Since early 2020, we've lived through more seismic disruption than in the previous six years. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted every facet of the enterprise – including people, partners, and customers. It's been a hard road, but if the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we cannot stand still as change happens around us; we must embrace it and stay ahead of it. We must find our purpose and become more resilient.
Genpact has done just that. Our company, which helps businesses accelerate digital transformation, has successfully enabled many Fortune 500 companies to navigate today's changing environment and I'm proud of how our teams have faced this challenging journey.
For instance, soon after governments around the world introduced travel restrictions in March, we were discussing a potential finance and accounting project with a company in the UK. Over the following weeks, we ran 75 virtual meetings to get immersed in its digital transformation journey. Despite never meeting in person, the company brought us on and we deployed 300 of our best people to begin collaborating, training them on systems and processes, and tackling the work – all performed remotely too.
We've also helped over 200 companies successfully close their books virtually, a process that typically involves finance executives working late nights in the office. In many instances, they did it faster than before.
No matter the business challenge, we've helped our clients define a clear path forward, find better ways of working, and create more resilient business models and processes that adapt to the rapidly shifting needs and expectations of their customers.
Through it all, we have learned a lot about our clients and the industries in which they operate. Specifically, we see five powerful trends shaping businesses now and into the future:
1. The shift from offline to online
We're experiencing a watershed moment where online channels are now a primary component of today's business models. Every industry and type of business has been impacted by COVID-19, from those that were predominantly offline to those that were predominantly online.
Pre-pandemic, the need for both types of interaction was widely perceived as essential. COVID-19 upended that belief, with many consumers and organizations realizing that they could accomplish their previously in-person activities online, often with more efficiency and greater convenience.
Does this mean physical interaction will cease to exist? No, but it could become a secondary channel in many industries for tasks and experiences that can't be delivered fully online.
2. The virtualization of all technology, services, and solution delivery
We see a shift in technology, services, and solution delivery that allows anything to be done anytime from anywhere. Organizations are realizing that distributed virtual work is just as effective – if not more effective in some areas – as in-office work. A cohesive work-from-anywhere strategy provides employees the flexibility to do their best work. To develop such a strategy, organizations need to determine which processes best lend themselves to virtualization.
You can read more on the shift to distributed work here.
3. The accelerated consumption of cloud-based services and solutions
Whether it's using digital technology to better predict, automate, collaborate, or connect, every organization needs to expedite its digital transformation journey to meet the challenges and demands caused by COVID-19. To compete effectively, organizations must accelerate the use of secure, cloud-based services and solutions to unlock greater agility, speed, and innovation.
That journey, however, is not always easy, and the pressures of today's environment have raised the stakes. Among cloud implementations, 20% fail and more than 70% do not realize anticipated results. To be successful, the journey to the cloud must build on business priorities and be led by multi-disciplinary teams with deep industry knowledge, business-process expertise, and technology know-how focused on creating holistic cloud adoption.
Read more on how to accelerate digital transformation here.
4. Increased demand for real-time predictive analytics to drive decision making
The ability for companies to generate predictive insights has been steadily increasing as the use of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, has become widespread. But as COVID-19 changed consumer behaviors, disrupted global supply and demand, and created new risks, the ability to make fast, accurate predictions has shifted from being a point solution to a driver of real-time actionable insights for core processes critical to business survival.
Embedding predictive analytics in a business' DNA has become a necessity.
We dive into analytics and prediction here and have a fascinating case study on how we're keeping workers safe too.
5. All built and delivered around human-centered design
As companies faced the initial challenges raised by COVID-19, many struggled to meet customers' changing expectations. This reemphasized the role of experience and shifted it from a front-end design function to a strategic lever for the whole organization. The need to connect the front, middle, and back office to deliver quality experiences has never been more evident. The clear winners are companies that have oriented their business models around putting people first.
Read more about today's experience economy here.
As businesses continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, my team and I will continue to explore these five trends in detail. We'll offer our thoughts on how enterprises and their leaders can build on the forces of human resilience and business ingenuity to adapt and emerge stronger.