The covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has radically disrupted normal business function for many organisations across the world.

In an instant, business leaders that had never considered the value of having a functioning online channel, are now wishing that they at least had the option at this time...and even for the foreseeable future after the lockdowns end.

Earlier this week I was speaking to the CEO of one of South Africa leading online retailers, and was very impressed with how quickly they were able to innovate solutions in the face of some serious government restrictions on the categories of product they are legally allowed to sell during this time. Brand new partnerships were signed, clever online merchandising was designed and within just a few days they had turned on a new line of business that hadn't existed before the lockdown.

So how can even the most tangibly-enabled business transition towards a digital environment quickly in order to get back up and trading again?

Well, Accenture have a really good guide available that I think offers some really useful advice on what you should be prioritising at this time. [link to the guide]

Actions you need to take to get digitally-enabled [Source: Accenture]

For me, the big takeout from this guide  - as well as my time speaking to companies that have done it -  is that what's need most is (1) developing relationships great collaborators and a co-operative network, (2) speak openly and honestly with your customers about what's happening and what your plans are, (3) inspire and mobilise your teams to deliver on the plan, (4) don't try make it perfect [ask for forgiveness from your IT guys at this time rather than permission] - just make sure that you have a good-enough MVP and launch it - your customers will forgive you if it's not 100%.

Don't waste this opportunity.

An investment in a digital channel will never be a total waste and at least it gives you another lever to pull while the world emerges, slowly and reluctantly from this challenging time.

If you need assistance in actioning a strategic transition towards a digital channel - I can certainly assist, please get in touch.

Related: The future of South Africa after the covid-19 lockdown - Cherryflava