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Why you should invest in digitalization – even during an economic downturn

The current economic climate is causing a lot of concern, primarily among individuals and households, but also among companies who have been instructed to tighten their belts. Recruitment is not happening at the same rate, businesses are looking for cheaper suppliers, and investments in businesses are not as extensive. At the same time however, many, often large, companies are boldly investing significant amounts of money in mainly new digital solutions that can streamline their processes.

So, how should a company think during an economic downturn like the one we currently find ourselves in? Is it best to lie low and wait for better times? Absolutely not! As software developers, our goal is to streamline our customers' operations and ensure that they are well-positioned for the future. And one of the best ways to do that is to invest even when times are tough.

Below, we’ll give you some reasons why you should continue to invest in digitalization – and thereby position yourselves for the future.

Stand out from the crowd

If you are experiencing some kind of investment fear, chances are your competitors are too. Seize the opportunity to stand out in your industry and digitalize your operations when no one else is doing it. This is when there’s a great opportunity for you to gain more market share as customers notice that it’s you who has the new, awesome solutions that make their buying experience both better and easier.

Invest for future cost savings

We know you've heard it before, but it's worth repeating. Investing in the digitalization of your business is a cost-saving measure in the long run. Of course, it requires an initial investment, which can feel tough during an economic downturn. But if you have the capital, don’t hesitate to invest in solutions that will contribute to time savings, more efficient processes, and happier staff and customers.

Be ready for the economic upturn

Economic cycles come and go, and although no one can predict with certainty how long they last, we know they eventually end. And then you have to be ready! If you’ve spent an entire economic downturn waiting it out, you won’t be prepared when the economy recovers, and your customers return at the same time as new ones suddenly start flowing in.

Perhaps you were considering automating your order management when you had many new customers and were struggling to keep up with the influx of purchase orders? And maybe you put the idea on hold simply because the economic situation contributed to a setback? Don’t. Automate the process now so that you’re ready to quickly scale up operations again when things turn.

Invest to be prepared for change

Our society is changing rapidly, and sometimes it’s even economic downturns or other unexpected events (for example the COVID-19 pandemic) that lead to drastic changes. Having digital tools and solutions in place already will make things easier for you in such situations. For example, digital systems can improve security, making you ready for possible future cyberattacks. They also enable you to be agile so that you can easily scale your operations, both up and down, as needed. Make sure you’re already well positioned in the market; otherwise, your competitors will leave you behind.

Don’t risk falling into the status quo

The best approach is to continuously invest in digitalizing your business, from small to gigantic projects. If you don't, there’s a risk that it becomes an almost overwhelming project when you finally get started and you’re left without a concrete strategy for how to execute it. If you pause your digitalization initiatives due to an ongoing economic downturn, there is a significant risk that you’ll struggle to start them up again.

What else should you do during an economic downturn?

To be completely honest, the market is relatively stagnant - you don’t need to recruit, you have your stable customer base, and you aren’t acquiring any new ones. Everything just continues at the same, rather slow, pace. If you think about it, now is the time to invest! Not during the impending economic upturn when everything happens at once. Take advantage of the standstill to map your business processes and consider how you can streamline your operations through digital solutions. And invest in them!

Investing to digitalize your business may come with some worry, especially when the economy is slow and the external environment feels uncertain. But we promise, it's worth it. It's a bit like cycling against the wind. It's tough, it's heavy, and it takes a lot of energy. But the one who keeps going, the one who ultimately cycles the fastest and the farthest – that's the one who will be at the forefront when the wind changes.

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