Strong and clear leadership are key to the transformative success of digital in the workplace, says ACCA in a report that reveals the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations during the pandemic.
Data and digital transformations have increased exponentially in the workplace over the Covid-19 pandemic, with the role of and reliance on technology becoming more significant than ever before as more organisations adopt digital products and services to survive.
This has been the result of the maturing of digital applications to a level that’s made them widely usable and hyper-relevant in the current situation.
ACCA’s report Digitisation and the Global Pandemic examines the impact of this immense change due to the pandemic, and includes case studies from business leaders working for KPMG, China; SAP Asia Pacific Japan; VISA; and Golden Arches (Guangzhou) Data Processing Service Co., Ltd.
The report also offers practical guidance to cope with digital transformation, using ACCA’s ‘Act, Analyse and Anticipate road to recovery’ model with a focus on digital.
ACCA recommends the first step is to act to ensure operability; then analyse the situation ahead by looking for opportunities; then finally comes transformation of the organisation by establishing a digital strategy, identifying the role of technology to support the future strategic workforce plan virtually and physically, and how its presence can be sustained in the longer term.
Narayanan Vaidyanathan, the author of the report says: ‘Technology and digital have helped many organisations to continue to operate – those already thinking about digitisation adapted better, while those who had historically resisted it found their problems amplified. That’s why we think our roadmap is helpful, a practical guide to plan over the short, medium and long term to cope with digital change.
‘Many have had to accelerate their digital plans, and make huge changes to how an organisation actually works. Home working has become the norm, and for managers this has demanded a change in style and approach – the rise of digital has meant the need for even more leadership from the front, with a strong human touch.’
ACCA says the pandemic has also transformed how business is done, with a greater expectation that organisations will act with care and compassion.
Sam Ellis, chair of ACCA’s Global Technology Forum explains: ‘COVID-19 has, at least for now, reduced the tolerance for traditional hard-charging ways of doing business. Organisations are thinking more critically about what their digital footprint says about their values and respect for the community. But we are very much still in unchartered waters, and I know that the accountancy profession is working hard to navigate ahead, facing these challenges head-on and leading from the front.’
Narayanan Vaidyanathan concludes: ‘COVID-19 is a still-unfolding, and the future remains uncertain. But as the examples in this report show, the accountancy profession’s responding robustly, and informed by pragmatic risk management as well as an opportunistic embrace of change to make things better.’
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