The global pandemic has required tourism and hospitality businesses to adjust to a new digital reality very quickly. Yet many of the virtual challenges businesses faced at the start of the pandemic are still critical to operations now. Shifts to a virtual workforce, finding new customers, disrupted supply chains, heightened digital engagement and guest contact management are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways businesses continue to digitally adapt. And while the tourism and hospitality industry is in the business of in-person experiences, continued digital transformation can be critical to future success.
This summer, the Brookfield Institute released a report (created in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade) that highlighted the critical need for digital maturity—a term that reflects a business’s level of technological adoption and its digital culture.
The report highlighted several key findings:
- Canadian businesses that are not digitally intensive are projected to lose 46 percent in foregone annual revenue over the next five years.
- Businesses that are more digitally mature, have higher levels of resiliency—helping them maintain higher levels of revenue and employment during the pandemic.
- Increased levels of digital maturity are associated with significant productivity gains in businesses.
- SMEs fall behind larger companies in adoption of all types of cybersecurity, despite cyber-attacks often being fatal to small businesses.
- Cloud computing reduces the need to spend on infrastructure, computing power and software, yet SMEs lag behind larger companies in their cloud usage.
In response to this new reality, the Scale-Up Institute Toronto at the Toronto Region Board of Trade launched a timely and highly relevant program that aims to help businesses navigate their ongoing digital transformation that Toronto businesses can tap into now.
The Recovery Activation Program (RAP) is an immersive and highly practical program that helps businesses digitize and grow their operations by improving digital maturity. The program comes at no cost for participating businesses and provides fully-funded training, mentoring and support to assist with digital modernization and maturity.
With RAP, businesses can learn how to leverage technology to attract new customers, improve supply chain efficiency, manage workforce virtually, and streamline costs at a time businesses are hyper focused on recovery, offering long term improvements to help businesses run more efficiently.
The first step in taking part in the Recovery Activation Program’s process is the Digital Needs Assessment (DNA) that assesses core competencies and gaps in digital capacity of businesses, how it ranks relative to the industry, and then places the business on the road to digitization through seminars, workshops, and personalized mentorship. Created in partnership with KPMG, the DNA takes less than 30 minutes to complete.
No doubt, Toronto businesses have turned to digital technologies to survive during the pandemic, and as recovery continues this summer and beyond, technology can also play an important role to also ensure businesses thrive once the pandemic is over.