How to ensure the continuity of operations and adapt to the dramatic changes in customer demand? In today’s post, we’re going to give some tips to the CIOs of companies and talk about the technologies they should bring in to increase their business resilience and adapt to the new normality.
There’s no denying that a lot has changed in our daily lives as 2020 advances. When the virus took a heavy toll on China, the world’s factory, it also disrupted the supply chains around the globe. Travel restrictions have imposed difficulties on face-to-face business globally. A big part of the world’s workforce is carrying out their jobs from a distance and we are still not sure how it affects employee productivity. While some online businesses are booming, most of the traditional ones have witnessed a fall in sales. All in all, the business impacts of the health crisis and are felt around the world.
How to increase one’s organizational resilience with digital tools has become the pending question on the mind of the CIOs. We can already predict that as each organization is on the lookout for the best way to remain competitive in those uncertain times, a global innovation race will unfold.
Where should you start to improve your business resilience now?
The best strategy here is to innovate now so that your business-as-usual has a chance to be different after the uncertainty is over.
At the employee level, your goal should be developing a continuous and contextual unified remote workspace. That means creating a user-defined adaptive environment where they can use a variety of devices. Incorporating AI and ML to your platforms to carry out the mundane tasks and empower the employees to dedicate themselves to the creative ones. Keeping your employees informed of the strategic decisions is also something that increases their contributions to the company.
At the level of customers and partners, there are many ways how digital channels help to improve engagement. Pay special attention to self-service kiosks and the mobile channel. Some of the tools that you’re using internally can also be useful for clients, like audio and video conferencing. You must also go over the customer journey maps to identify the processes that could actually be shifted online.
To sum up, it’s mostly about good communication. In times of bigger distances, going a little overboard with communication with your employees and customers is sometimes needed.
How to improve your company's sales activity during the lockdown?
The first and obvious step here is adapting your sales activity to the new normal of your customers. Maybe you’ll have to make quick product changes to capture sales. We’ve already seen it happening all around the world with manufacturers starting to produce face masks and hand sanitizer. Or the restaurants and grocery stores that have started to prepare meal kits and box lunches and joined the digital platforms for ordering and delivery.
Different industries also rely on different digital platforms, for example, in education, it’s about collaboration tools, while healthcare has come to rely on Telecare. The CIO must also keep an eye on the solutions that other industries are using and think if there could be a way his company could leverage a similar platform.
When it comes to sales activity, don’t be afraid to use all digital – direct and third party – channels at your disposal. Both vertical and all-category marketplaces could drive the business, as well as the use of branded sites and live streaming platforms.
How to prepare for the digital business transition?
You start with re-examining your product strategy, business model and market strategies. It’s important to keep in mind that digital business doesn’t mean getting rid of traditional assets, it actually means achieving an optimal balance of traditional and digital capabilities.
When we look at the illustration below, we can observe that you normally start with what you have, some physical commodities or goods. Maybe you can develop them into an IoT device that offers an extra service layer. Through data & analytics, service sector can offer a wider range of experiences and streamline some processes for the customers. There are retailers who have launched live styling solutions or are trying their hand in the field of lifestyle classes.
In fact, increasing data & analytics literacy is vital to establish a single source of truth. We’re living in times of information overload, so counting with little extra help from an AI/ML platform might make it easier to manage for the c-suite and workforce alike.
When we look at the statistics, most of the companies asked believe that the top three game-changers for their organizations are, first, Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning, second, data analytics and predictive analytics, and, thirdly, cloud technologies (including XaaS). So looking into these solutions and platforms is where you can start to improve the business resilience of your organization.