Let’s get the obvious part out of the way: COVID-19 had ― and continues to have ― a profound impact on the world, and businesses have scrambled to adjust. The next and less obvious part is how businesses should create post-COVID (or living-with-COVID) plans that account for the new realities facing every industry and enterprise.

While 2020–2021 will surely be remembered as an epic slog, there were some lessons learned for smart business leaders that emerged from the chaos of the pandemic. Enterprise management should focus on supporting teams in their varied work-life balances and directing their energy forward, instead of trying to recapture what existed before “social distancing” became ubiquitous.

To do so requires an honest account of how much has changed: work, working relationships, work-life balances, communication, workflows, online experiences, consumer habits, data security, app development, and so on.  Some change resulted from simple desperation and need, while many transformations were already underway and COVID just accelerated them.

Regardless, enterprises need to pivot away from simply reacting and begin adopting strategies that will form the foundation for a successful business approach for tomorrow. Here are four ways your organization can thrive in an era post-pandemic.

Make Remote Work Work Even Better

We can’t talk about business and COVID-19 and not have remote work at the top. It’s obvious but important: the shift toward working from home will forever change how the company office is utilized by staff and implemented by companies.

A recent Gartner survey of CFOs revealed that 74% plan on permanently moving previously on-site employees to remote post-COVID.  A Pew Research Center study of workers found that 54% want to continue working from home after the end of coronavirus, and it’s been estimated that by 2025 some 70% of the workforce will work remotely 5 days a week. Time will tell what the exact numbers will end up being, but remote work has transformed from an occasional perk to a legitimate way of life for both employees and organizations.

So how can enterprise companies plan for that reality?

By adopting communication tools that connect teams in profound ways, and make finding, sharing and analyzing data effortless no matter the device nor the location. That means persistent and secure chat, video conferencing, and email capabilities, and a collaborative enterprise platform that drives productivity.

Embrace the Benefits of Low Code

The potential value of low-code development fits perfectly into the situation many enterprises find themselves in today: looking for fast ways to generate solutions and be innovators in the digital transformation journey.  Low-code app development accelerates the entire design process from early prototype development to launch and testing.

Gartner forecasted the worldwide low-code development markets to total $13.8 billion in 2021, up over 22% from 2020, driven by the combination of an already burgeoning technology with an increased demand for faster app creation and customizable software.  It can only grow from here.

COVID forced organizations to respond to problems immediately, and find solutions in nontraditional ways and places.  Empowering organizations with a platform that helps them design apps will quicken the development process, save time and money, and boost creativity within the enterprise.

Deliver Consumer-Grade App Experiences  

As more people engage with the world through digital spaces it’s crucial companies provide immersive experiences that are tailored to the precise needs of the audience.  A McKinsey study found that during the pandemic 80% of customer interactions were digital in nature, and consumer expectations will only continue to increase and become more fine-tuned and nuanced.

As online journeys have matured, the fundamental understanding of what constitutes a satisfying user or customer experience has sharpened.  The immersive optionality of Amazon, the customized nudge of Netflix, these platforms have re-shaped people’s basic standards of what an online visit can ― and should ― be.

There’s no doubt more people are shopping, searching and spending online, and they aren’t waiting more than a few seconds for a video to load or link to appear. If they’re not engaged they’re as good as gone.

Experiences need to be made immersive, intuitive and customized for the user.  They should incorporate the latest in voice recognition and AI-technologies, and accessible on mobile devices, wearables, you name it.  Create a dynamic digital experience that your customers will find exciting and worth their time, or watch them click on the link of a competitor.

Security Is Stability 

The success of your strategy depends largely on how secure your operation is. You can have a cutting-edge collaboration platform for your teams, a mind-blowing website interface, and the fastest low-code app software in the world and if the security is questionable it’s going to eventually fail.

Many factors contribute to a less-secure enterprise environment: more remote working, higher dependency on sensitive data travelling to shared networks, newfound accessibility issues and constantly evolving and malicious cyberthreats.

The bottom line is that organizations need to do everything possible to protect company, staff and client data. Invest in secure infrastructure and prioritize platforms that have proven track records of enterprise security.

The past year has been disruptive in many ways, and also illuminating.  Be the company you want to be, not the company you think you were.

For more information on an industry-leading low-code application development platform that lets your organization create engaging app experiences and drive business value — fast — you need to look at HCL Volt MX.  

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