As 2020 comes to a close, I’d like to take a look at what was, in most respects, a game-changing year.
In the first quarter, as countries began closing borders and employees began working from home, there was considerable concern over how we would survive this abrupt slow down. In our field, working with manufacturers of complex products, visualizing how factories could continue to run when workers were ordered to stay home was a vexing paradox.
Now some nine months on, we have a bit more road behind us and can see that many companies have not only survived, but have grown in these challenging circumstances.
A global crisis like the one we saw this year can spur radical experimentation in an effort to navigate the choppy economic waters. In this case, experimentation consisted of rapid adoption of digital technologies. So rapid, in fact, that according to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, their companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.