Beyond business as usual

“Every problem is a gift – without problems, we would not grow.” – Anthony Robbins

There may have never been a situation quite like the one the businesses find themselves in right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic creates an extraordinary range of challenges. Those will demand unprecedented and proactive solutions from tech providers as almost all the businesses turn to a digital platform.

From the cancellation of industry events to the actual demise of at least one company, we have seen a rapid and wide-ranging series of impacts from this nasty newcomer. But it is how we cope with these issues that matter the most. In our case, we are doing level best to provide solutions, not handwringing, that our readers can put to work immediately and proactively to maintain business continuity in the face of this crisis.

The biggest task facing the world right now is stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Even when the global public health crisis is under control and international supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 end, many large companies expect that business will not return to normal for between three to six months.

Until a vaccine is produced that is available to all, around the world, there is little likelihood of any semblance of a full return to normal business. It must be worldwide because business is now firmly wedded to globalisation. One possible outcome that is already being raised is the prospect of the rebirth of nationalism leading to protectionism, those nations will retreat into themselves.

Governments may be tempted to encourage it, to close their borders, to raise morale, and as a way of driving employment and securing higher taxes to pay for their responses to the pandemic, but we all know it is not going to happen. We have long since moved away from domestic economies being able to provide all their needs. Goods and people will move freely again, foreign labour and skills, investment and custom will be sought, the same as before.

What will occur, though, is an increase in risk aversion. Make no mistake this pandemic has been a profound shock. While the numbers of deaths remain relatively low on a global scale, the impact of the outbreak has been shattering. For the first time, we have been made aware of our vulnerability. Literally everything everywhere has just stopped and virtually we are about to start a new era. We are here with a few tips on how to protect and, at the same time, adjust your business to the new norms.


Implement flexible working arrangements

What we are witnessing right now may be a different sort of hinge point, on quite a different and accelerated scale. When headlines blare that the aviation industry may take the worst hit from the effects of coronavirus, we are seeing a very sudden, very stark impetus for change. As a company, you should be looking for ways to become as flexible and proactive as possible in the face of issues like this, so you can maintain business continuity.

Allowing your employees to work from home as one of the lessons learnt involving the facilitation of appropriate technology, physical interaction and having an actual space like ‘office’ might not be necessary for about 80% of the firms.


Provide the right tools

It is up to technology providers to get out in front of COVID-19 by proactively providing users with solutions, even before they are asked for them. When a situation is as fluid as we are seeing with coronavirus, this sort of proactive approach and operational agility is vital to the success and sustainability of a business.

With social distancing, travel bans and lockdowns, it is easier to conduct business via digital platforms and work in a virtual space using tools like Microsoft Team, Zoom, Skype, etcetera. From screen sharing to whiteboards, everything is included in these tools.


Be online with the new norm

It is time to reimagine how to perform business as usual. Consider an agile approach to your organisation as you manage in the present and in the future. More resources to manage risks during these unprecedented times include risk management tool, scenario planning, etcetera. Being Digital and less Physical is the new norm.

In the words of Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos, “In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that is it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.”


ABL Recruitment team