Dragos Barbulescu is CTO at RINF TECH.
What was the level of digitalisation in your centre before COVID-19?
At RINF TECH and, generally speaking, within the Tech industry, flexibility and efficiency are central. Both our clients and the people who work with us expect a high level of digitalization: mobile workstations, communication and development tools as SaaS have always been part of our ecosystem.
How did COVID-19 impact digital transformation of your company?
From the point of view of the digital transformation process, the advent of COVID-19 and the related emergency confirmed our readiness to scale our processes quickly and smoothly for a full remote work model. Minimal adjustments were executed, such as the hard document printing organization, and the workstation service handover.
We have recorded an encouraging reaction from the point of view of the productivity and employees’ satisfaction.
What type of processes did you digitalize in the last 2 months?
What we had to do was to increase our usage of the cloud to share documents among team members, and, of course to rely heavily on our communication platform, Microsoft Teams, for team collaboration purposes. Also, we are signing all the documents digitally. The rest of the processes were already fully online.
What helped you the most during this period? And why?
On the technical side, I would say that all the digital platforms have sustained our work: I am talking about tools such as document sharing software, team chat, Office 365 and CRM, for example.
On the other hand, our company culture and the shared values of RINF TECH members fuel our motivation, creativity and vision in difficult times.
What was the hardest thing to do? And why?
Some of the challenges we encountered are document transfer for multiple sign-off, and some logistic changes, that led us to switch to professional carrier services.
Do you think COVID-19 is a before-and-after moment/turning point in digital transformation?
Yes, COVID-19 adjusts the way all of us refer to and interact with the world. The new reality is already different than the one before COVID and it forces every one of us to rethink the way tasks are performed for minimizing interactions: the requests for automated processes is raising fast as well as requests for robots of many kinds.
Field services as well as mandatory office activities are still needed. However, they are now too risky for humans that must collaborate closely. Alternatives must be found fast with the help of automation and robots as these two can bridge the gap between collaboration and safety.
How did the employees/your colleagues adapt and embrace digital transformation during the lockdown?
Once we exclude the dimension of social interactions, which mean a more immediate communication and a more natural built of team-spirit and trust, working from home does not impact on the flow of our work. As a technical consultancy and engineering company, all of our colleagues natively embrace digital transformation and digital tools.
Do you have a story or an image regarding this forced digitalization that you will remember or tell when someone will ask you about this period?
No digitalization effort was perceived as forced as this was performed gradually. What is actually different is the exclusive digital communication. This is not yet perceived as natural or comfortable and we were forced to do it. The lack of genuine human interaction is a challenge, and handling it requires a certain amount of efforts, patience and work.
What is the next step in your company digital transformation?
Proceeding on our journey, we will manage the Technical Core Team allocations, integrate new tools into a common platform, and switch all the operational activities to a digital tool, as Microsoft Dynamics. We approach the changes we are going through with great optimism, confidence in our resiliency and passion for what we are doing.