The novel coronavirus outbreak has tragically and directly impacted thousands of people. Now, the pandemic and efforts to restrain it have impacted businesses and the global economy.
Although the situation largely remains volatile and continues to evolve, here are 7 COVID-19 implications for business leaders to manage to emerge more agile and resilient on the other side.
- Some travel is likely to remain
restricted. Most predictions now suggest a local resurgence is expected when restrictions lift and economics reopening, making countries, like Singapore or China, who have controlled the virus locally, more likely to restrict travel to curb imported case transmission, which has largely been the source for Singapore’s recent resurgence, according to a McKinsey report.
For businesses that previously relied on face-to-face meetings to drive sales and build relationships, this requires innovative technology to help keep the salesforce close to customers – just not physically close.
- Some new working practices are here to stay. Remote workforces have propelled new technology innovation to support e-commerce and remote learning and working, and McKinsey predicts these solutions are permanent. Businesses still grappling with technology to support a remote workforce will be left struggling to compete in an environment where competitors can curb real estate costs and increase employee confidence as things reopen.
- Emphasis on regionalization. The crises exposed several risks in the global supply chain, particularly where global demand relies heavily on a single location. Organizations are likely to push to restructure and localize or regionalize supply chains, forcing businesses to invest in supply chain management software that can help oversee a massive restructuring and better assess supplier risk management. KPMG advises organizations to balance supply and demand and partner with critical suppliers to help mitigate price spikes during a crisis. Modeling consumer behavior, particularly leveraging machine learning and AI to provide powerful predictions, can help increase better end-to-end management.
- Collaboration must transform. Our business climate is already “technology-enabled,” KPMG says, but organizations must transform how we collaborate internally and with clients, both at the local office level and across regional and global locations. Cloud-based office technology and zero-touch models enable teams to work remotely during a crisis (if they aren’t already) and adapt to new ways of serving clients.
- Heightened cybersecurity risks. Phishing has long taken advantage of emotion, and now criminals are pretending to be part of the World Health Organization (WHO) and sending malicious links or attachment, ultimately to install malware or steal information. More than a third of senior technology executives said cybersecurity risks have increased with the bulk of the workforce working at home, according to a CNBC survey. Strained IT departments also make this a targeted time for malicious attacks.
- Digital transformation and upskilling are essential. Remote working shed light on IT infrastructure gaps, workforce planning issues, and lagging digital proficiency. To emerge with a strong position, the business should invest in digital transformations, PWC advises, to close these gaps.
For many organizations, the existing IT department may already be stretched beyond reason simply trying to support a new remote workforce and strained infrastructure. But organizations can lean on IT staff augmentation or software development outsourcing to keep the transformation on track without reducing employee support for existing issues.
- The voice of the customer is key. In an uncertain time, staying close to how core markets will shift, business models will adapt, and customer needs will change is essential to continuing to meet – and anticipate – customer needs. Customer relationship management software becomes essential to staying close to customers and predicting how needs will change.
Navigating the pandemic and its disruption requires resilience and innovation, and TechGenies is ready to combat the turmoil with our expert technology solution support. While this crisis is unprecedented, disruption isn’t, and our Genies have driven technology improvement in tough times before. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how we can help your business emerge with the best advantages possible.