Why Now Is the Time to Prepare for the Next Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we do business. Whilst some organizations have managed to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior by accelerating digital transformation, others are left needing to play catch-up.

The changes we’ve seen aren’t temporary. According to McKinsey, “It’s highly likely that consumers will prefer to use many of these digital offerings after the crisis.” The organizations that will come out on top are the ones that have already aligned their offerings with new customer expectations, or that are already preparing to do so. 

Let’s look at 3 steps you can take right now to ensure your organization emerges as a leader in the next normal.

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1. Double-down on digital 

Successful organizations aren’t stalling their digital activities. On the contrary, they’re doubling-down. According to a report by AppDynamics, “71% [of IT professionals] point to digital transformation projects that have been implemented within weeks rather than the months or years it would have taken before the pandemic.”

It’s not the first time we’ve seen this. The e-commerce platform, Alibaba, had just begun to turn a profit when the SARS pandemic hit back in 2003. The company doubled-down and released its Taobao platform in the midst of the crisis — a strategy that’s credited as having played a major role in creating the $470 billion giant Alibaba is today.

2. The digital customer experience is now the priority 

When a car-rental company suffered a 95% loss in revenue in February, it didn’t simply try to power through. Instead, the company adapted and “reacted like a start-up.” Using data to inform a new strategy, the company implemented a “‘no-touch’” car pickup service. Owing to its prompt response, the company managed to recover 90% of its business within just 7 weeks. 

Digital “no-touch” and “self-service” experiences will be staples of the next normal.  As Google states, businesses need to “ . . . transform their operations to meet consumers where they are now — and give them the experience they expect.” Organizations that are able to achieve this stand to win customers from competitors that are slower to react. 

3. Ensure you have the right tools in place now 

Meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 era and its aftermath is all about speed and agility. As McKinsey states, “ . . . leaders will need to set an ambitious digital agenda — and deliver it quickly, on the order of two to three months, as opposed to the previous norm of a year or more.”

The changes in consumer behavior have been immediate, and whether implementing COVID-proof digital services or optimizing processes to recover revenue, organizations need to deliver advanced solutions with a quick turnaround. For many organizations, this will mean finding ways to modernize sluggish legacy systems, utilize cloud-based solutions, and use technology that supports modern software development lifecycles (SDLCs), such as rapid application development (RAD).  

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No-code for the next normal 

Yes, you can build advanced enterprise-grade applications with no-code. But it’s the speed and agility enabled by no-code that make it the ideal tool to prepare your organization for the next normal. As a technology that supports RAD, no-code makes for considerably shorter SDLCs — and therefore shorter time-to-market — enabling organizations to meet consumer demand and start recovering revenue sooner. It also enables you to modernize outdated infrastructure by building a modern layer of no-code applications around legacy systems. 

During these times it’s more important than ever to get the most out of the resources you have. Because no-code enables citizen development, it opens up a whole new pool of developers within your organization. With such rapid changes in consumer behavior, having business-side employees take part in light development tasks can give your organization a considerable competitive advantage.

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Taking your foot off the gas when competitors are pushing forward could cause the kind of domino effect that will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to recover from. Of course, coming out of the pandemic and moving into the next normal successfully will be a challenge, but it’s achievable as long as you act now.