Digitalisation has been (and is still very much) a major trend in the 21st century, sweeping the world and transforming how we perform everyday activities. It has even spawned entire industries that we may once find difficult to conceive of. A prime example is the digitalisation of money in the last decade, which has created a cryptocurrency industry worth a combined US$272 billion as of 15 July 2020, as data from CoinMarketCap shows. Today, even countries are looking to jump on the bandwagon, with China already commencing trials on its sovereign digital currency electronic payment (DCEP).
Currencies and payments are hardly the only facets of our lives that have been revamped by digitalisation. There is hardly any industry that has not been influenced by digitalisation in some way. In our current world that is plagued by COVID-19, digitalisation is more pervasive than ever, as businesses scramble to maintain some semblance of operations when cities go into lockdown and physical workplaces are forced to shut.
Lifestyle Changes Fostering Digitalisation
In these unprecedented times when restaurants can no longer host diners and diners can no longer congregate in public, food businesses stand a better chance at weathering the pandemic if they could digitalise their operations process - to enable operators to connect with customers remotely to receive orders, and also to fulfil those orders with established logistical infrastructure.
Digitalisation in the food industry had in fact begun well before the pandemic hit, as restaurants tapped on technological solutions to capture additional market share from consumers who were once out of their geographical proximity. The global pandemic simply made it an imperative need rather than an optional improvement, as city and country-wide lockdowns meant that all consumers have become out of proximity.
The Rise of Remote Work
The same shift is happening with retail shops moving onto e-commerce platforms and with offices employing online technological solutions to mimic normal physical work interactions. Remote working (or work-from-home) is quickly becoming the norm in workplaces out of necessity in the current climate. Businesses that continue to reject digitalisation could be entirely paralysed by physical workplace closures and risk becoming extinct as the pandemic draws out.
Remote working has been a curious subject for some years now. Although many studies and trials have shown that remote working tends to improve employee productivity and satisfaction, implementation has not been very widespread. Apart from employers being unconvinced that employees have the discipline to work remotely effectively, part of the resistance also comes from the fact that current business processes and infrastructure might be localised and confined to the physical office.
Without appropriate processes and infrastructure, remote working can at best only achieve mediocre results even with the best employees. In instances where licensed software was installed on a desktop terminal in the office and employees require access to the physical terminal to perform their work duties, remote work would prove challenging or ineffective if access is strictly confined to physical access to the specific desktop terminal.
The good news is, such arrangements are increasingly being phased out in the software industry in favour of more physically flexible formats. Software licences are increasingly being issued and tied to access account credentials instead of single installations on specific computers, allowing users to continue using subscribed services even as they traverse geographical boundaries.
Digitalisation of Work Processes
As with the shift in our preferences to use digital currencies over traditional cash payments, digital transformation in the workplace is inevitable. The meteoric growth and increasing prevalence of cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-service) applications reflect the trend of a rapidly increasing degree of digitalisation in the workplace.
This is not without reason as SaaS solutions address and serve real business needs while boasting of greater convenience and flexibility to traditional alternatives. Conversion to SaaS solutions is also typically seamless and involves little to no hassle in set-up, which greatly lowers business owners’ inertia to make the switch.
In the long run, digitalisation will continue to transform the business landscape and consumer lifestyles. To remain relevant and ready to respond to challenges, businesses would do well to embrace digitalisation and actively explore suitable technologies and solutions to improve operational efficiencies.
Digitalisation of Business Processes
With a desire to improve on business processes, specifically in the aspect of employee claims, Navisteps aims to be a driver of business process automation and digitalisation in the business landscape - starting by revolutionising the traditionally manual and cumbersome business expense claims process.
Our business expense management module enables employees to file business expense claims on-the-go and eliminates the need for physical receipts collection and sorting; while our business travel management features seek to take care of a niche need for business travel services. The two business functions complement each other to present a unique solution for businesses to optimise and streamline business process automation workflows in both areas.
With Navisteps, businesses and employees alike stand to benefit from easier and more efficient business expense claims processes which could be fully completed remotely. This is especially important in the environment of a global pandemic where employee claims are often delayed as access to physical receipts and systems is limited or not available.
Time for Change
The global pandemic crisis has had detrimental and even fatal effects on businesses and economies worldwide. It has demonstrated the importance of digitalisation and of having robust contingency plans, where businesses who have adopted digitalisation in their systems and processes are better able to respond swiftly to the rapidly evolving situation with well-developed infrastructure.
There is no time to waste. With technological companies stepping up to offer a diverse spread of digitalisation solutions and governments offering multitudes of funding support for digital adoption, this is an opportune time for us to examine our business practices and delve into technological solutions to improve our business processes.
There is no doubt that the trend of digitalisation will continue. It is critical that we stay cognizant of virtual trends in both the business and consumer spheres to remain viable and competitive.
If you are ready to make a change and start digitalising your business expense and travel management in an affordable and automated manner, sign up for your free* business account here!
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