The great COVID bounce back

20 August 2020

How a new breed of interim is helping firms bounce back
One of the most successful interims placed by us recently identified £24 million in immediate cost savings that could be achieved for a business through a digital change programme.

Results like this are the perfect illustration of technology’s value at the current moment. Digital transformation can position businesses to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with confidence and ambition. Moreover, for companies in industries like manufacturing, the bounce back may only happen if they fully embrace digitalisation.

Digital transformation can’t be put off any longer
It’s important to highlight, however, that similar things were said in the aftermath of the 2008/9 recession. Forward-looking commentators were calling for a digital revolution. Many companies that survived the credit crunch crisis ‘talked the talk’ on transformation, but never ‘walked the walk’. They chose not to undergo a thorough digitalisation of their business.

Firms in the past may even have been wary of major transformation programmes, in part scared off by stories of budget-busting overspends and woefully-missed deadlines in high-profile public sector digital projects.

New technologies present new growth opportunities
So why should things be different this time? Well, first we’re in a very different set of circumstances – the challenges facing business are much wider and more complex than in 2008/9. Second, new technologies are now far quicker and easier to implement.

Third, the UK now has a decent-sized cohort of experienced digital transformation consultants – a new breed of specialists in the field, who have proven time and again that transformation delivers ROI when it’s done properly.

To take up these points in more detail, while the last financial crisis may have hit sales and made it more difficult for many businesses to secure borrowing, the COVID disruption is measured on a different scale entirely.

The remote business model has accelerated change
Many businesses have been cut off almost entirely from their clients by having to close physical premises and seen their traditional customers shut down completely for extended periods. A lot of traditional businesses that transact face-to-face have suddenly and unexpectedly found a pressing need to, almost overnight, ramp up their online sales channels.

Along with online sales these businesses, that have seen their old business model upended by the lockdown, will need to work out how it changes its customer relationship management and logistics software. For a business coming to online channels so late in the day, having an experienced digital transformation consultant to manage that change is essential.

Faster digital transformation with the right expertise
Where once this digitalisation process was a years-long process, the experience of digital transformation consultants means it can now be implemented in a fraction of the time, delivering ROI for the business as early as possible. Previously bespoke solutions for online sales had to be built over months and years. Off-the-shelf cloud services suites like AWS and Azure can now be put in place in days or weeks.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen a lot of interest from private equity funds in implementing digital transformation programmes within their portfolio companies. It will be interesting to see how many companies with other ownership structures follow suit.

Accessing valuable skills in a competitive market
For businesses looking to access the highest-quality interims to deliver these change programmes, Interim Partners at New Street Consulting Group has an unrivalled pool of talent.

Our interim CTOs and digital transformation consultants have experience in implementing digital change programmes at businesses in a vast range of sectors, from financial services to manufacturing, retail, FMCG, leisure and outsourcing.

Please get in touch by emailing hello@nscg.com or calling 020 3854 1608 to talk change, digital transformation and return on investment.


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