Remember business continuity? It seems like a distant memory now. As the pandemic has shown, business continuity is ‘old school’ – just a response to a single event. COVID-19 has raised the stakes. Now, adaptation is more important than response. We’re dealing with a continuing challenge and a long tail of consequences for our business.
As business leaders, we must prepare for future large-scale challenges by creating a more adaptable business model – one that makes us resilient.
I agree with Gartner that a legacy business model is a high risk in the new normal. And, I came across a worrying statistic from Accenture– just 12 percent of executives were highly prepared for the impact of the pandemic, and 32 percent rarely update their business model.
So, how do we get to the high ground of business resilience – a position where we can quickly and confidently adjust and adapt to major problems?
In discussions with business leaders about resilience, two themes kept coming up –automation and the cloud. I wasn’t surprised because there’s nothing new about them.
LogicMonitor pointed out a couple of years ago that, 83 percent of enterprise workloads will move to the cloud in 2020. And Gartner reports that automation is the fastest-growing technology sector at over 60 percent.
But, what the pandemic has shown is that, together, they make a successful recipe for business resilience in the new normal.
When we look at automation, we can see how it simplifies and speeds the critical processes that keep our businesses moving forward.
We’re talking about those repetitive time-consuming processes like data entry or transfer, invoice processing, handling customer inquiries, order processing, or onboarding customers or employees. Intelligent Robotic Process Automation can take away the mundane, repetitive work and let your people concentrate on the jobs that really matter.
Automation offers scale too. So, if we need to reduce capacity in a downturn or scale up to meet new demands, we can be confident that the processes will continue with consistency and quality.
“The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organizations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during COVID-19,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. “Enterprises can quickly make headway on their digital optimization initiatives by investing in RPA software, and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon.”
Cloud also adds scale, but it has another vital ingredient. It eliminates workplace and location dependence and that has proved critical with so many of our employees working remotely — but still able to access all their normal resources.
In recent times, I found SMBs also starting to get excited when we talk about the potential of automation and the cloud. They won’t just have the resilience to adapt to the new environment; they’ll have the agility to compete effectively with bigger rivals in global markets where distributed workforces, automation, digital natives, and real-time responsiveness are becoming the norm.
The ‘present’ is about endurance, reconstruction, and resilience. The ‘present’ is a lesson in preparedness. The measure of our performance depends on adaptability and flexibility more than ever before. And, resilient businesses are demonstrating the confidence to innovate, instead of just surviving. The BIG question is what are we doing to enhance and optimize the resiliency of our business?
McKinsey defines Business Resilience as "In the face of Crisis or economic slowdown, resilient organizations ride out uncertainty instead of being overpowered by it."
If like me, you’re convinced that cloud and automation is the way forward, it’s time to act now — establish your digital optimization/ transformation roadmap and set priorities to create a more resilient business.
In my next article, I'll cover what it takes to build personal resilience - as resilient people, leaders, and teams help create a more resilient enterprise.