From how we communicate and interact with one another to how we buy our groceries; one thing is for sure — the world has changed faster-than-expected as a result of the pandemic than at any other time in recent history. In the past, we had to ask permission to work from home (WFH), now we have to ask permission to go into the office. WFH became the world’s way of working almost overnight back in March of 2020 believing at the time it would only be for a week or two.
Today, now that we have spent the past 18 months in what previously was Disaster Recovery-mode, it takes on new meaning for many businesses and their associates. In a conventional view, resilience defines a company’s capacity to absorb stress, recover critical functions and thrive in altered circumstances. However,
Resilience in the “new normal” means:
- Can your employees work as productively and securely at home as they did in the office when they were directly connected, using corporate networks and systems?
- Are your clients getting the same level of service that they experienced before — if not better?
- Is your business growing and meeting or exceeding its business objectives and shareholder expectations?
Will your technology support the Digital transformation that is needed to thrive in business today?
The role of technology in determining the resilience of an organization has never been clearer. For example, without the ability to switch from in-person to online shopping, many retail shops have had to close their doors. Restaurants that were set up for curbside pickup and delivery not only survived but thrived, as did many businesses that were able to pivot and adapt quickly to the ever-changing environment.
However, the pandemic quicky uncovered the flaws in our technologies in very transparent ways:
- Client Experience — did your clients feel the switch to WFH? Is your online presence a good experience for your clients? Did the pandemic make it harder for your clients to buy from you?
- Operational Efficiency — Did you stumble through the lockdowns with uncertainty, do things as you have always done, or did you embrace technology and automate and increase throughput?
- Risk Management — did you manage to escape a cyber-attack, with data security breaches at all-time highs?
- System Reliability — 24/7 availability with 99.9% uptime is table stakes — Did any of your critical systems “go down” due to unprecedented network traffic or workload?
- Business as Usual — WFH enablement of staff — how long did it take your organization to resume BAU working from home? Are you at risk of losing key IT talent in this time of high attrition?
I will go back to a client quote that I shared a year ago around my blog on Legacy Modernization, “We need the flexibility to be able to turn on a dime and be agile in our legacy transformation, because the business will not just stop so technology can catch up.”
Not only has business not “stopped,” but also the demands placed on technology and on the skillsets required to support the business have increased exponentially. This is the time to ask yourself how your business will remain resilient and relevant and if your technology is up to the task.