As the global force majeure of our time, coronavirus is forcing business leaders to find ways to bounce back, adapt and even thrive in a post-pandemic world. While none of us can predict the future, there are some very practical things we can do now to help the business move forward, and maximising resilience is one of them.
Of course, there are all types of resilience, but I’m not talking about personal or individual management skills (that’s a completely different blog). I’m talking about making the most of the resilience that exists in your technology platform.
We all need to hit the ground running when it comes to finding our feet in the ‘new normal’ so I’ve outlined five key areas of technology that can give you critical resilience. Leveraging these five essential areas will enable you to adapt more easily to the changing needs of your customers, suppliers and employees so you can better navigate current events and the challenges ahead.
- You must have data transparency. It may sound obvious, but many organisations still lack good data insight. This is non-negotiable for decision making, especially now, which means you must have an effective means of extracting value from your data. You need to understand what’s happening in the economy, in your industry and in your own business and that all starts with data. Most of us don’t have our data in a single tidy location. There are key fundamentals to address here around data orchestration, quality, security and accessibility (volume x quality x usage determines how much value you derive).
- You must be able to take action quickly. Data alone is useless without action, but it’s important to remember that the most intelligent technology in your organisation is your people. No algorithm can replace humans in understanding the full context of what’s going on, but technology can significantly accelerate and augment our decision making. Make sure your analytics platform can adapt to current circumstances, leverage connected data and that your team can easily access these tools for quick pivots. Regularly adjusting your business strategy is likely to be the norm moving forward. New areas of growth and opportunity will be won by those who can continually pivot as needed.
- Make sure you can automate intelligently. Most organisations rely on ERP systems to automate and optimise their business processes, and there are huge gains to be had around Robotic Process Automation, such as automating manual, repetitive tasks for greater speed, efficiencies and agility at the touch of a button. Navigating the disruption of a globally retracted economy is not the time to be tolerating outdated systems or inefficiency.
- Ensure you are building flexibility into your technology. The ability to integrate and extend your systems has never been more critical or valuable. Fast adaption and innovation must now be a core competency so that you can adapt business processes without changing core systems and quickly add point solutions for competitive edge.
- Reinvent your organisation as required. This means setting your technology foundation for the long term on a single cloud platform that can leverage the power of hyperscaler environments and create a mission critical engine of intelligence and leverage all of your existing environment. Disparate and disjointed systems and applications will not only limit your ability to reinvent and adapt but potentially hinder your survival.
The post-pandemic economy will have lasting disruption that redefines how organisations sell, interact and operate. Suppliers will have the same swings of highs and lows as you, requiring more autonomous and networked approaches. Likewise, customers will force all of us to reconsider the core purpose of our organisations, reshaping expectations around policies, products and service delivery.