Not so long ago, when people sought to create a disruption-proof business, they focused mainly on tech-based disruptors. That, of course, was before COVID-19 appeared. As the virus spread and lockdowns increased, it quickly became apparent that work’s physical and human dimensions would take center stage. The short-term consequences of the pandemic were sudden and severe, with millions of workers adjusting to remote or hybrid work models. Others were deemed “essential,” yet needed to adapt to new practices and procedures that acknowledged the health crisis’s realities.
As the world starts to emerge from what is hopefully the worst of the crisis, businesses must consider several critical factors in their post-pandemic planning:
- COVID was and is a disruption that has and will evolve how business is done.
- Can organizations design a disruption-proof business model that embraces changes like remote work yet still allows for growth and profit?
- How can companies use technology to support their redefined workforces?
They can also look outward to gain insights into how to move forward. Are there common threads among the businesses that are emerging stronger? Can those that are struggling to stay afloat learn from them to increase their odds of success?
A Seismic Wake-Up Call
With the pandemic came two other meaningful disruptors: social unrest and a global recession. Together, they presented extraordinary and unprecedented challenges for every industry. Few companies, if any, are likely to emerge from this unsettling time operating as they did before. Each organization’s strategy, resilience, and responsiveness will be put to the test.
Accelerating digital capabilities can help your organization speed up its recovery and plan for a vastly changed work environment.
Future Disruptions We’re Sure to Face
There were multiple ways businesses were caught off guard by COVID-19. Some who had a digital readiness plan in place before the pandemic were better equipped to face the challenges. Others had to scramble to catch and keep up. Looking ahead, they all have new circumstances to anticipate and deal with.
Along with fluctuating markets and economies, businesses must grapple with new compliance and regulatory requirements, disrupted supply chains, altered corporate strategies, and more. If there’s an upside to any of this, COVID has highlighted aspects of business processes that were not disruption-proof and presented an opportunity for organizations to improve their strategies and prepare for other possible crises.
How to Prepare Your Business for Future Disruptions
Over 90 percent of organizations with a disaster recovery plan in place prior to COVID-19, and that have reviewed their pandemic response, plan to have a process in place for future disruptions. Most, if not all, agree there are three key lessons businesses can draw on to build in long-term resilience:
- Designating a crisis response team, plan, and program that aligns with business strategy, goals, and purpose.
- Breaking down existing silos and integrating teams to foster better company-wide collaboration.
- Establishing a crisis management and response strategy that encourages a digital culture of resilience.
To get there and help your crisis response team prepare, you should:
- Perform a crisis preparedness assessment that establishes your organization’s readiness to respond to a crisis.
- Design an enterprise-wide crisis management program that helps you navigate crises confidently.
- Develop a crisis plan that draws on learnings and feedback to give structure and guidance to workers and other stakeholders.
- Have your workforce participate in crisis exercises and simulations to underscore the importance of preparedness and build confidence.
- Establish regular training sessions and awareness programs so workers are fully prepared for any disruptive event.
If the past 18 months have made one thing clear, it’s that disruptions are inevitable and unpredictable. But organizations that prioritize creating a crisis response program can emerge stronger and find themselves with a nearly disruption-proof business that’s poised to withstand whatever comes next.
Managed IT services can support and speed up your organization’s digital transformation and readiness, helping you survive volatility and succeed in a post-COVID world. From protecting your business against emerging security threats to making it easier for remote and hybrid workforces to collaborate and accomplish tasks, managed services are a cost-effective way to digitally prepare for the challenges—and opportunities—that await.