The impact of the current crisis has affected every sector, every business and every employee around the globe. Some companies have discovered exciting new ways to transform their businesses and position themselves to win in the ‘New Normal’ – and into the ‘Next Normal’ – while others have struggled to adapt to shifting customer priorities, the challenges of a remote workforce, and securing and managing data.

The IT sector is facing its own unique set of challenges, as many businesses are concerned with crisis mitigation, rapid scaling, financial instability and business agility. For many, digital transformation will be key to navigating this uncertain moment.

 

IT leaders: Overcome challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Before COVID-19, digital transformation was considered an accelerant to gain a competitive edge. But in a post-pandemic world, it’s become absolutely critical for survival: it’s no longer like throwing fuel on a fire, it’s like putting the petrol in a car that’s headed through uncharted territories – businesses need to make sure that they can reach the other side.


Here are three of the top challenges that IT leaders are facing:

  • Empowering a remote workforce. According to a report from the International Workplace Group, 85% of businesses say that implementing flexible work has made their company more productive, but businesses that aren’t prepared are falling behind.
  • Taking care of stakeholders. Priorities have shifted, and companies need to pivot to where their stakeholders need them the most.
  • Securing and managing data in an era of remote work. Many businesses don’t have the IT infrastructure to accommodate the current security and data demands of a remote workforce.

     

With so many spinning plates to worry about in the New Normal, how can businesses keep them from crashing? The Swedish Employee Agency, Arbetsförmedlingen, has a few tips.

 

From pressure, diamonds: Arbetsförmedlingen’s story

As a government agency responsible for increasing long-term employment, handling unemployment benefits, providing job-seeker services and offering support to the unemployed, Arbetsförmedlingen is a lifeline for many people, especially in the current climate.

So when Arbetsförmedlingen’s day-to-day business was upended by crisis, they had to adapt quickly and efficiently, with little room for missteps and no room for failure. But rather than being a bumpy ride, Arbetsförmedlingen’s digital acceleration turned out to be what their Head of IT Infrastructure, Daniel Hederstedt, calls a “journey of renewal”.

It was during this journey that Arbetsförmedlingen discovered fresh, forward-thinking ways of doing business in the midst of crisis: ways that allowed them to manage a remote workforce and reach stakeholders in new and more efficient ways.

In a time of flux, while their workforce was at home, Arbetsförmedlingen launched KROM, a self-service flow for customers that allows potential employees to get closer to the job market remotely. This was a game-changing idea, delivered on a very tight schedule, with very high stakes, and it’s something they couldn’t have done a year ago.

For Arbetsförmedlingen, succeeding in such a tumultuous environment offered a beacon of hope – they discovered that even in trying times, they could deliver. “That showed us that there is some utility in pressure,” Hederstedt says. “You can’t make diamonds without pressure.”

 

MuleSoft and Salesforce: The keys to successful transformation

So how did Arbetsförmedlingen manage to not only stabilise their business in an unpredictable climate, but to grow even stronger in the face of adversity? The answer is: Digital transformation.

Arbetsförmedlingen had overhauled their aging IT infrastructure and had put MuleSoft’s integration platform in place, allowing them to automate business tasks, process data in the cloud and get a 360° view of the customer. They were able to unite and integrate disparate data and create a great customer experience. For businesses looking to anticipate their customers’ needs and meet them there, using CRM platforms is crucial. 

Arbetsförmedlingen’s keen foresight in improving, updating and future-proofing their entire IT architecture allowed them to not only meet the expectations of those who were counting on them in a critical time, but to create diamonds in the face of enormous pressure.
 

To see how your business can better prepare itself for the New Normal and beyond, check out our series of Leading Through Change webinars.