Transforming for a stronger post COVID-19 future
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly had a significant impact on organisations all around the world, causing a seismic shift to remote working conditions at an unprecedented scale! Businesses of all sizes have found themselves navigating uncharted waters, scrambling to ensure their systems and processes enable an effective remote workforce to support business continuity in an uncertain market.
The crisis has cast a spotlight on many organisations business systems. Some who are more digitally advanced have been able to make a seamless transition to remote working, while others are faced with limitations and areas of operational dysfunction.
Artis Group is no exception. Working in the technology industry, we are well equipped to deploy digital and cloud-based solutions to enable a connected, efficient and productive team while maintaining business continuity for partners and customers. However, in finding a new way of working we have had to overcome a number of obstacles with our own infrastructure.
Those businesses who have put off digital transformation initiatives are now facing challenges, being forced to look to accelerate investment and adoption of digital solutions to survive. Businesses have the opportunity to take the lessons of this pandemic and use these unprecedented times as a catalyst to digitise and optimise workflow, increase efficiency, improve productivity and strengthen business resilience.
Alleviate stress on internal systems
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that cloud is king! One of the most prevalent challenges businesses are experiencing right now is pressure on on-premise, internal systems, along with disconnected employees coping with the work from home (WFH) movement.
Heavily reliant on technology to adapt and maintain their operations, businesses have been forced to stress test their IT systems and infrastructures to ensure they are adaptive and scalable to meet business and team needs.
To work remotely, businesses must allow flexibility around their workload and ensure required software licenses, business systems and connectivity infrastructure are in place. If the load is too heavy it can impact entire business systems and consequently affect information security, connectivity, collaboration and productivity.
Previously it may have made sense to use fileservers and emails to share files in the physical workplace, but this is no longer an efficient and viable solution for remote operations. Business needs to investigate the components requiring upgrade now to mitigate the risk of choke challenges in the future.
Off-premise and optimised IT systems are business critical
COVID-19 has propelled digital transformation to the forefront of daily operational agendas around productivity, cost optimisation and security. Modern cloud based IT solutions and next-gen technology tools are no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
Businesses that haven’t moved off-premise are feeling the pain of troubleshooting legacy systems and transferring clunky processes, weakening business continuity now and lowering resilience in the long term.
Businesses need to implement, shift and strengthen to scaled and adaptable virtual work and telecommuting regimes for nearly all operational processes. Businesses need to build a comprehensive IT ecosystem to enable and empower the business for a sustainable and resilient future.
Connection and conversion in a digital world
COVID-19 has necessitated businesses to increase their engagement levels for impactful connection with existing clients and prospective customers. This is where businesses with modern CRM systems have been able to shine.
Without face-to-face contact and physical client meetings, business need a strong CRM system in place, so client intelligence doesn’t fall through the cracks and break the sales cycle. Implementation of a sales enablement system is now being viewed as providing competitive advantage in that it fosters collaboration between sales and marketing teams and harnesses analytics to supercharge content and increase conversion rates.
The way forward
We advise that the focus should be on business impacts and aligning decisions on new systems to changes in strategy and work modes. Identify the key outcomes you need to achieve through digital transformation in the new business landscape and consider how you want to approach the journey – e.g. in agile or more holistic fashion.
Businesses should consider their approach to the recovery stage of COVID-19 and plot a return to work scenario with their systems capable of supporting this strategy and enabling new ways of operating – form a view of what might change, what will stay the same? In the views of most commentators, the recovery phase is likely to be L shaped, hence decisions around business systems should look to accommodate a reasonably prolonged period of change. It is our view that businesses who have transitioned to modern cloud-based systems will be best positioned through such a recovery phase and beyond.
Whatever the future holds, businesses with such systems will be better able to mitigate risk and support business continuity, sales performance and strengthened resilience.
Commercial Director, ARTISGROUP