There’s no denying that it’s a strange time for business right now. Largely unknown a few months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about massive changes for companies around the globe. As we adjust to the ever-changing situation, the biggest observable shift so far has been towards a culture of social distancing: staying physically far apart. 

Many businesses that depend on in-person patronage have had to temporarily close their doors, while those that rely less on physical presence have begun redesigning their processes to accommodate partially or fully remote teams. Salesforce and Twitter were among the first big companies to close their physical offices entirely, and since then more and more have followed suit.

For many, this means a lot of adaptation, reconfiguration, and realization. Suddenly, it’s apparent which meetings could’ve been emails all along. Many are discovering that when left to their own devices at home, they’re just as productive (or even more productive) as they are at the office. At the same time, others are struggling because no solid digital infrastructure existed for their business before.

Although it’s not immediately clear how long this disruption will last, it is clear that it’s generating big discussions about topics that will far outlive the coronavirus pandemic.

A Changing World

Even before today’s situation was in full swing, many companies were already on a trajectory towards more remote work, more digitization, and less reliance on legacy systems. 

The benefits of having a remote team have been measured time and again. Depending on the situation, employees are healthier and more productive, and employers are able to reduce costs and hire from a wider pool of candidates. 

Similarly, the benefits of digitization have been praised by companies who’ve taken digital initiatives, and sought by companies that plan to do so. Digitizing various business processes can improve the customer experience, increase productivity, and facilitate better communication. As we’re now seeing, it also allows businesses to be more adaptable, able to respond much faster when unforeseen circumstances arise. 

Although the changes created by COVID-19 are temporary, they’ve produced a permanent validation for businesses that have taken digitization initiatives. Transitioning into the new remote landscape has been much smoother for them. It’s obvious that enabling your team with digital solutions is not only a step towards increasing productivity -- it’s also a form of insurance against the unknown.

These realizations have not gone unnoticed by businesses that have been slower to digitize. As they struggle to adapt to the rapid shifts of the last few weeks, it’s become apparent that digitization can no longer be viewed as a luxury -- it needs to be viewed as a business necessity going forward. In trying times like these, it not only impacts productivity and the bottom line, but also the wellbeing of employees. 

Digitizing For The Future

Taking digital initiatives now is the way forward both through the coronavirus pandemic and the future that lies beyond it. According to a 2016 study of more than 700 digital decision makers, 59% of companies were worried that it was too late to undergo a digital transformation. We don’t think that was the case back then, or even now -- but when the dust settles in a few months time, this might be a reality.

Luckily, today’s world makes it easier than ever to get started on a digital transformation journey -- and if you’re experiencing downtime as a result of the pandemic, it’s a perfect time to make a plan. Here are a few of the basic need-to-have digital solutions that will keep your business moving forward in the best and worst of times.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions might’ve been seen as a luxury ten years ago, but they’re now essential for nearly every type of business. Not only do they supercharge sales, marketing, service, and more -- they also serve as a framework upon which other essential digital solutions can be built. CRMs are the backbone of any company. They can be accessed from anywhere: in the office, at home, or in the field. In difficult times, they help businesses stay afloat with powerful analytics and their ability to improve customer retention -- and they also save money in the long run. In crunchtime, CRM solutions are essential. 

Payroll / HR Solutions

Digitizing payroll and other HR processes is another essential maneuver in this day and age. These are critical business functions that can’t be ignored. Today’s shift towards remote work means that relying on physical documents -- or even a mixture of physical and digital documents -- won’t cut it for much longer. Digital HR solutions are key to keeping things “business as usual” today and going forward. When things go back to normal, they also show potential new talent that your business is adapted to the modern world.

Communication & Collaboration Tools

Whether it’s mandated or voluntary, remote work isn’t going away -- it’s only becoming more common. Because of this, it’s essential that your teams are supplied with the right communication and collaboration tools. From instant messaging channels to video conferencing to document collaboration tools, these digital solutions are important because they allow remote teams to seamlessly interact and get work done as if they were in person. 

Good communication channels aren’t just essential for work, either. According to a 2015 study, more than half of remote workers felt less connected to in-office employees. Adopting communication solutions means empowering employees to connect with their colleagues and build a sense of community that wouldn’t be possible without them. This results in happier and healthier employees, better retention, and more productivity overall. 

Document Generation & E-Signature 

The success of any business is dependent on its ability to adapt to different situations while maintaining critical functions. Fundamental processes would grind to a screeching halt if a business was unable to create documents and get them signed. Document generation and e-signature solutions ensure that businesses can continue to function normally no matter what’s thrown at them.

In turbulent times like these, businesses need to have all hands on deck working on the highest value work. Spending time manually creating documents or waiting for signatures simply doesn’t take priority, and this is what makes document automation and e-signature so important. They can be embedded into existing workflows to generate and send documents automatically, without disrupting other critical work being done. They also have the added benefit of being much more secure and efficient than paper processes. 

Marketing Automation

Like we said before: business success means business as usual no matter which way the wind is blowing. Marketing is another business function that would cause serious disruption if it were to go away or severely diminish. Having a steady stream of leads flowing into the pipeline is an absolute necessity during hard times, and key to staying afloat during good times. 

More Connected, More Productive - Just Farther Apart

The need for social distance won’t last forever. However, after it’s all over, what it’s taught us about the impact of digitization and the benefits of remote work won’t go away. We were already easing into a changing business landscape, and the conversations sparked by the pandemic are only going to accelerate this process.

“Digitization” may be a buzzword, but its impact on how we do business from here on out will be immense. The solutions that you choose now will define how your business moves forward. The technology exists to bring teams together more than ever, even if they’re reporting from several different countries at once. Making use of it now rather than later is vital to future business success.

Enabling Digitization For Over Ten Years

Here at S-Docs, we’re proud to develop document generation and e-signature solutions for Salesforce. For over ten years, we’ve been helping companies digitize, automate, and e-sign their documents, modernizing key business tasks with little to no configuration. Our products not only allow companies to automate their tedious, but critical, business functions -- they help them embrace the changing world, where manual document creation and wet ink signatures are quickly being phased out. 

Along with facilitating online, remote work, S-Docs comes with the added benefit of being native to Salesforce, which means it’s incredibly efficient, extremely secure, and seamlessly integrated. Users don’t feel like they’re using a separate product when they’re using S-Docs; it’s a smooth link that enables one critical solution to interoperate with another. 

S-Docs helps businesses continue to function as remote work spreads across the world -- and after the current situation is resolved, we’re here to continue helping companies on their journey towards digitizing and modernizing their businesses. If you want to learn more about how document generation and e-signature solutions can provide real value to your business, shoot us an email at sales@sdocs.com -- we’d be happy to hop on a call for a customized demo. You can also leave us a message on our website.

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