Digital Transformation Challenges In 2020: The Consequences Of COVID 19

In our previous blog, we have mentioned the digital transformation challenges amongst generations in the COVID-19 pandemic, but in today's blog, we would like to discuss the business world post-COVID-19, in particular how digital innovation affect operations. 

The coronavirus crisis is surely reshaping our world. Many countries are still in lockdown restrictions while others have already eased the peremptory command. Those countries which have already eased the restriction, people are coming back to old places that are now a little bit unfamiliar.

Wandering to their favorite coffee shop, they find that the interior design in that place still remains the same, the taste of the morning espresso isn’t changing, but the way they are allowed to navigate them is different.

As long as the vaccine is not available, we may need to spend the next nine months to even two years getting used to the new lifestyle. 

Digital Transformation Challenges In 2020: The Consequences Of COVID 19

The pandemic surely causes severe damages to the economy, politics, and society. During this horrendous time, we, with or without our consent, have to leverage technologies to maintain economic sustainability. 

Leverage technologies to maintain economic sustainability.

Taking the Food and Beverage Industry in Italy for an example, Giuliano Vita, a co-founder at Discovery is managing a collective of digital entrepreneurs.

He found an opportunity during this pandemic: a digital menu, which can also be used to order for both takeaway, and dine in. Customers can visualize the menu by scanning the printed QR code on the table with their phones. 

Grocery stores and fashion retailers embracing e-commerce, banks making their daily operations more flexible and visible online, hospitals and clinics are putting their telemedicine solutions out there, schools started to implement online classes using Zoom.

Impressive as it may seem, these digital movements weren't the path that most businesses would have taken under normal circumstances.

Like we have said in the previous blog, the pandemic has pushed us to the point of adopting digital technologies reluctantly. Turning back time, we and our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-great-grandparents prefer face-to-face communication because it allows clearer communication.

Face-to-face meetings are traditionally considered more credible than online and virtual conversations, plus face-to-face meetings are more productive and bring more positive results. No wonder why we all have reluctance and resistance toward the transformation in the way we communicate with each other. Technology should help improve our ability to meet, not replace it. 

Coming back to the current landscape, technology is no longer a choice, we don’t know when this pandemic will end, the only way to keep the business running is operating online. We’re not talking about communication via the internet, we’re talking about digital transformation. 

Digital transformation just makes sense, no need for further explanation. We can’t deny the benefits when integrating digital transformation into business, but there are obstacles.

Digital Transformation Challenges In 2020: The Consequences Of COVID 19

Digital transformation processes are a challenge in normal circumstances already: re-evaluate the entire business workflow, redefine tasks and roles, employees need to learn numerous of new tools and applications, the workforce training is extremely strenuous due to the pandemic and everyone is in quarantine, as well as modifying of business values, attitudes, and culture. All of these tasks take time and effort.

Digital transformation can’t happen overnight. But whether they want it or not, companies have to get accustomed to these new changes and employees need to keep updated with the latest information, with the hope that these unforeseen movements will save the business. 

At this point, many businesses would have realized that they have relied heavily on paper documentation or finding that their process lacks standardization.

As if those are not big obstacles, the most notable challenge during this pandemic time is the relationship between customers and businesses. Just like any other business strategy, digital transformation is to upgrade the customer experience.

With the digital movements, we can clearly observe happen around every day, customers-companies interactions now happen online a lot. Their expectations are changing: a straightforward, secure, and satisfactory experience.

We are now living in a world where we have unlimited choices, yet limit time, especially for those young GenZers (
check out the previous blog to understand the challenges when it comes to digital transformation amongst all generation), without a proper strategy, addressing our demands, businesses are losing their opportunities to acquire the market. 

Market demands change every second. The behavior of our customers is unpredictable, especially during this pandemic time, it’s even harder since everyone is in quarantine, there are fewer measuring methods to be used to evaluate how the markets will act: which products will be in more demand?

Who will be our new target audience? Which customer segments will be more active? Will there be new demands? Which product will likely fall? 

Another digital transformation obstacle is the unprepared workforce for remote work.

Even though it is predicted that there will be changes since the first generation of digital natives will be joining the workforce such as remote work, no one expects this trend will emerge this soon. The Millennials are already accustomed to technology and open to changes, they are expected to hold 75 percent of the workforce by 2025; however, generation X is still the main workforce at this moment, and time is needed for them to adapt to new changes when it comes to technological innovations.

When the outbreak happened back in March, we can see the lack of digital training. Some of the big names in the US are in danger of being left behind. Of course, there are many reasons leading to business stagnation, digital transformation is just one of the factors adding. 


It’s undeniable how these set of challenges caused by the Coronavirus will reshape the world of work post-pandemic. Consumers' habits will probably be different than before.

But this scene feels like it may not scare the young generation a bit. They find opportunities in integrating technologies and new approaches to maintain the economy.

With proper digital transformation strategy, some of those challenges can be overcome. There are several things that business owners can start to do today to address the problems while pivoting into the new world post-Covid19.