When a department store in China realized customers would not be able to access its brick-and-mortar location during the COVID-19 quarantine, it partnered with an outside organization to focus on a new channel — social marketing. Using its own employees and sales clerks to host, the organization reported that one live stream event generated the same revenue as pre-coronavirus weekly in-store sales.
Essentially all businesses were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Those that demonstrated innovation increased business model resilience and adapted to the new business environment.
“Under such challenging circumstances, China provides some great examples of business model resilience among companies within traditional industries,” said Daniel Sun, vice president Analyst, during his presentation at virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo® 2020.
Two types of Chinese organizations demonstrated strong business model resilience: Those that leveraged digital giants in their business plan successfully and those with a strong automation foundation.
Partner with digital giants
With movie theaters closed during the coronavirus outbreak, a media company risked losing millions of dollars on a soon-to-premiere movie. The company partnered with a digital media platform to distribute the movie. As a result, the media company earned $91 million and a share of advertising.
More than 40% of CIOs and IT leaders consider their relationship with digital dragons to be tactical and view them solely as technology providers. Less than 2% of businesses think of digital giants as strategic business partners. These large enterprises can help scale the cloud or provide payment and digital business platforms, but CIOs must first identify how they can be used to modify current business models.
It’s likely CIOs might shy away from partnering with their competition, but the reality is that many of these partnerships have proven successful for both parties.
Organizations can partner with digital dragons in five different ways:
Leverage automation successfully
The loan application process can be cumbersome and complicated, which is not ideal for organizations looking for loans to fund the business during a pandemic. A bank in China invested heavily in automating its loan application process, leading to a supply chain product with online application review, verification, online lending, and automated approval. This reduced the approval process time to 30 minutes, making it an attractive offering for businesses.
It’s not possible to automate every piece of the business but look for vulnerable areas with frequent human error, slow completion time, and tedious manual work. Once these areas are identified, work with business stakeholders to match them with the key automation technology. Focus on the three key technologies of robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent business process management suites (iBPMS), and integration platform as a service (iPaaS).
CIOs should consider several common areas of automation, including accounts payable, travel experiences, accounting, invoice delivery, sales operations, contract management, and even payroll.
For organizations looking to establish automation during COVID-19, recognize that hiring an entirely new team isn’t feasible. Instead, look to current employee skill sets. Focus on minimum viability automation over fully comprehensive automation and keep stakeholders looped into the process so the end result focuses on key business priorities.
The original article by Daniel Sun, vice president and analyst at Gartner, is here. This article has been updated from June 16, 2020, original to reflect new events, conditions, and research.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Image credit: iStockphoto/shansekala