Digitalization A Must Even More Amid the Pandemic: But are Businesses Ready?

The TCS COVID-19 Business Impact Survey 2020 offers insights on how to navigate the changing business landscape

By: Shiju Varghese – Country Head, Tata Consultancy Services, Philippines

Digitalization remains a weak spot for many businesses across different industries, and the pandemic proved this as companies struggle to cope with changes in business operations and work setups as a result of international and domestic lockdowns. In the Philippines, the months-long quarantine continues to be brutal on businesses big and small. Stories of reduced operations, dipping sales, employee furloughs, salary cuts, and layoffs dominate present reality as do stories of startups and other small organizations permanently closing. Large companies may have been more insulated with their backup funding, but they are not completely immune.

With recovery already taking longer than expected, how can businesses boost their agility and resiliency and be ready for similar future shocks? What strategies must be in place to ensure businesses are able to respond immediately and serve their stakeholders without risking the health and safety of their personnel?

The recent study by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, reveals organizations with essential digital capabilities are coping better with the pandemic. However, most organizations lack these requisites, and the pandemic has exposed this as a weakness.

TCS identified six essential digital capabilities crucial for businesses in responding rapidly to COVID-19 and the post-pandemic world, namely end-to-end digital customer experience (CX), AI-driven analytics to continually tweak and personalize the CX, core enterprise software in the cloud, highly automated business processes, key digital ecosystem partnerships and digital sensors tracking product performance.


While nearly two-thirds of companies surveyed were able to support employees working remotely, less than a third had the essential digital capabilities to do so. Only 26 percent of respondents said they can deliver an end-to-end digital customer experience (CX); 24 percent have AI-based analytics and 23 percent have digital sensors tracking products. At the same time, only 24 percent of the businesses have highly automated core business processes and only 21 percent have key partnerships in digital ecosystems.

Meanwhile, companies with essential digital capabilities were more prepared than others and are less likely to experience revenue decline. Of the respondents, 64 percent are “leaders” or those with more of the essential digital capabilities and 73 percent are “followers” or companies with fewer capabilities. These “leaders” are more confident to bounce back faster – 74 percent versus 54 percent for “followers.”

The recent study, which covers nearly 300 executives from mostly large companies across 11 industries in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific, hopes to provide insights on how businesses were planning and managing the near- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also looks into changes in the business model, supply chain, and customer experience and actions businesses have taken or plan to take in terms of technology investments in line with pandemic response strategies. The study delves into companies’ current digital capabilities and what they are developing or plan to develop to remain agile.

To read the full report, visit


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