How the Coronavirus has Driven Digital Transformation

The Coronavirus has caused major economic disruption, with every industry forced to rethink how they operate.  Sadly some industries, by their nature, are unable to adapt to COVID-Secure Controls and they are suffering greatly.

However, those organisations that can adapt during this time should implement the changes for their long term benefits, regardless of how the Coronavirus develops.


The Digital Transformation Wave

Organisations have talked of ‘digital transformation’ for many years, and those who actively adopted digital technologies and transformed their business processes are reaping the benefits now.

Moving to cloud platforms and ‘digital first’ has meant that those who have left their workplace and moved to home working have the same level of access to communications, information systems and data as they would in the office.

However while the move to cloud software-as-a-service solutions is relatively simple, even where data migration is required, perhaps hardware is an aspect that has been overlooked by many.

Despite the trend towards more flexible working, many offices still deploy a desktop computing estate, making it much more difficult to relocate hardware at short notice. While there are some use cases for desktop machines, including power requirements for things such as video editing, most organisations could easily and securely deploy mobile computing to their users.


According to Deloitte:

UK adults purchased up to 21 million new digital devices during lockdown in desire to stay connected


This appears to signify a huge increase in the purchase of laptops as the first lockdown in March hit.  Organisations scrambled to prepare their people for remote working fell at the first hurdle.

Having learnt from this experience, organisations can plan for future remote working requirements and are likely to be better prepared for similar disruption in the future.

Of course the concept of Digital Transformation is wider than discussed here and deserves further consideration.

If this Happened 10 Years Ago

Had ‘working from home’ been enforced, say, 10 years ago, things would have been very different.

Domestic broadband infrastructure, mobile networks and digital culture in general were significantly less capable of supporting high-bandwidth applications such as video conferencing and screen sharing – which many of us take for granted today.

The IT Support overhead would have been significantly increased with fewer ‘digital natives’ in the workforce, and Cyber Security was also less embedded in work culture, with controls such as secure VPN connections & Multi-Factor Authentication only applied at the top-end.

Of course not everything went to plan in 2020.  


In March 2020 the Verve Reported:

 “Microsoft Teams goes down just as Europe logs on to work remotely


Although the article does not identify the reasons for the outage, it is easy to imagine that a large influx of users can catch-out even the tech giants!


Plan for the Unexpected

The obvious target area to mitigate against future disruptions is within business continuity management.  

While many organisations we work with had already identified ‘global pandemic’ as a potential disruption, it was hard to believe that it may become a reality, and even harder to predict the extreme measures that governments around the world would take to control the spread of the virus.

For this reason a robust and structured business continuity management system is essential. The business continuity standard ISO 22301 has been recently updated and includes steps for Business Impact Analysis, Risk Management and Exercising & Testing.


Preparing your Organisation for Difficult Times

Assent Risk Management specialise in organisational resilience.  We can help you implement recognised international standards and support digital transformation.

Contact our team today to discuss how we can help you.


Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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