6 Apr 2020 - Artificial Intelligence // By Raheel Retiwalla

5 Challenges and Opportunities for Enterprises Adapting to COVID-19

How COVID-19 Affects Work

The rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has quickly changed how we work. Many organizations swiftly transitioned to remote working arrangements to enable social distancing and to slow the spread of infection. With this new reality, many organizations will have to adjust to this new way of working for the foreseeable future.

With quarantines and lockdowns expected to last well into Summer 2020, how are organizations adapting? In our work over these past few weeks, we’ve observed a few common challenges amongst our clients; and with challenges also come opportunities. What are the five most significant challenges and opportunities during COVID-19? Here’s what we’re seeing and how we’re helping our clients adapt.

Employee Sentiment and Social Listening

With most people working from home, how do executives, directors, and supervisors keep a pulse on what’s top-of-mind for their employees? Enterprise social solutions like Yammer, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more have taken off as a means for people to accelerate collaboration and discuss current events. Corporate intranets are being searched for meaningful information. Employee pulse surveys collect employee sentiment. These platforms, tools, and activities provide great sources of information and data to allow company leaders to stay attuned to the needs and concerns of their associates.

Productive Edge is helping our clients pull this data together to derive insights such as morale and employee sentiment, and enable their organizations to react with relevant communications and actions.

Data Governance, Security and Privacy

Many organizations have had to shift their employees to a remote workforce. However, it’s a new work style for them, as many corporations aren’t accustomed to managing remote employees. Maintaining security and privacy is a must when your team is working remotely.

With employees accessing critical data and information away from the physical office, many organizations are re-examining their data governance policies. Productive Edge has created a data governance health check to ensure data quality, data masking, user access, and data stewardship are in order.

In addition to leveraging a partner like Productive Edge, you can also ask your employees to take measures like:

  • Make their passwords more secure so that others cannot penetrate their systems
  • Use two-factor authentication to further thicken the data security layer
  • Back up data in cloud storage or other devices to prevent data loss
  • Ensure they are updating their system and firewall regularly
  • Ask them to strengthen the security of their home router
  • Educate employees on how to stay away from phishing websites

Reprioritizing Intelligent Analytics

Operations teams are reaching out to IT to assist in the delivery of intelligent insights. The need has evolved from the traditional delivery of reports and analytics to the embedding of smart ideas within analytics tools.

Leaders of business groups, operations, and product teams are looking to plan and respond to rapidly changing times and they are counting on data and insights to help them. Tools like PowerBI and Tableau provide a wide variety of advanced analytics capabilities that turn data into predictive and prescriptive insights. For your next dashboard, look to include these types of analytics:

  • Scenario and what-if analysis: create dynamic dashboards that allow modification of calculations to test different scenarios
  • Augmented Analytics: Tableau and PowerBI both are now leading the industry by automating the creation of insights from datasets. Whether it’s to generate new insights, suggest appropriate visualization, or allow the use of natural language to query data, augmented analytics is a powerful tool to allow a broad spectrum of people within the organization to benefit from data and insights
  • Segmentation: dynamically identify categories and groupings in data to allow a deeper understanding of behaviors and cohorts
  • Time-series and predictive insights: analyze trends on how systems, processes, and behaviors change over time. Additionally, these tools come with in-built forecasting capabilities
  • Integration of statistical models: One of the most powerful ways of leveraging statistical models created by data scientists using R, Python, or MATLAB is to integrate them with data visualization tools. This allows the democratization of the models and the ability to express the outcome of the models as powerful visualizations. Our team has published open-source examples of integrating statistical models with both Tableau and PowerBI and we’re actively being engaged by clients to build and integrate machine learning models with Tableau and PowerBI that deliver actionable and intelligent insights to employees.

Personalized Communications

In rapidly changing times, organizations are trying to efficiently create and distribute personalized communications to the right audiences. Whether for clients or employees, it’s critical that relevant content can be rapidly created and exposed based on known personas.

Most enterprises have invested in digital experience platforms (DXP) like Adobe Experience Platform or Sitecore, but very few are taking advantage of the personalization capabilities of these tools and are spending exorbitant time, money, and energy to deliver critical communications through ad hoc methods. There are 4 things that need to be done to streamline the insights and content creation to allow your business to efficiently and accurately deliver personalized communications:

  • Improve the content creation and content reuse processes so teams are spending less time recreating content from scratch, and make it easy for them to search and reuse existing content
  • Invest in a centralized Digital Asset Management (DAM) system that multiple channels can use to tap into centralized content that is optimized for each particular distribution channel
  • Enable segmentation analytics to make it easier for employees to understand changing customer segments
  • Start building a “Customer 360” with a crawl, walk, and run strategy that can provide the insights needed for businesses to create relevant communications and deliver them through the preferred channels

Productive Edge is actively helping clients streamline their content governance processes, accelerate tooling for Digital Asset Management, build an iterative Customer 360, and integrate with their core Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) like Adobe or Sitecore.

Augmenting with a Digital Workforce

Many organizations are losing money and need to cut costs while ensuring their processes don’t break. What can you do to stay profitable without giving up your efficiency? One way is through automation and the creation of a digital workforce.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation represent significant opportunities. With automation options like IVR, automating repetitive tasks or enabling intelligent actions with “human in the loop” solutions, bots can be applied to streamline, digitize, and automate a wide variety of tasks and processes. By having these bots work with your existing employees, organizations can create a digital workforce that works much more efficiently and helps reduce costs.

At Productive Edge, we’re working with many clients to do “process mining”, identifying processes that can take advantage of these powerful technologies to help our clients adapt to the current work environment.


Today, we have many powerful technologies that can help us adapt to the changes in our work lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that are able to adjust to these new realities will be better positioned to resume “business as usual” once the pandemic dies down. At Productive Edge, we’re currently helping organizations adapt by augmenting their teams with a digital workforce and creating innovative solutions to help them better manage their businesses.

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