Turning Economic Downturns Into Opportunities: 3 Reasons to Innovate Now
With the current economic slowdown, company leaders may feel compelled to postpone or cut back on digital transformation projects that will help them innovate. While this might provide a feeling of being in control, history has demonstrated that companies that stop innovating during challenging times often fail while companies that choose to innovate thrive.
Nobody knows what the future holds, but companies that choose to innovate and invest in digital transformation often become more resilient, agile, and trusted by customers.
Act, Don’t React
When the news cycle repeatedly declares that a recession is imminent, it’s not surprising when company leaders react by going into survival mode. Their instinct may be to cancel projects, lay off workers, and find other methods for cutting costs.
However, an economic downturn can be a company’s opportunity to innovate and invest in new ideas that improve operations and builds a better relationship with customers. According to a recent PwC Pulse Survey, 83% of business leaders are focusing on strategies for growth despite an uncertain economic climate that includes rising interest rates and slowing economic growth.
Companies like Samsung and Apple chose to innovate during the global recession of 2008. For example, Samsung chose to focus on growth and efficiency but also increased its efforts to improve the quality of its semiconductors, liquid crystal display screens, and mobile phones. As for Apple, the company launched the iPhone in 2007 and continued investing in research and development for its product during the global financial crisis. The result for both companies was increased market share and, in the case of Apple, pioneering a new class of smart devices that many competitors can’t catch up with.
Companies can act now by accelerating digital transformation to adapt faster to change, serve customers effectively, and withstand fluctuations in the economy.
3 Reasons to Innovate Now
An economic downturn can highlight a company’s weaknesses and areas that need to be changed. Accelerating digital transformation helps companies build resiliency by improving business processes, increasing efficiency and transparency, and putting into place systems that allow them to become more agile. Resiliency is vital for any company weathering economic uncertainty while managing challenges.
Take the Market Lead
While some leaders may choose to scale back, an economic downturn is an opportunity for companies to expand and take the lead in the market. The demand by customers for products and services will remain high and, in some cases, may even increase during times of uncertainty. Companies that choose to innovate can expand what they offer or introduce new products and services that help customers during this time of change. Innovation helps companies remain competitive and possibly take the lead of the market.
Stay Relevant With Customers
During economic downturns, customers still have needs to fulfill, but may be more selective about how they spend that money. A company that uses innovation to adapt products and services to serve the needs of customers in the current economic environment, or to create new products and services, is likely to attract new customers and build stronger relationships with existing customers. By stepping up instead of stepping back, companies can make a strong impression on customers.
The right time to innovate is now
Nobody knows what the future holds, but now is the time for companies to take action. Leaders who choose to innovate during an economic downturn can help their companies become more resilient, competitive, and relevant with customers. Instead of going into survival mode, leaders can focus on strategies for growth and accelerate digital transformation to have the tools and systems needed to offer customers the products and services they want even in this challenging economic environment.
Gregory J. Turner
Managing Director – Innovation & Solutions Center of Excellence
Business executive with a keen understanding of technology, business process engineering, and business analytics. Responsible for selling and delivering innovative solutions and driving efficiencies, growth, and profitability in all organizations served. Moreover, a supreme customer advocate with a strong ability to align business drivers with technology solutions. Industry knowledge includes: Professional Services, Public Sector, Healthcare, Construction, Manufacturing, Insurance and Litigation.