As the COVID crisis continues, the impacts, small and large, have begun to reveal themselves in organizations around the world. The current pandemic has driven most organizations to rethink how they work and how they organize business, with certain industries and business practices becoming less viable, while others are proving their value many times over.

Amid swirling conversations around lockdowns, testing, stock market predictions, and whether sports will actually happen this year, the below are the impacts and solutions we are actually seeing in enterprises:

Forced introspection

In the short term, businesses focus on withstanding the economic impacts, supporting both the workforce and customers, and managing the unpredictability of supply and demand. This is a refocusing on what is most vital for organizations and it is, or should be, all centered around its people. How can we support our employees and their families’ health? How can we ensure we fulfill the promise we made to our customers? And how can we manage these things in an uncertain world? These questions have forced organizations to look within for creative and compassionate solutions.

Broken, or at least bending, supply chains

While we see simultaneous images of food shortages and farmers dumping surplus crops, a similar scenario is taking place in other industries. With a massive disruption, these chains cannot change overnight, which is why toilet paper seemingly disappeared and why many industries are still struggling to get parts and materials. While businesses cannot prevent these disruptions, increasing data visibility in supply chains is a great way to monitor the situation and be able to quickly respond.

Long-term winners will treat this crisis as an opportunity

Despite the hardship, crisis also invites opportunities for successful change. Businesses must make and execute decisions with foresight, developing intelligent IT strategies and applying critical adaptations that can lead to more effective practices and disaster preparation in the long run.

With the resumption of economic growth, it will be industry’s most resilient players that come out ahead—those companies that best address the needs of their customers while shaping a forward-looking business continuity plan. According to a Gartner marketing research report, “Companies that display confidence, accelerate investments in growth, protect innovation funding, and identify their future teams will be rewarded with sustained advantage over their competitors.” And while parts shortages and unpredictability of supply and demand chains in the current business environment are impediments to performance, software is proving its resiliency amid the economic downturn.

No going back to ‘normal life’

Most experts agree that COVID-19 will change our lifestyle permanently, reshaping our relationship to the government, to the world, and to each other. The way we do business will also never be the same; traditional systems have become obsolete overnight, and remote work will remain in place for many. One certainty is that, whether for medical, government, business or personal use, reliance on technology will continue to gain momentum and become more widespread, sophisticated and flexible. This, in turn, will propel future developments.

The need for digital transformation is no longer up for debate

There is little doubt that COVID-19 will accelerate transformation in the digital arena. Reliance on digital technology will continue to surge across all areas of our lives—from personal to business—continually increasing demand for technologies that offer ease of use, bandwidth, space, and security. With personal computers, mobile phones, cloud vendors, ISPs, and the people operating them preventing total collapse of modern business, the real value of digital business technology is on display and all businesses will continue to digitize or become obsolete.

Enterprise AI is emerging as the MVP for some sectors

Lastly, artificial intelligence has proven itself an invaluable tool in some modern healthcare organizations, while its ability to help in the approval, execution, and monitoring of contracts shows real promise in managing risk in supply chains and corporate law. Enterprises that have or are in the process of deploying AI and automation are clearly ahead of the game, and they will continue to innovate and adapt as this crisis unveils an uncertain future.

To learn more about technology’s role in weathering the COVID-19 crisis and how automating contract management can help, please join us on Wednesday, May 13th at 11AM PDT for a half-hour webinar titled “What is CLM and how can it help you in the current business environment?” Sign up for the webinar here.