1. Tools for making decisions based on knowledge and data 

The coronavirus crisis has showed us how quickly and unpredictably the situation in the market can change. Therefore, the digital transformation after COVID-19 should not be a random set of activities. Tools for making decisions based on knowledge and data are invaluable in this process.

Big Data, Data Management and Data Analysis solutions will be of key significance for business in “the new normal”. Proper gathering, quick analysis and reliable presentation of data will allow management boards to objectively look at their business and the market trends, which will translate into good decisions related to development. Stepwise is an expert in these areas.

  1. Reliable business partners

In “the new normal” digital transformation will (or is already becoming) considerably more demanding than before the pandemic. You need reliable business partners for developing software that will meet the changing expectations of end users.

At Stepwise we have always been guided by the principle that technology should serve business. Our customers receive high level expertise from our IT specialists. Our many years of experience in building digital products and the effective methodology for completing projects iteratively, guarantee optimum support at every stage of planning, building and launching new software. 

While cooperating with Stepwise, you get access to a nearly unlimited pool of IT talent in Poland and abroad. A high level of expertise from IT specialists is one of the key success factors for digital business transformation. We are able to put together a team of experts that have rich experience, extensive theoretical knowledge, and hordes of creative ideas. No matter how advanced a digital product is, you receive competencies essential for finishing a particular stage of a project.

  1. Innovative software

The post-coronavirus “new normal” is no longer an abstract prognosis of possible changes. The process of a total transformation of social habits and approaches to business has already begun. Only those companies that are open to change and offer their employees, partners and customers innovative software sufficiently quickly will remain in the market.

Developing systems, applications, tools and websites in the post-pandemic digital transformation should be based on combining business logic and the practical use of cutting-edge technologies. At Stepwise the process of software development is a result of all our experiences from completed IT projects, which then allows us to choose the solutions best suited to new initiatives.

As far as cutting-edge technologies are concerned, Stepwise is exceptionally good at cloud services, instantly creating an environment tailored to your applications. The cloud also allows flexible and nearly countless possibilities for horizontal business scaling. While developing your software, we use the Kubernetes platform and the increasingly popular containerisation of applications. This facilitates managing your data and applications in the cloud. 

We use the advanced Flutter Software Development Kit for creating beautiful, efficient and effective applications that run on a variety of devices. Our experts have excellent knowledge in the most common languages such as Java and Python, and also in niche programming languages, such as Dart and Kotlin. 

Software development should not be art for art’s sake. At Stepwise we put our efforts in building the business case for every element of a digital product. We do our best to provide our customers with maximum support in making the best decisions, and can provide a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), preparing a Proof of Concept (PoC), or carrying out an audit of currently used solutions.

Find out more about those solutions here.

We reduce the risk of budget burnout and minimise the amount of resources, such as time and money, providing you with unsurpassed coronavirus-resistant software. With cloud solutions you can scale your business freely, according to your current needs, and have control over the digital transformation of your company. 

The new normal in modern software development after COVID-19

Digital transformation in the after COVID-19 “new normal” will set high-level requirements for companies, but real entrepreneurs will certainly notice the wide variety of opportunities for standing out from others in the market and expanding their businesses. Modern software will (has) become an indispensable part of our lives.

The coronavirus crisis has buried a large number of promising businesses. Your company has to survive the pandemic and then meet the requirements of “the new normal”. To achieve that, use the best technologies and make sure the software in your business provides premium quality at each of the following levels:

  • Business scalability
  • Application availability and accessibility
  • Data processing and presentation
  • Fast and smooth communication
  • Extraordinary tech solutions
  • Distinctive design
  • Innovative software development

If you are looking for support from a reliable software house that knows the best methods of digital transformation, contact Stepwise. We are always easy to talk to, and our IT specialists have extensive technical knowledge, are well versed in what business expects, and are free to discuss the areas of potential cooperation. We are able to select (and develop) for you technological solutions that are resistant to the pandemic and these changing times.

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