#AENextNormal: Accelerating Digital Business with Human Technology

19 May 2020

In the post-pandemic world, people and society will seek a new equilibrium. Even though we are unable to predict how this ‘next normal’ will impact businesses, that doesn’t mean we shouldn't prepare for it.

In this #AENextNormal blog series, we discuss how people and society will seek a new equilibrium and what companies will need to undertake to navigate out of the crisis and find their new position in the 'next normal'. In the last blog, we'll zoom into why human technology is a must to accelerate your digital business.

Accelerate your digital business

In a VUCA world, companies need empathy to sense future directions, adopt an innovative mindset to overcome dilemmas and combine holistic thinking with pragmatic action.

Despite all uncertainty, the future trends have been originating in the past, even decades ago. ‘Remote work’ in ‘distributed teams’ can hardly be called a ‘new’ normal. In multinationals we have had ‘virtual teams’ for more than 30 years. As of the moment business became more digitized, one started to push the constraints of time and place. Digital business makes you less dependent of physical limitations.

Lots of companies went already into e-Commerce, but most of them still have a way to go into digital marketing. In order to build a strong brand and a good customer relationship, companies need to be connected to platforms and combine own data with open and social media data to know, inform and serve the customer better. Data-driven models and algorithms need to be developed to persuade the connected customers.

But also in production and service delivery, digitalization helps you to overcome physical limitations. Think of all possibilities of IoT, sensors, drones, digital twins, AR/VR. All these technologies are only adopted at an infancy level.

Accelerate your future

Shift towards 'human' technology

Being successful in the digital reality is not just a matter of ‘hard’ technology. Customer and employee centricity is even more important in turbulent times, as a business can only adapt to changing user needs if they’re closely connected with them, know who they are, how they’ll be impacted and how they wish to be served or treated.

We expect therefore a shift towards ‘human’ technology: technology that helps to connect with people’s emotions. For instance, customers can be approached in a gentle and empathic way taking into account their mood through sentiment analysis. Remote workers not only work together through communication and collaboration tools, but they can also share their feelings and connect mentally.

Data science will play a crucial role in automating complex, social interactions. The more technology becomes ‘personal’ (remember the contact tracing app) , the more security will come to the foreground to guarantee privacy.

Briefly, crises don’t reveal anything new. They confirm actual trends, reveal the slowness of rigid routines, and encourage us to release ballast. In that spirit the corona outbreak has a purifying and accelerating function.

Embrace the Next Normal

To navigate out of the current crisis and accelerate towards your future, you'll have to embrace the Next Normal. Grasp this moment to revisit your strategy, invest in the capability to change and accelerate digital business with human technology.

Are you ready to flourish in the era of transformational excellence? We'd love to discuss where we can be of help! Don't hesitate to contact us.

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