In Q1 2020, COVID-19 ushered in a new era of disruption. It started with disrupting how we work and where we work. And through that disruption there has been a tidal wave of change. Just because the calendar turns to 2021 doesn’t mean that disruption is over, it’s just different.
While on the surface, COVID-19 forced us into lockdown and staying-in-place, beneath the surface, many businesses were racing in new directions and transforming businesses. Indeed, 86% of small businesses said they developed a new product because of the pandemic. Take it from Jeff Bezos, and incorporate a healthy amount of wandering and discovery into your digital initiatives.
“Sometimes (often actually) in business, you do know where you’re going, and when you do, you can be efficient. Put in place a plan and execute. In contrast, wandering in business is not efficient … but it’s also not random. It’s guided — by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity, and powered by a deep conviction that the prize for customers is big enough that it’s worth being a little messy and tangential to find our way there. Wandering is an essential counterbalance to efficiency. You need to employ both. The outsized discoveries — the “non-linear” ones — are highly likely to require wandering.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
If you’re no longer comfortable doing the same old thing, that might be a good thing. 79% of companies say that COVID-19 increased the budget for digital transformation. At the forefront, Machine Learning and AI are coming into view as marketing and sales prioritize AI and machine learning higher than any other department in enterprises today (40% of marketing and sales teams.)
- Machine Learning: Nearly 75% of managers and executives believe their organization’s current goals would be better achieved with greater investment in machine learning and automation.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI will result in 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally in 2021.
Looking to move ahead amidst digital disruption? One of the job roles trending upward coming into 2020 was the Product Manager Role, growing by 29% in 2019. COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption by as much as 5 years. As firms transition to a digital world, they will require Product Managers to help them navigate this change.
Companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their peers. Feeling like you are behind? It’s not too late as 47% of companies haven’t started their digital transformation yet. You can create a master plan, prioritize a few key areas, or just move forward with digital wandering. Whatever your approach, know that digital disruption is in play in 2021, so ramp up your investments and get moving.