Running a business is a complex process. Those steering it have a variety of concerns. From fending off competition, to social responsibility. Whilst these challenges are always present, our quasi-wartime COVID-19 world has replaced these challenges with just one: survival. This shift in focus can present businesses with new methods to try. And each method comes with its own scope for growth post COVID-19.
The welcoming of data
Many decision makers are – understandably – proud of their decision-making abilities. They will trust their gut over data any day. Becoming a more data driven organisation takes time and effort. So, the need for basic analytics or AI has often been dismissed. But given the new unknown we’re in, data may be the only stable decision maker around. When sufficiently integrated, data can usually accelerate most business strategies. It can optimise internal processes to reduce costs. It can also optimise customer service and retention rates. This is a particular priority for any business right now; scaling post COVID-19 will be a lot more straightforward with an intact customer base.
Adapting to new processes and goals
With the business landscape in crisis mode, many long-term IT goals from before will need to be scrapped. In their place are shorter term challenges, supported by new tech solutions. Tasks may include adapting to a shake up in the supply chain or supercharging analysis and getting ahead of stresses in the business. In practice this could mean quickly deploying SaaS solutions that work out of the box. Or implementing low/no-code tools that rapidly problem solve.
And then there’s remote work
Remote work is here to stay. Forecasters are predicting 25-30% of the workforce will be remote for much of the week by next year. If businesses are to ramp up post COVID-19, their remote work setup will need to ramp up too. For example, current VPN infrastructure wasn’t designed to handle the excessive traffic remote work creates. And companies will need help getting secure access to high-intensity, GPU/CPU intensive applications currently outside a public cloud environment.
This downtime is ideal for getting one’s digital house in order
Chances are, many businesses’ core systems are now at an idling speed or stopped completely. This means there’s a rare opportunity to deal with certain items that were previously on the 'back-burner'. Maybe this involves fast-tracking some development work that needed to be done. Or maybe replacing some fragile middleware. It’s the digital equivalent of renovating a house whilst everyone’s away. Do it correctly and you can invite growth and productivity around for a party when the time is right.
A special mention must be made about cyber security. The conversation your business had previously been trying to organise for months is happening now. Especially with the recent rise in scam emails. If there’s anything that will hamper post COVID-19 growth, it’s a cyber-attack. And with remote work making them all the more likely, it’s your IT people's number one problem to pre-empt.
Much of the above is simply a smart adaptation to the new landscape. But it would be equally wise during business as usual. COVID-19 or no COVID-19 there are IT solutions your business can take advantage of today for maximising your business's growth potential and efficiency.