Adaptability, agility and automation have been key to the businesses that are growing rather than surviving. The speed at which technology is adopted is only going to accelerate. Tools that enable a remote workforce, drive measurable productivity and the ability to conduct business without human interaction—such as artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA)—will continue to advance technology adoption and help companies operate in a more automated environment.
Private equity firms have begun taking a more aggressive approach to automation and streamlining processes at their portfolio companies. The crisis has underscored the importance of their portfolio companies being able to report on the business more effectively and provide real-time analytics to support strategic decisions to drive the investment thesis.
The days of multi-year digital transformation projects may be in the past. Companies now realize that they can get access to meaningful data without engaging in a large, complex technology project. Accessible technologies for the middle market in the areas of RPA, corporate performance management and data visualization allow users to analyze data in real time. The combination of data analytics, process automation and AI provides true data-driven automation and process improvement in a way we’ve never seen before.
Companies that drive technology adoption will be digitally equipped to turn on dime—change their operating model, change how customers access their product, change how they serve their customers and change how goods move through their supply chain. These companies will thrive when faced with unexpected circumstances or the next crisis.