What we Learned from 2020: The Power of Going Digital

The events of 2020 have accelerated digital transition for many organisations. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that digital is vital to successful business and gave many companies no option but to start on a digital transformation path, forcing many out of their comfort zone. This article explores what we learned in 2020 about the power of digital and how we can take those learnings forward into 2021 and beyond.

1. Digital can help bring teams together virtually

The pandemic has fast-tracked the business world’s reliance on technology in a way few would have predicted. In December 2020, the ONS reported that 28% of the UK workforce were working from home exclusively, and 57% were travelling to work or combining travelling to work with working from home. Digital connection tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom have seen a considerable increase in adoption. As video calls have been more prevalent, individuals have been willing to share more of their home life. Who hasn’t seen a pet or a child in the background of a colleague’s home? Digital, surprisingly, has helped to increase bonds and engagement between employees in many ways. It’s also taught us that “getting everyone in the room” isn’t necessary all of the time. 

2. Remote working has many benefits

Remote working has skyrocketed during the pandemic. While the initial transition to remote working was challenging for many, it quickly became apparent that remote working also has many benefits for organisations and employees. For many employees, working from home has enabled a better work/life balance as they can free up time for exercise or to do the school run instead of the daily commute. However, it is also possible for the lines between work and home life to become blurred. Organisations have reported several benefits, including reduced physical office costs, increased productivity and increased morale. A YouGov survey indicated that 57% of UK workers want to continue to work from home at least some of the time once the pandemic is over. This includes 4 in 10 people who hadn’t previously worked from home before COVID-19. With so many benefits, many organisations will not simply go back to the old ways of working andar are considering what their flexible working policy will look like in the future.

3. Organisations who work “digital-first’ were best prepared to cope with the pandemic

The transfer to remote working was agile and seamless for organisations who have already rolled out cloud technology and already use digital tools. It’s clear that digital technology can enable an organisation to be prepared and responsive. Employees can also have more efficient access to legacy systems using cloud technology. For organisations looking for the right tools to improve their remote work landscape, beneficial tools include:

Those who embrace digital technology in the future will be the most competitive. In a Gartner survey, 56% of CEOs said that digital improvements have led to increased revenue.

4. Digital adoption can remove manual tasks, increasing speed and productivity

Digital tools enable employees to respond to customer enquiries more rapidly and can remove manual tasks, admin and paperwork. For many companies, the changes that have taken place in 2020 represent the first of the changes that will be necessary. 

Cloud technologies can be deployed quickly and at relatively low cost and the right digital tools can help a business thrive. According to The State of Systems of Agreement study, a survey of 954 global technology purchasing decision-makers by Forrester Consulting commissioned on behalf of DocuSign, 98% of organisations stated that they have problems with their contract and agreement process. Many organisations are spending a significant amount of time manually inputting information from one system to another. 61% said that they had to rework agreements due to errors from manually transferring data such as customer or product information. 55% said they had to manually add data to contracts that already exist. Using digital solutions to go paperless will enable organisations to increase productivity and focus on more meaningful tasks like customer engagement. 

5. Adopting digital is vital to deliver better customer and employee experiences

A focus on delivering better employee experiences and customer experiences has remained during 2020. Many organisations have concentrated on business goals, that include desired outcomes and benefits for their employees and customers. Companies are reimagining customer journeys to reduce friction. Digital adoption by customers has accelerated, and those using digital now may continue to do so when things return to ‘normal’. In addition, employees are expecting better onboarding experiences and smoother workflows. 

Companies need to ensure that their digital channels are level with or better than competitors and how the technology available can support those goals. According to The State of Systems of Agreement, 2020, those who have digitised parts of their contract and agreement process have already started to reap the benefits. 55% said they improved customer experiences, and 51% said they had experienced faster deal cycles.  Discover the 5 Questions Every Business Should Tackle in 2021 or speak to an expert to learn more about how the DocuSign Agreement Cloud can help your organisation accelerate digital transformation in 2021 and beyond.