Digital transformation is now real: How COVID-19 has sparked innovation in tech companies

April 7, 2020
Companies are trimming the fat and taking a lean approach in order to keep up with changing times When COVID-19 first struck, I immediately called a number of our most exposed clients to ask them how we could help. It is an interesting time because business-as-usual practices have gone out of the window, forcing companies big and small to innovate to survive. COVID-19 affects everyone, and there is a noticeable shift in the habits and behaviours of consumers, whether they are spending less on travel, retail, or simply staying indoors.

Business needs have changed in light of COVID-19

Businesses are seeing a fundamental shift in how their workforces operate and engage internally. So those that can innovate fast will be able to weather the storm, while those who aren’t will likely struggle to survive. It’s apparent that while video will be a crucial form of communication over this period, companies are keen to ramp up their efforts on other types for content to inform their customers and keep their brand in front of mind.

Adapting business strategies rapidly

Shootsta is headquartered in Singapore which felt the impact of COVID-19 earlier than some of our other regions. So we’ve been able to use that time to guide and even pre-empt the needs of our clients, especially in times of uncertainty. Teams are quickly becoming remote, and our work environments are changing faster than we can communicate with our teams. We’re working with enterprises to adapt to the situation and innovate how they communicate to a distributed workforce, both internally to employees and clients. To facilitate the increasing need from companies to communicate digitally, we’ve now brought forward our plans to expand beyond corporate video. We currently coach and assist companies in creating pre-produced webinars, podcasts and explainer animations, furthering clients’ digital content strategies through Shootsta.

The need to innovate instead of sticking to tried and tested solutions

We’ve established our reputation as an agile and dynamic company, and our clients look to us for innovative solutions to ensure their businesses face as little disruption as possible. This also means filming and creating video content in ways that are unusual yet allow them to achieve their business objectives. Beyond enabling companies to create and distribute video content swiftly, we step in as consultants to enterprises, advising clients on the importance of regular communication to ease worries, engage teams, and establish trust among stakeholders. We’re already experts at video production. The introduction of our new products will help our clients rapidly deploy new strategies to adapt to what are very challenging times and create more innovative forms of stakeholder communication, through podcasts, pre-produced webinars, and mobile phone-filmed announcements to global teams.

New opportunities for business

The way I see it, every incident presents new opportunities for business. The reality is that with the economic slowdown off the back of COVID-19, companies are now extra careful with their expenditure and investments. We’ve seen how companies are trimming the fat and taking a lean approach to keep up with changing times. We see the actual value of digital transformation that it is not merely a nice-to-have, but a critical need to stay afloat and come out unscathed post-COVID-19. For those who have yet to embark on their digital transformation journey, now is the time for businesses to make their processes digital, immediately. To strengthen the trust with their clients, companies need to be in hyper-care mode with their brand and stakeholder relationships. Therefore we’ve taken on the role of risk and reputation specialists, working with our clients to be authentic, transparent, and over-communicative through digital channels.

Maintain a work-life balance and social interaction while working remotely

Mental health is something I take very seriously, and I prioritise my team members’ overall well-being above all else. There are enough tips and guides out there talking about how employees can stay productive while working remotely at home so I won’t dwell on that. Instead, I think it is essential that we set boundaries for work and leisure. Especially for those who are used to working in the office, being at home shouldn’t mean we disrupt our entire routine. Some tips I tell my team: wake up at the same time and get ready for work, put on office attire to get into that office mindset, and clock off at the time we normally would. Being at home means we don’t interact with our colleagues nearly enough as we are used to, and one way we counter that is to schedule casual check-ins with individual teams. Every day, we set aside time for fun conversations and witty banter. This keeps us sane and helps us stay close-knitted as a company. For those working with kids in the house as well, I have started a fun arrangement with my daughter, in the same way, we tell her to eat her dinner, one vegetable, one piece of meat, one vegetable, one piece of meat. I’ve told her I would focus on one section of work undistracted; then I’ll play with her, later work, then play. We need to realise that our family still needs our attention and compartmentalise our lives.

Tech tools I use to help with productivity while working remotely

A few apps I love: apps that regularly notify us to stretch and drink water, music streaming platforms to ensure we maintain our rhythm and flow in a new work environment, and video conferencing software to maintain a business-as-usual presence with our clients. Our team is constantly creating videos to communicate important messages internally and externally, and we rely on both our LinkedIn network as well as our CRM database to share the content we film. I’m also a huge fan of Slack and use that to talk to our teams who are working remotely. Beyond work-related conversations, we take the time to check in with one another, ask about their mental health, and share messages of encouragement to ensure that even when the going gets tough, the tough get going.   Mike Pritchett Founder/CEO at Shootsta   Publication: e27  
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