Most businesses have been knocked off balance by the Covid-19 pandemic, which reared its ugly head at the beginning of 2020. The pandemic affected the cash flow of many big companies and even led to temporary or permanent closures of small- and medium-sized businesses. For example, Germany recorded a 10.1% in gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2020 due to the slowdown caused by the pandemic.
The companies that have survived now face the challenge of boosting their operations through investing in digital transformation while ensuring that their operations pay heed to environmental sustainability, says the editor of the DIGITAL-minds.agency.
A recent report from Accenture, “The European Double Up: A twin strategy that will strengthen competitiveness,” states that focusing on both digital technology and sustainability is actually likely to improve a company’s performance. In fact, the report states that the businesses that focus on these two key areas are 2.5 more likely to emerge from the recent crisis with a stronger performance.
The report states that most of Europe’s leading businesses are expecting to be able to reach their pre-pandemic profits in the next 18 months. This is not a given, however. According to the report, the success of these companies to overcome the crisis also hinges on their business strategies, particularly as they pertain to technology and sustainability.
Two in three European companies believe that they will continue to see negative performance in the upcoming 12 months. One in three companies, however, are expecting to make profit in the very same period. So what sets these companies apart? It is their investment in both digital transformation and sustainability. Unfortunately, as it stands, only around 45 percent of the surveyed companies were focusing on these two aspects of their business. Of these 45 percent, most were focusing on AI and cloud technology, as well as sustainable business models.
It is not all plain sailing ahead, however. Investing in both digital technology and sustainable practices comes with its own challenges. These include the creation of viable business models and ensuring adequate resources to move these models forward. Luckily, there are a number of strategies that business leaders can take to overcome obstacles and advance their companies.
The founder and CEO of HD Rebelution, whose organization pays heed to environmental sustainability, affirms, “Companies need to focus on allocating more of their resources to research and development to discover how they can combine both technology and sustainable practices within their business models. They should also be ready to cooperate with other like-minded partners. Last but not least, companies need to invest in their people. Reskilling and upskilling is the key to successful performance, especially when it comes to a business transformation of this calibre.”