5 ways digitization is driving change in the global commodity market 

14 April 2021 | BLOGS

Part 1: Tool for a modern workforce

If there is one important lesson that enterprises in the global commodity market can take away from their experiences in the last 12 months, it has to be a renewed appreciation for the power of digitalization.

Traditionally, the global commodity market has not been known as an early adopter of innovative enterprise technology solutions. Over the last few years, the growing proliferation of technology,  advances in computer power, connectivity, and mobile devices, the benefits of a more connected value chain became apparent. This has prompted commodity players to turn to modern solutions to an extent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for digitization as the shift to remote working has injected renewed urgency into modernizing core business processes in order to compete and succeed as a player in the global commodity market.

In this two-part blog series, we will take a closer look at the primary focus areas for digitalization that we are likely to witness in the post-COVID world. In this first instalment, we will look at two significant ways technology is meeting the needs of an evolving workforce and in the second instalment, we will look at three strategic incentives for digital transformation.

1) Remote Working
The Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021 call out the need for a “digital first, remote first” model for businesses to emerge successfully from COVID-19. The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and travel restrictions left businesses scrambling to support new ways of working, while enabling extensive collaboration and transparency across teams working remotely in various locations.

For commodity intensive companies, digitization is essential for supporting new ways of working both for back office employees who are moving to work-from-home accommodation and for on-site employees working in remote locations at the dock, in the field, on-location, in transit, etc.  While this  second category of roles has been integral in these  businesses for years, digitization introduces new  opportunities for connectedness as well as new technological challenges that companies must incorporate into daily workflows. Digital transformation is also transforming the way internal  and  external teams collaborate.

2) Self Service Tools
Given that most workers cannot physically seek the help of their IT department to fix issues while working remotely, there has been a  significant focus on the need to enable self-service for workers. Organizations need to support remote ways of working with the understanding that not everyone in the workforce come with the same level of technical proficiency. This means providing detailed and comprehensive in-solution self-help features based on best practices that users can access on their own.

Radical changes in how companies and their employees conduct business were driven by the prevailing conditions of the 2020 pandemic. Because many roles across commodity businesses changed seemingly overnight, digital transformation took center stage as a necessary initiative to survive the unprecedented times. While these immediate concerns continue to drive digital transformation, we will take a look at three long-term motivators for change in part two of this blog series.

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