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Is COVID-19 accelerating digitalization?

The coronavirus is rapidly developing into a pandemic, leading to times of unprecedented social and economic insecurity. The result is social as well as economic upheaval, forcing companies and executives to view digitization not only as a strategically important issue for the future but a necessity in the present. It is currently impossible to predict how long the current restrictions will last and whether we will be heading directly for the next wave of infection once we return to our normal everyday lives. Therefore, it is important to understand the current developments as an opportunity and to initiate measures and developments now in order to enable improvements and optimizations on the process and infrastructure in the short to medium term and to prepare for a further outbreak.

As the virus spreads, there is also growing concerned about the reaction capability of supply chains and their impact on companies’ bottom line. In times of uncertainty, as we have shown in the Implications of COVID-19 for the German automotive industry, the digitalization of product development and supply chains could be a crucial cornerstone, on which the strategy of any company, which not only wants to survive but to achieve maximum performance in its business, can be organized.

Responding and recovering quickly

The need to act efficiently and in a targeted manner, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, triggers and increases the volatility of demand, which affects all links in the supply chain. This impacts not only production and logistics in terms of parts supply but also cooperation and coordination in widely distributed development projects. Typically, companies apply reactive “fire-fighting” strategies and attempt to achieve the highest level of service in the short term, regardless of the costs involved. These approaches are often very costly and reduce profit margins. However, they are often inadequate and ineffective, especially in view of possible further waves of infection.

Those who are able to adapt to the changes caused by the current situation, adjust their mentality and act with foresight will emerge as winners from these challenging times. Nevertheless, it is, of course, also important to react quickly and flexibly to market disruptions and shifts, to ensure maximum stability along the supply chain. In combination with the implementation and execution of continuous and visionary improvement measures for the cooperation and management of suppliers and partners, long-term success can be ensured. In addition to enabling remote work and the associated adaptation of the IT infrastructure, the reorientation of IT systems, processes and methods towards more digitalisation are some of the aspects that will increase the profitability and performance of the company.

Opportunities for Digital Transformation?

The possibilities of digital solutions that seamlessly integrate customer, supplier and back-office processes are seemingly endless. However, solutions often only cover a specific area or process within a company. Yet a well-thought-out digital strategy and the associated tactics do not stop at the company’s boundaries. In order to ensure a holistic optimization and to ensure the success of your own business, it is always necessary to consider the processes and methods of customers and suppliers as well. All under the aspect “Only together we are strong”, which particularly stands for a closely integrated automotive industry. Areas to be considered and taken into account are the following:

  • Streamlined and digitalized processes
  • Streamlined communication and interactions across the entire supply chain
  • Integrated, holistic decision-making capability, based on data distributed along the supply chain
  • Building the culture and processes that seamlessly support the integration of the human and digital resource
  • Enhanced ability to solve current and future business problems in a more flexible and efficient way
  • Ability to accelerate idea incubation to execution

Accelerating the digitization processes

Even though the digitization of the economy has already considerably picked up speed in recent years and has been internalized in many areas, there is still significant work to be done in many areas. The coronavirus crisis not only poses an enormous challenge to our healthcare system and keeps it in check, but also sets the pace for cultural and strategic adjustments in many companies. Particularly with home office, a new topic has emerged for small and medium-sized companies that were not familiar with concepts such as remote work, managing remote teams and projects, and applying cloud services to enable better collaboration.

One of the biggest challenges of remote work and cloud-based solutions is to ensure data and information security. While on the one hand, it is important to ensure that only relevant information leaves the company and that there is proper traceability, it is, on the other hand, also important to guarantee the availability of critical information without further burdening the IT departments already running at their limits with additional administrative responsibilities.

Though the duration of this health crisis is uncertain, it is certainly helping to accelerate the digital transformation processes.

It is at times like these that Cesonia’s solution shows its value, as it allows companies to respond effectively to critical situations such as the one we are experiencing, to minimize costs and to offer the best of services. As it is becoming increasingly obvious that the COVID-19’s crisis will give way to recession, it is likely that only the best-prepared companies will be able to emerge and Cesonia is here to help with that!

Cesonia as an open application technology platform enables secure, efficient and data-driven collaboration across company boundaries. As a non-cloud based platform, it is based on a decentralized peer-to-peer network and allows end-to-end encrypted data exchange as well as full traceability of all activities thanks to blockchain integration. A uniform user interface also supports a “single point of truth” and provides functions for collaboration and coordination. This helps to increase performance and protects valuable intellectual property.

Thank you for reading and don’t miss out on our blog post about Implications of COVID-19 for the German automotive industry.

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