Finally! Economic forecasts are picking up, unemployment figures are falling, and economically speaking, the end of the Corona crisis seems to be in sight. What does this mean for digitalization? Will the momentum continue or slow down?
Corona has led to a digitization push in people's minds. Now we must succeed in driving digitization forward in practice as well.
Achim Berg, President of the Bitkom industry association
The example also shows that companies today can no longer wait months or years to introduce important services. Almost three-quarters of business leaders now believe that rapid responses to change make the difference between success and failure. Accelerating time-to-value must be a priority now more than ever. The companies that successfully responded to the pandemic were able to deal with change more quickly and adapt effectively to new demands. They are likely to be more resilient in the future.
Companies today need to be able to adapt their operations and customer propositions at an unprecedented pace – but all too often, they are prevented from doing so by outdated systems, processes, and methods. Spanish apparel group Inditex, which owns brands such as Zara and Bershka, began using digital technology years ago to upgrade its store operations while boosting online commerce. For example, the group identified a strong trend toward more clothing for the home through data from its inventory management system. The group had already accelerated its product cycle and shortened the time between designing and selling its collections. True, Inditex's sales plummeted in 2020. But Zara, with a rapidly adapted product range, reported 74 percent growth in the online channel in the first half of 2020 and a net profit of 214 million euros in the second quarter.
Only the most adaptable will succeed in tomorrow's ever-changing markets. The pandemic has presented unpredictable challenges to businesses across all industries – but people have responded with ingenuity and found new ways to survive. The Corona-driven pace of change we have experienced will slow only imperceptibly even as the pandemic subsides, and the ability to evolve in the face of such change will remain critical to business success.