20. August 2020

What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught us? Five important insights on digitalisation

Covid-19 has shown us in record time just how important digitalisation is. During the shutdown, both public and private companies have experienced at first hand how powerful and crucial digital solutions are for society to function and what it means to take the digital jump. EG has delivered a number of the solutions. Here are five things we learned during the Covid-19 lockdown.

At EG, we have tried to gather knowledge in these Covid-19 times: about our way of working and about how we can best help our customers in the various industries to utilise digital solutions.

We do not yet know how long Covid-19 will affect society, but this should not prevent us from gathering key insights from the situation that can help us all to surmount it.

Quick digital competence boost

What can we learn from the lockdown? How do we create the working life we want post-pandemic?

A working life where the digital benefits that many are experiencing right now are fully utilised after the pandemic.

We have seen that many of our customers in several industries have managed to implement new digital habits in just a few months and discovered that not only does this provide 'benefits', but that digitalisation is powerful and crucial to the business. Also, that you can be left behind by not daring to go digital.

When infrastructure and security are in place, a large number of tasks can be carried out wherever and whenever you want. CEO Mikkel Bardram, EG.

The Covid-19 situation has precipitated a fast and major boost in digital skills. Almost overnight, a lot of employees, both our customers' and our own, managed to switch to working virtually.

EG has delivered a number of solutions that have helped customers in both the public and private sectors during the lockdown.

Five takeaways from the pandemic

Service professions and physical stores have been hit hard by the lockdown and social distancing requirements, while everything taking place on digital platforms has boomed. This includes e-commerce, e-learning, online meetings, consultations and webinars.

At EG, we are working with five takeaways from the current crisis, where we have identified opportunities and challenges where we can support our customers.

1: Large portions of society still function even if we work from home

The most important takeaway from the crisis is probably that, thanks to a good digital infrastructure, a great many functions can be maintained, even with employees working from home.

"When infrastructure and security are in place, a large number of tasks can be carried out wherever and whenever you want," says CEO Mikkel Bardram, EG.

With the mobile solutions at EG Construction, both master and apprentice are better off because you can work wherever you are. Being able to do most things online and from a mobile phone saves time and provides personal freedom.

2: Digitalisation has become a must

Where a desire for savings and greater efficiency was once the driver for digitalisation, there is now a recognition that digitalisation is a prerequisite if society is to function safely and efficiently.

"A good example is our solution for secure video calls for the socially vulnerable and video consultations for private practitioners, who from one day to the next began working with video consultations.

A process that usually takes several years," says Mikkel Bardram.

3:  People need people

The crisis has also shown us that we can perform our work from home and in cyberspace, but that we have to be able to create, maintain and develop human relationships, even during a pandemic.

"We've learned to avoid unnecessary time together. We do the work and hold our meetings online and from home to a much greater extent than before. On the other hand, thanks to digitalisation, we can prioritise the time we spend together at the workplace for knowledge sharing and for building social relationships.

The takeaway from this is that we should not stop digitalisation for the sake of human relationships. Rather, we should accelerate digitalisation so that we have more time to meet each other as people," says CEO Mikkel Bardram, EG.

In connection with the Covid-19 situation, EG and the entire IT industry have prepared a special COVID-19 catalogue. The purpose of the catalogue is to share good examples and inspiration for the increased use of digital solutions, which so far have helped Denmark through the pandemic.

4: The physical workplace is changing

Physical stores and workplaces will still exist in the future, but will change in character.

"It's simply about maintaining the ambition of good service and quality, and combining it with the technological opportunities that we already have at our disposal," says Mikkel Bardram.

EG Retail has, for example, helped make it possible to buy fresh goods online, and at EG Healthcare we help doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists and chiropractors with various IT equipment that can make everyday work easier, also at home.

5: Knowledge sharing and competence development can also take place online

Very large events with many people gathering in one place or small gatherings in small rooms are a thing of the past. Webinars and e-learning at EG are currently very popular.

"We save time and money by not gathering course participants and teachers to the same extent, and can focus instead on getting the world's leading experts to do the teaching. When the courses are online, the course participants can also rewind and watch sequences again if they find something difficult. 

This makes it possible to tailor training sessions in completely new ways, e.g. adapted to the individual customer's needs, work situation, time and learning style," says Mikkel Bardram.

A good example is EG Healthcare's support of KBU doctors who are going into general or specialist practice using the EG Clinea solution for doctors. The future doctors will have free access to a larger e-learning programme that gives them the best conditions for quickly getting started with their medical practice.

Large events with many people can be held online. We saw this with the EG event, ASPECT4 Virtual Day, the large customer event with more than 300 participants, which, due to Covid-19, was transformed at short notice from a physical to a virtual event.

New times – new solutions

Overall, Covid-19 has changed our view of our working habits, because it has shown the sceptics that many tasks can be performed in the same time and with the same quality from home.

By means of digitalisation, we need to find a sensible balance between working from home and in the workplace that is suitable for the individual industry and company. CEO, Mikkel Bardram, EG

Now it is a matter of ensuring that both offices and shops as well as workplaces in the home function in the long term. Employees must be able to use their professional systems from home, and the solutions must be easy to distribute and update online and comply with GDPR regulations.

"Basically, by means of digitalisation, we need to find a sensible balance between working from home and in the workplace that is suitable for the individual industry and company, in a way that maintains the culture, ensures the necessary knowledge sharing and creates social relations and networks, which ultimately are a prerequisite for keeping society up and running and which allow both shared workplaces and home workplaces to function," says CEO Mikkel Bardram, EG.

The winners will be those companies that succeed in embracing the new digital reality and taking advantage of the benefits. The Covid-19 pandemic can give even more companies insight into the enormous potential of digital solutions.

Knowledge that the new digital reality creates opportunities, also for more productivity and flexibility, new forms of cooperation and, in general, new insight so we can forge ahead, if we use it wisely. The Covid-19 pandemic is both a wake-up call and a pressure test of digitalisation rolled into one.

We have learned all this from Covid-19 so far, and we will undoubtedly learn more.