Skip to Main Content

Generative AI: Using artificial intelligence to make human impact.Learn how

Image indicating a person thinking about cost-savings


COVID-19 Solutions: Digital Transformation for Accelerated Efficiency and Cost Savings

The investments organizations make in digital transformation can help reduce cost now, while providing a framework for speed, efficiency and organizational change to remain ahead of the curve.

What this solution does:

  • Digital maturity assessment gives organizations a better understanding of transformation efforts
  • Rapid assessment can identify areas to increase efficiencies, prioritize initiatives and reduce spend
  • Smart prioritization ensures immediate impact to address COVID-19 conditions, while preparing for the long-term

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way organizations do business – and changing it fast.

Now, companies are working to adapt to a “new normal,” often rapidly shifting direction to accommodate spikes or drops in customer demand. While moving swiftly is paramount, there’s also risk of wasteful spending or loss of sales due to gaps in productivity, poor process optimization, or subpar customer experiences.

The investments organizations make in digital transformation can help reduce cost now, while providing a framework for speed, cost efficiency and organizational change to remain ahead of the curve.

“While digital transformation was happening before, COVID-19 will further accelerate the pace of change,” Jitender Batra, Vice President, management consulting, said. “This speed of transformation is going to force those lagging behind to the sidelines, with an even greater concentration on digital leaders.”

Understanding the Digital Business Transformation Index

To begin or accelerate a transformation journey, companies must first know where they stand. Our Digital Transformation Index benchmarks performance against three categories: Value Creation, Operating Model, and Data & Technology, with applications to measure different levels of digital maturity across the organization.

Digital maturity benchmarks allow for organizations to:

  • Better compare where they stand relative to competitors
  • Identify potential competitive advantages
  • Prioritize transformation efforts to maximize investment and cost efficiency

“There might be places where organizations are doing really well, but that gives them an opportunity to push harder so they become best-in-class,” Batra said. “In other cases, organizations may be far behind and really need to invest to close the gap.”

Publicis Sapient has identified several approaches to focus efforts to make immediate and sustained impact, allocate resources effectively and reduce wasteful spend.


Amy Onorato

Quote bubbles

Engineering transformation revolves around:

Engineering process optimization

Demand management; with a focus on project prioritization based on business value

Improvements to infrastructure

Optimizing global operating models

Efficiency at the Enterprise Level

Holistic assessment of enterprise-level operations like services, sales & marketing and indirect spend can reveal areas to significantly improve efficiencies and lower cost while accelerating digital transformation. As areas ripe for optimization are identified, key strategies like automation, re-engineering internal processes, demand management and redundancy consolidation can be considered, developed and applied.

“How can companies reduce their cost structure to make sure they align with the demand in the marketplace now, and in the long-term?” Batra said. “Is there a different way to think about needs? Based on that, organizations can adjust cost structure while eliminating low-value activities.”

Analysis begins with a baseline overview of current business operations, key performance indicators and on-site observation to establish hypotheses to best serve needs. Deep analysis of factors like risk, dependencies, business impact, timing and outcomes play an important role in providing appropriate recommendations and a clear path to kickoff. Our rapid assessment approach is aimed to accelerate implementation initiatives within a matter of days or weeks depending on scope and individual needs.

Strategic Optimization in IT Development and Engineering

Optimizing engineering and IT processes help businesses reduce development costs, increase transparency and accelerate time-to-market for maximum value and more immediate returns.

We have found that engineering transformation revolves around four areas:

  • Engineering process optimization
  • Demand management; with a focus on project prioritization based on business value
  • Improvements to infrastructure
  • Optimizing global operating models

 “Prioritize where there might be opportunities and identify where you might be overspending, so you can scale back and focus on those higher-impact projects,” Batra said.

“As more and more business move online, the need for that human connection is still there. How can they give customers more through service operations?”

Efficiency in Service Operations

Growing reliance on digital channels to meet demand during the COVID-19 crisis is challenging organizations to improve customer experiences online. Customer-facing organizations, like retailers and hospitality organizations, are hit particularly hard in a few service areas, each with the potential to have long-lasting effects on customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention.

  • Call Center Optimization: Call centers are on the front lines when providing customers with the answers they need, but can often be overwhelmed due to high traffic. Longer wait times can result in additional cost, while negatively impacting customer satisfaction. An end-to-end digital system tightens operational costs, helps automate common inquiries for speedier interactions, and route customers to trained call center reps – ultimately increasing conversion rates while meeting consumer needs.
  • Managing the Workforce: Managing customer-facing employees, who face greater risk for exposure, as well as a growing remote workforce requires organizational change. For remote workforces, organizations should focus on redefining their tech stack, while tightening operational cost for efficiency.

“As more and more business moves to online, the need for that human connection is still there,” Batra said. “How can they give customers an optimal experience through these challenging times?”

Enhanced Salesforce and Marketing Effectiveness

Enhancing Salesforce and Marketing effectiveness creates an opportunity to drive top-line growth, while also identifying pockets of spending that drive inefficiencies. Tighter Sales and Marketing operations also allows organizations to better understand their customers, improving targeting, delivery and effectiveness of personalized customer experiences, while eliminating unnecessary spend.

Holistic review of strategy, structure and processes can uncover significant efficiency opportunities across the sales and marketing organization. Our approach can move to implementation quickly, deploying an agile approach and minimally viable solutions while paving path for longer-term digital transformation.   

Strategic Cost Reduction through Indirect Procurement

Indirect procurement optimization requires a close analysis of an organization’s internal processes and spend. In larger organizations, similar or duplicative services -- like purchasing office supplies, for example -- may span across multiple divisions, resulting in silos that obscure the bigger picture.

Artificial intelligence or machine learning platforms can accelerate breaking down divisional information silos, aggregating spend across the enterprise under one unified view. A consolidated data view allows organizations to better track and tackle costs from different divisions across the organization, and quickly determine trends or impact over time as well as savings opportunities.

Jitender Batra
Jitender Batra
VP, management consulting


  • 8 Trends Accelerating the Future of E-commerce in 2024

    Which trends really matter? Our industry experts highlight the shifts that every retailer needs to know.


  • Five Opportunities and Challenges for Retail Healthcare in 2024

    As retail leadership teams craft their health and wellness strategies, they need to find ways to bridge physical and digital customer experiences.


  • Beyond Product Recommendations: How Retailers Can Increase Profits with Generative AI

    Our experts summarize the state of generative artificial intelligence in retail in 2024, including use cases across customer experience, supply chain and back-end e-commerce.