How Did The Pandemic Drive Digital Business Transformation?

Individual on video call with directors of their company deciding on method of digital business transformation

In April 2020, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted on a company-wide call that companies had seen “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”.

3 years since the first lockdown, the legacy of the global pandemic is still being felt in both the private and public sectors. The surge in business process transformation, particularly in digital business transformation, during the pandemic, has had a domino effect that has pushed companies to new heights.

The pandemic caused a seismic change that triggered a large socio-economic transformation. Greater digitalisation boosted companies through the pandemic and now many are continuing to take advantage of the latest technological advances.

What is digital business transformation vs business process transformation?

Business process transformation is a change management strategy involving the optimisation of management procedures to adapt to new business goals. Digital business transformation is one aspect of business process transformation that focuses on the movement of business operations toward digitalisation.

Essentially, digital business transformation is where companies are in the process of upgrading, implementing, and optimising their digital technologies. This might include building and upgrading IT infrastructures, migrating to the cloud, and many other areas of digital development. Often the reason for transformation involves core goals around improving supply chains, operations, and/or end-user experience. For each industry, this digital business transformation process will look very different.

In this article, I will be focusing primarily on the ways that the pandemic springboarded digital business transformation, with its legacy still being felt to this day.

How did the pandemic drive digitalisation?

In many industries, the pandemic forced digital business transformation as in-person interactions were highly restricted. This ranged from workforces operating remotely, to e-commerce being more highly utilised, to video and remote applications becoming a part of daily life. The creation and use of apps, online portals, and cloud usage, and other technologies soared during this period.

Digital transformation in the private sector

According to Dell, in 2020:

  • 80% of organisations fast-tracked their digital transformation initiatives
  • 80% of organisations reported re-inventing their business model due to the pandemic
  • 89% of organisations said the pandemic emphasised the need for more flexible and scalable IT infrastructure

Over a period of 2 years, across Europe, employees working from home went from 5% in 2019 to 16% in 2021. To support remote working, companies embarked on digital business transformations, including migrating to the cloud and investing in team communication technologies such as Zoom, Google Drive, and Microsoft Teams. As remote working advanced so did the role out of 5G across the country to get workers connected to the internet and workplace. According to the Office of National Statistics, the move towards homeworking has ended with 44% of workers reporting that they work on a hybrid or fully remote basis.

For shops, the pandemic pushed companies to engage in online sales. Even when many reopened, shoppers were hesitant to return with footfall staying low. Whilst larger businesses had online delivery and online shops already in play, smaller businesses moved to e-commerce as much as possible. The Office of National Statistics reported that in the first few months of the pandemic in 2020, in-store sales fell by 10% whilst online sales increased by 50%.

Digital transformation in the public sector

The most far-reaching example we can see for digital business transformation in the public sector is in the NHS. Whilst the NHS had its hands full coping with hospitalisations and vaccine research, it also had many technical challenges that had to be handled with speed. This included developing a contact tracing app and “telehealth” options to reduce in-person interactions.

The NHS Covid-19 app was developed with the Department of Health and Social Care and launched in September 2020. The contract tracing app used Bluetooth technology to log other users close to them and alert individuals if someone near them had later tested positive. The app also included a QR reader to “check in” individuals to local pubs, shops and other establishments, as well as the ability to book tests through the app. According to government statistics, they predict in the first year alone, 1 million Covid cases were prevented due to this technology.

During the same period, “telehealth” was on the rise, with video consultations with GPs aiming to limit the potential further spread of the virus. In the past 3 years, according to NHS statistics, 487,000 people have been supported by digital home care and remote monitoring technologies. Particularly during the pandemic, this was key to ensuring that vulnerable individuals could be monitored safely at home.

Even before the pandemic, the NHS was committed to digital business transformation, publishing their Long Term Plan in 2019. This includes developing the NHS App which now boasts 30 million users. The app holds patient data, giving individuals the ability to book appointments with their local GP, access their data and information, with the aim that patients can take more of control over their healthcare and access services easier.

Digitalisation has not stopped yet!

Whilst work from home mandates are no longer in place, shops and workplaces are open and restrictions have ended, the rush to digitalisation has not slowed. Once the pandemic forced businesses to take up a digital business transformation, it taught them how much more efficiently they could operate by adopting digital technologies. Additionally, as more businesses took up digitalisation, other companies followed suit in order to be more competitive in their field.

Since 2020, digital technology has continued to advance at a strong pace. Many companies are undergoing digital business transformations that continue to focus on migration to the cloud, building apps to support online sales and communications. Current trends include:

  • AI and machine learning
  • Intelligent search
  • Automation
  • Virtual reality
  • Remote and global business collaboration

The digital transformation market size is expected to grow 27% annually from 2023 to 2030.

So don’t let your business fall behind. Invest in greater digitalisation and use a digital transformation recruitment agency, like VIQU, to support you!

Digital transformation recruitment

If you decide as part of your company’s business process transformation that you want to invest in larger amounts of digital technology, whether that’s transforming IT infrastructures, internal systems or your website capabilities, a digital transformation recruitment agency is crucial.

Whatever your needs, whether that is a developer, a cloud consultant, a network engineer or a project manager, a digital transformation recruitment agency, like VIQU, will aid you through the process. If you need help to keep up with your competitors using the latest digital technologies and innovations, we can help.

A digital recruitment agency can assist with managing and taking charge of the whole process, advising on:

  • Employer brand
  • Employee Value Proposition
  • Role profiling
  • Job adverts and effective promotion
  • Candidate engagement and management


For help to identify and secure specialist talent to assist with your business process transformation, contact us for bespoke help and advice.

Similar articles you might like...

woman looking at lines of code wondering about the growth of women in tech

Are Return To The Office Demands Killing The Growth Of Women In Tech?

Within the tech sector, we’re seeing growth in the number of women in tech roles. However, could the return to work mandates slow down this progress?

a group of professionals discussing their tech talent acquisition

Tech Talent Acquisition Challenges: Top 11 Tips To Secure Great Tech Talent

Are you having issues with your tech talent acquisition? With 9 in 10 industry leaders struggling to find great tech talent, improve your processes with these 11 tips!

Latest jobs