Covid-19 is shaking up the use of tools and solutions

01 February 2021 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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As the pandemic rolls on, Australian businesses are re-evaluating their software priorities, writes Twilio Segment’s Head of Australia & New Zealand, Dave Newman.

Has information technology enabled your organisation to keep on keeping on through the unprecedented disruption caused by Covid-19? You’re not alone. Thrust into a remote working model with virtually no notice back in March, thousands of Australian businesses have maintained business continuity with varying degrees of success, largely on the strength of their technology stacks.

Many found themselves inadequately equipped with the necessary infrastructure to make it work and were forced to improvise with ‘use your own device’ arrangements. Others were left scrambling to ensure the security of hardware and solutions, as employees decamped beyond the safety of the head office perimeter.

Covid-19 is shaking up the use of tools and solutions

Meanwhile, enterprises which have adopted cloud first strategies have fared significantly better than whose architecture remains centred around an in-house data centre.

Speaking to the Australian Institute of Company Directors in June, Xero Australia’s managing director noted that businesses which had continued to perform strongly during the pandemic tended to be e-commerce or digitally based and capable of adapting their business models to access new customers and markets.

So, what are the tools and solutions businesses are pushing higher up their priority lists in these uncertain times? Here are a couple of areas where Segment’s research suggests interest and activity are high.

Digital advertising tools

The pandemic induced recession has been disastrous for traditional media, at home and abroad. A steep drop in advertising spending has sparked the rationalisation of magazine stables and the closure, or shift to online only editions, for struggling news publications. In Australia, it’s a trend which has resulted in the closure by Bauer Media of eight high profile titles, including the local editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Men’s Health. Meanwhile, media giant News Corp called time on more than 125 local and regional rags.

While the big three online behemoths – Google, Facebook and Twitter – expressed concern that digital advertising might be similarly impacted, they may have been spared the worst of the carnage, thus far.

At Segment, we’ve noted surging use of Google Ads and Facebook Pixar, the social media giant’s tool for tracking Facebook advertising conversions. With companies channelling more of their advertising dollars into digital campaigns, ensuring they’re getting value for money from the medium has become an imperative. Given the traditional media landscape won’t revert to the pre-Cocid-19 status quo, it’s a trend that is likely to continue in the short and medium term.

Customer engagement tools

Keeping the customer satisfied is always a wise move. In difficult economic times when spending is curtailed, it can mean the difference between staying afloat and sinking. For that reason, we’ve seen increased uptake of solutions for monitoring and managing customer relations and experience.

There’s also a growing trend towards consolidation in this space, with businesses moving away from the use of a grab bag of tools in favour of ‘one-stop shop’ platforms which bring together customer sales, support and experience.

Shifting strategies for a changing world

The pandemic has seen digital transformation move from desirable to desperately necessary, in just a few short months. Businesses today are seeking stability, efficiency and effective digital engagement and solutions which help them achieve these ends are likely to remain a focus in 2021 and beyond.