How the crisis has accelerated internal digital transformation

How the crisis has accelerated internal digital transformation Cybersecurity

On March 17, confinement entered into force in France. Companies were forced in this context to organize remote work for their employees. The best prepared took a few days to adapt to these new conditions. Not all organizations were ready, technologically and culturally, to switch to this configuration.

They therefore had to operate an internal digital transformation in record time, where DSI and CDO had so far been able to meet resistance. For Vice President Digital Business Innovations at PAC, Olivier Rafal, undeniably, “we never innovate as well as under duress”.

An awareness of internal digital

The crisis has played the role of “revealer within companies that have invested in agile cloud-type platforms and collaborative tools. They were able to quickly put in place the necessary procedures, particularly for teleworking, ”he notes.

For other companies, the transition to an era of work under confinement has been more difficult. Whether in their culture or their IT infrastructure, the latter have not benefited from comparable agility due to lack of investment. However, the emergency changes have been a source of lessons.

“Companies have had to devastate new solutions in disaster and introduce widespread telework. And they realize overall that these ways of working work pretty well. New methods, even business models, could therefore emerge from this period of crisis, ”says Olivier Rafal.

According to Abalon’s consultant, a specialist in the digital workplace, the Covid has clearly changed the lines on internal digital. Christophe Coupez even speaks “slap” for these companies where the subject of telework was often considered “taboo”.

“A CIO explained to me that he had made more progress in telework in a few days than in ten years of talking,” he said. For these companies, however, there was an urgent need to advance on tools, “already quite a problem”, but also on approaches to telework.

Videoconferencing, the big winner of the crisis

The adoption of certain market solutions such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom in the videoconferencing field reflects this sudden adaptation. Many companies have subscribed to collaborative tools, remote access and security, confirms the firm PAC. Not all will be perpetuated afterwards.

There will nevertheless be a before and an after. “New crises could arise. If it was admissible during the Covid not to be prepared, it will however not be at all in the next crisis. You have to think about the resilience of your information system, but also mobility and security, “warns the consultant.

Subscription to cloud software, especially for video conferencing, exploded during containment. Engie’s director of infrastructure confirmed this during a webinar in early May. The number of daily users in the company has increased tenfold. Supplier figures attest to this.

At the end of April, MS Teams, for example, had more than 75 million active users per day. Zoom meanwhile exceeded 300 million. The use of videoconferencing is not, however, proof of a successful digital transformation, warns Christophe Coupez.

“Digital transformation is not only about deploying Teams, and above all for videoconferencing. It’s much deeper. This affects the organization, the managerial culture, the relationships between the teams, etc. The crisis first served to demonstrate the importance of having a cloud-based tool to break free of infrastructure. “

Tools do not make digital transformation

The Abalon consultant often finds that uses are limited to certain functionalities only and little concerned with good practices. Microsoft’s application can sometimes be used as a simple alternative to a file server.

“The real indicator to assess the adoption of Teams is the drastic drop in the number of emails exchanged internally combined with the increase in publications on Teams. If you only have an increase in visios, without an increase in posts combined with a decrease in e-mails, then there is not really a transformation of habits, “he insists.

Christophe Coupez therefore believes that the end of confinement could lead to a return to old digital practices due to lack of support for usage or due to bad experiences. “The Covid crisis made it possible to understand that the cloud was needed, but not the rest,” he adds.

The post-containment should therefore be devoted to governance work in order to structure the use of the applications deployed at the start of the crisis. Companies wishing to go further than videoconferencing will be waiting for support to really take ownership of these new tools.

Olivier Rafal recalls, however, that organizations will have to make budgetary choices. The firm anticipates a drop in IT spending in 2020 of between 3 and 12%. “A number of strategic choices are going to have to be made in companies,” with likely effects on equipment.

“Even if everyone is well aware of the need to review this IT equipment, the budgetary constraints are very real (…) New working methods mean ensuring the resilience of companies and meeting the expectations of employees, but that does not immediately create value, ”concludes the vice-president of PAC.


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