Unparalleled technological change is being forced on businesses

As a necessity, businesses have rapidly adapted to the current pandemic. Physical workspaces are being transplanted into employees’ homes, necessitating a focus on environment, ergonomics and access to equipment; businesses are swiftly implementing secure online collaboration and socialization tools at massive scale; and teams are innovatively overcoming the challenges of remote working to minimize disruption, manage time and ensure wellbeing.

The rapid rollout of these approaches has been staggering – BearingPoint’s clients have, in some cases, completely digitalized their operations in just 48 hours with our Remote Work Offering – but action cannot relent: the focus now is on the second phase of IT crisis management: return and adjustment.

Analyze and focus on business continuity to build lasting resilience

The pandemic has laid bare many businesses’ exposure to disruption. Now that initial challenges are under control, it’s crucial that you pay attention to the lessons learned and prepare your business for the next crisis – be that a cyberattack, service outage or otherwise.

  • Analyze the current situation – Formally analyze the steps taken while adapting to the crisis and their effects on operations, procedures and staff to gain a well-informed understanding of your approach, it’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Develop a business continuity strategy – Using your analysis, create a business continuity strategy that will protect your business from future crises by detailing how all aspects of your organization will adapt rapidly and at scale. How might different business areas be impacted? How can they be better prepared? This might involve IT personnel and business continuity committees operating alternate backup programs and servers to help save customer requests, customer support response times being reduced to under 30 minutes, or server rooms being set up and operated in different geographical locations to prevent data loss during power outages.
  • Train staff in business continuity – Guarantee your business continuity plan can be quickly and effectively deployed by training staff in its foundations and implementation.

Utilize crisis technologies for long-term business advantage

Much has been said on the likely long-term result of the pandemic, with many concluding that business and work will never be the same again. This is partly true.

Business will largely resemble pre-crisis normality – people require social contact and face-to-face collaboration, but the forced shift towards digitalization and new methods of working has illustrated many benefits.

Digitalization has brought dramatic cost savings by reducing travel, making meetings more efficient, improving worker interaction and much more. Using Microsoft Teams, for example, delivers an ROI of 832%, saves users an average of four hours per week, and provides a three-year net present value of $5,416 per user. These benefits should not be ignored, and neither should the environmental impact of remote working; EU ETS emissions have dropped by nearly 25% during the crisis, assisting climate change mitigation efforts.

What’s more, crisis technologies can be used to augment your operations going forward:

  • At BearingPoint, we have used digitalization of workflows to securely allow the remote signing of sensitive documents – a process that will continue to be used once isolation ends.
  • One client is using social listening tools to scan hundreds of millions of social network sources, querying the data to learn whether challenges such as supply chain breakdowns and new crises are on the horizon, before they become known to the wider business community. This approach will afford them an exceptional level of resilience, allowing action prior to shocks occurring.

Technological crisis management is crucial to business continuation through the crisis, but the lessons learned have the potential to empower long-term resilience and growth. Contact our experts to learn more.

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