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Digital Readiness Amidst the Global Market Slowdown

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By Karthikeyan Sridossan, Executive Vice President- Strategy, Indium Software

It’s still fresh in my memory, walking into the cabin of the business head of a large healthcare carve-out in Southern California, where she was manually signing a pile of cheques that were for reimbursements to providers. It was in 2017 when most of the healthcare leaders have already moved to EFTs, but we had a lot of mid-players like this who were still fine with the legacy approach. Fast Forward, during a casual chat in 2022, the business head was talking about how they not just went to EFT but have the whole claims payment processing now in the Cloud, the whole transformation achieved in a period of just 12 months post-pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digitalisation by three to four years, at the least. There was also a “speedup” in releasing digital and digitally enhanced offerings. On average, there has been a seven-year increase in the rate at which companies develop digital products and services. In some parts of the world like developed Asia, the leap has been even greater—ten years.

Gartner’s Chris Howard addresses this post-pandemic digitalisation trend by asking, “Why is this digitalisation different from digital before COVID-19?” The answer is pace—the pace of adoption and the urgency to “act quickly with a potentially short window of time.”. I would probably add that this digitisation has permanently redefined how business works, making organisation re-invent their entire business operations from supply to service putting Digital at the front.

This shift is now popularly addressed as the ‘New Normal’, where the message is clear, that businesses must accelerate digital processes or risk their very survival.  With survey results indicating that 89% of all companies  have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or plan to do so, building digital readiness is no longer optional. It assumes even greater significance in the face of a global market slowdown. The 2008 recession showed that investing in the right ventures is crucial for leading the market. Companies that embraced digital initiatives weathered the storm and emerged stronger. Per research from Gartner [4], only very few companies, 60 of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. and Europe — ended up as winners after the last big turn (the recession that ended in mid-2009). This select few sustained their outperformance for the subsequent decade. When the weather is gloomy, visibility is low and the outcome is uncertain, winners give the best shot to seize the lead.

While speculators, economists, and even central banks are divided on the possibility of a global recession, previous downturns have shown that by prioritizing digital readiness, companies can better position themselves to navigate the challenges of a possible recession or market slowdown. Digital initiatives are the cornerstone of today’s economy. Given the distinct “triple squeeze” on performance—inflation, skills shortages, and disrupted supplies—it is critical to identify activities that bolster your competitive position.

So, what exactly is digital readiness, and how will it impact your company?
Why Prioritise Digital Readiness?
Digital readiness is the degree to which an organization’s employees are prepared to adapt and manage the digital transformation wave. It includes assessing the employees’ behavioral competencies, digital literacy, and cognitive skills when using information technology. Put simply, “digital readiness” is the organisation’s capacity to use digital technologies to acquire and transmit information while comprehending its benefits and drawbacks.

Key Factors Spurring Business Growth
The first step in the digital transformation process is to evaluate your organisational readiness. This is a crucial step as it paves the way for future decisions. The aim is to avoid superimposing trending technologies without understanding if the organisational systems and processes are ready for them.

Develop efficiencies, increase organisational buy-in /Prepare processes and people
One of the main aspects of digital preparedness is the cultural aspect. This includes the processes, technologies, and people contributing to the culture. Employees across all sectors must be digitally prepared to contribute actively as the business journeys toward digital transformation.
Improve Customer Experience
Two-thirds of a company’s competitive edge comes from customer experience. Survey results indicate that emotionally connected consumers have a 306% higher lifetime value. Digital technologies can help businesses pursue customer delight by collecting and analyzing client data and offering personalized recommendations and promotions. Customers find it simpler to interact with a business and obtain services, goods, and information via a digital platform.

Processes can be accelerated and made more efficient by automating time-consuming, repetitive procedures. As a result, customers receive faster service, and customer delight goals are effortlessly met. Nearly 50% of companies surveyed indicated that improving customer experience was a determining factor in kickstarting their digital transformation journey.

At Indium, we place a high premium on customer experience. Our digital-ready application services help businesses engage with customers in meaningful ways through personalised and gamified experiences

Top Five Trends Accelerating Digital Readiness
Artificial Intelligence: McKinsey estimates that only 30% of digital transformation programs succeed. In certain sectors, the success rate is limited to  4%. Leveraging AI  through data-driven solutions helps organisations unlock the value of data,  streamline processes, and cut expenses. It can also enable insight-driven decision-making by understanding customer behavior patterns and making interventions to enhance customer experience.

Cloud Services: Cloud services take digital preparedness to the next level by helping organisations reconstruct processes, tools, and experiences in a virtual environment. Organisations become more nimble, sustainable, and cost-effective by focusing on their core competencies and cutting back on infrastructure, and maintenance.

Rapid Application Development: The real success of Digital Transformation is empowering businesses to achieve their outcomes with the least dependency on IT. Through Low Code/No Code platforms enterprise users and business users with limited or no coding knowledge can quickly build applications for their business needs

Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things (IoT) can play a significant role in enhancing the digital readiness of an organisation. IoT devices can help in data collection and analysis in real-time, helping organisations track their business targets, improve operational efficiency and also provide superior customer experience through personalized and targeted services.

Immersive Experience: It is anticipated that by 2040, the metaverse will be a sophisticated and truly immersive, well-functioning element of daily life. Using immersive experiences to build virtual training and simulation environments, employers can enhance staff skills and knowledge. Customer experience can be significantly improved by leveraging Augmented and Virtual modes to experience newer products and make the right decisions

Case in Point
Indium helped a leading American healthcare organisation build a digital healthcare ecosystem enhancing patient care through a telemedicine platform. The virtual ICU platform will help connect critical care teams with bedside providers via video collaboration, monitor health vitals in real time, and provide insights to help the healthcare team take meaningful decisions.

Embracing the Journey with Indium
Indium software is specially engineered to create cloud-native applications, extract value from data, and fortify them with AI/ML and advanced analytics methodologies. Indium engages with customers innovates continuously and helps clients stay one step ahead of the competition. Using digital engineering practices, Indium enables quicker release cycles and improves the customer experience.

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