How the COVID19 Pandemic Accelerated Digital Transformation

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the landscape of human interactions. As mobility and physical gatherings were restricted, people resorted to digital versions of everyday practices from before the pandemic began, forcing them to take an extraordinary digital leap. Since life cannot really take a long break, businesses, schools, and other institutions began to look for ways to continue their operations remotely, turning to various collaboration, messaging, and video conferencing platforms to remain engaged with their colleagues, customers, and students.

Digital Life in the Pandemic

Although the use of technology was an integral part of day-to-day life even before the pandemic, organizations have been forced to come up with creative digital solutions to continue to function remotely and serve their clientele.

Companies started to require their employees to work from home, so work can still be done while following the standard health protocols in place for the containment of the virus. Schools and universities closed campuses and turned to virtual classes, depending on synchronous and asynchronous lessons to still keep their students learning.

Moreover, conferences, meetings, and seminars became virtual networking, trying to replicate in-person events safely. Customers flocked to digital markets and shopping for their needs, shifting their attention towards streaming and online fitness, too. Both home cooking and online grocery shopping also rose in popularity, as well as cashless transactions. Even triaging patients and diagnosing diseases were made possible through telehealth technology.

This has given rise to new digital business practices and remote working routines for professionals across the globe. In place of commuting challenges and workplace events, today’s workers are challenged to develop new skills in areas like communication, management, and security, which can help them thrive in a digital-first environment.

Meanwhile, companies are paying more attention to the welfare of their employees, especially as the experience of their employees online directly impacts their satisfaction with their work environment and their possible tenure. In addition, they are curating their services to better provide their customers with ease in digital transactions.

Remaining Challenges to Digitalisation

However, for most entrepreneurs in Nigeria, building a remote-work culture in a country with an inconsistent power supply and unstable internet connectivity presents its own set of obstacles. Apart from those, other factors affect people’s physiological needs, such as food security, financial inclusion, and literacy, which can result in their inability to utilise digital solutions to the ongoing pandemic.

That is why with these advancements that came with adapting to the current global health crisis, should also come effective measures and suggestions to assure equal opportunities, especially with young workers.

Although some businesses will slowly reopen and gradually return to normality, the remote work practices widely introduced by the pandemic are likely to stay, so employers must carefully prepare their long-term plans for the digitalisation of their operations accordingly. There is an increasing need to focus on people and retrain and redirect the existing workforce as needed.

Leadership Amidst the Crisis

If one were to survey how the pandemic has been handled so far around the world, the role of leadership cannot be understated, whether it may be in smaller-scale settings such as offices and businesses, or national and global levels. In a time when access to jobs and proper healthcare is endangered, any action is never too small.

This crisis expects leadership styles to be altered — leaders now exert power and influence differently, as it should not be assumed that offline leadership skills can be transferred to virtual settings without adjustments. In fact, successful digital transformation demands that leaders also transform themselves into purposeful, engaged, fair, data-driven, communicative, and productive innovators.


Written by Jill Belinda

Jill Belinda is a system developer with a fascination with how technology shapes everyday life and vice versa. Jill enjoys chess and film photography.