Over the last few years, OEMs and other manufacturing companies began their transformation journeys, addressing the technology-driven changes to the product lifecycle, the impact of the Internet of Things, radical mobility, and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, companies have optimized the ways they have deployed their workforce and increased the productive life of the assets in their own plants as well as those installed at customer locations. Today, companies also are operating with a modernized digital core that has laid the foundation for agility, innovation, and growth. There are similar trends at work in other asset-heavy industries such as telecom, utilities, construction, and oil and gas.
However, all these transformation journeys have come with challenges, and the global COVID-19 pandemic has made addressing them more difficult – and more urgent – to say the least. As Gartner notes in its key findings on “Coronavirus Impact on Service Delivery Continuity, Employees and Customers,” continuity of operations is threatened by widespread absenteeism among service agents, management, and support staff due to illness and quarantines. Also, the pandemic has created uncertainty and confusion among customers, which are turning to service and support functions for answers – answers that today are often in short supply.
Fortunately, those transformations, once begun, will allow many companies to implement advanced technology solutions that will allay customer concerns and ready themselves for whatever lies ahead. Companies that aggressively and innovatively build a resilient business model will become even more competitive after the pandemic recedes.