Research: digitization requires a long-term focus

A higher percentage (75%) admit that they are not yet making full use of the new digital technologies they have rolled out.

Online sales and services

According to the survey, maintaining consistent customer service is the number one concern for most business leaders (54%) trying to adapt to the new reality of COVID-19. More than half (57%) believe that the increased focus on online sales and services will remain a regular part of their services beyond COVID-19, along with a shift to more flexible customer service (55%). While the pandemic shows how quickly customers can adapt to a new way of working, half (50%) of Dutch business leaders are still concerned that they are overwhelming their customers with new technology and processes.

Salesforce: Entrepreneurs are still too inclined to embrace short-term success

“The digital transformation continues. As these transformations are happening faster and faster, companies risk catching up by choosing short-term results over long-term sustainable success, “said Michiel van Vlimmeren, General Manager Netherlands at Salesforce. “There are a few things to keep in mind when companies enter the stabilization and recovery phase of the crisis. An example of this is confidence in the customer’s ability to adapt to new technologies amid disruption. Companies must respond to the growing challenges and customer expectations. If they don’t, the customers will drop them. “

The digital economy is completely reshaping our way of living and working

While 87% of business leaders agree that the pandemic has positively changed the nature of work, nearly all of those surveyed (88%) find both short and long-term business planning challenging. This is not helped by the fact that many struggle to maintain corporate culture (44%) and employee morale (69%) as teams continue to work remotely. Some of these challenges prompt companies to turn to outside help, for example to acquire new customers (52%), manage remote teams (52%) and maintain employee morale (52%).

“The digital economy is completely reshaping our way of living and working,” said Ruben Nieuwenhuis, Managing Director TechConnect. “Many business leaders feel overwhelmed by these prospects, but fortunately they are not alone. Collaboration between organizations from different sectors is critical to ensure that digital changes are realized and sustained over the long term. Strategic partnerships such as those between Salesforce, TechGrounds and Randstad, which support every aspect of the digital transformation, will help companies make the technological and cultural adaptations required to do so. “

Given the speed at which organizations and services must transform, the research shows that the future of work has arrived.

Especially when you consider that 70% of business leaders indicate that they will permanently need new skills from their employees as a result of COVID-19. IT skills (58%) and the ability to work with digital tools (39%) appear to be the most valuable skills in the post-COVID world, as well as soft skills such as emotional intelligence (39%) and collaboration (38%) will be important. Companies understand the importance of continuous learning to ensure employees are prepared for the digital economy. The majority (62%) of business leaders realize they need to invest more in employee training and promotion. 75% focuses on training and 76% on the roll-out of formal structures to train current employees.

“The recent changes brought about by the pandemic have made it difficult for many organizations to adapt their business strategies to the” new normal. ” However, we must not forget that the digital transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. Business leaders need to think long-term – beyond COVID-19 – of how to continually reinvent their business. This includes evaluating how to expand their operations, continue to meet customer expectations, and continue to compete through a productive and engaged workforce, “explains Van Vlimmeren.

Supply and demand

Linda Hopmans, Director of Randstad Boost vocational training & Director of Randstad Technology & Construction, says: “Not only dealing with new technology requires new skills, but also developing and implementing skills that are increasingly scarce. The digital transformation also exposed the current and future mismatch between available and required skills for corona. With Randstad Boost, we have therefore developed a program to bring supply and demand together faster and more appropriately, in which we train people in a very focused way towards market demand. With this, we work with partners such as TechGrounds and Salesforce in various sectors to more effectively resolve the mismatch between supply and demand. As a result, thousands of people a year flow into future-proof industries where they were not previously employed. “


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