What changes must business make for the future Post Covid-19?
Business activity is beginning to show signs of life as the global shutdown eases – there are more cars on the roads, more businesses opening up again and a “back to school” feeling in the air – some are calling it “Project Re-start,” – some are more cautious. But however you feel about it, there is a lot to be done.
Businesses will be working out how to get their staff back in and working safely. Supplies will need re-ordering and everyday processes re-booting. Sectors, like hospitality, may have to stay mothballed for a bit longer before it’s wise to re-open and demand picks up, but even if that’s you – there is a feeling that now is a time for preparations to be made.
But there is a whole lot more to it than just pulling off the dust sheets. It’s more than asking “how do we get back to where we were before?” There are new questions being asked and those are about how to do things differently, better, more safely and more flexibly.
Every business that wants to return to growth will need to make some important choices. Can we afford to continue as we did before or do we take the opportunity to make changes?
What lessons have been learned and what elements did we find missing when lockdown hit?
For many it was the lack of digital and cloud services that caused disruption as everyone moved to working from home.
According to Susan Galer of SAP,
“Companies (have been) reprioritizing anything that supports remote work, like ecommerce to bring food and supplies to people who can’t leave their homes. They’ve also realized they need far more visibility across the organization to manage disrupted supply chains, urgent workforce shifts, and lightning fast financial urgencies.”
Time to ditch the way we were?
The process of change has been accelerated during lockdown. The British parliament has used electronic voting for the first time and court proceedings have been heard remotely. The concept of digital transformation – a meaningless buzzword to many – now seems to have a renewed relevance and urgency.
Being able to work from anywhere, with access to all your data via the cloud is no longer a “nice to have“ – it is now a business necessity and will continue to be so in a future post Covid-19. You could be working from half-way around the world or you could be working at home – either way you are going to benefit from being able to get the full picture of your business – its processes and data, in real time.
It’s not just visibility and accessibility though – you also need agility. From now on you need to have the power to change things quickly. To scale up or down according to circumstances – to tailor what you do to a rapidly changing picture. To do this you need access to insights – analytics and data visualisations that help you make those moves in response to changes we can’t predict.
Build a strong business base with cloud ERP
ERP can help to do this. If you are starting from scratch with technology that can sound daunting but it needn’t be and honestly, getting something in place now could be a smart choice to protect business in the future.
With timescales telescoping, the lengthy procurement processes of old and months of bespoke work don’t make sense anymore. So, “out-of-the-box” solutions which can be put in quickly and build on the best practices of all the other businesses that have come before you, make a lot of sense. For example an ERP “lite” system like InCloud Express Financials can provides a really strong base. It joins up and automates financial processes and gives decision makers access to real time business data, analytics and reports as standard and can be expanded further as required.
Remote is working
And the really good news is that new projects don’t need teams of experts driving up the motorway to install them. Remote implementations are becoming the new norm. And an unexpected upside of remote working is that it is more productive.
According to Susan Galer,
“Spending less time on the road gives services providers more hours to solve customer problems. What’s more, collaborative platforms can actually speed up decisions.”
Shane Paladin, president of SAP Services adds,
“We’re seeing projects move faster because bringing people together through tools like whiteboarding and video conferencing adds clarity to how they engage, allowing them to accomplish tasks more efficiently. Participants see an active chat on the screen, use a channel that stores the entire conversation as they go through a design session, and at the end you have a codified record of everything for greater project understanding and accountability.”
IT providers are changing the way things are done now and in a future post Covid-19 world. It is still an uncertain and unfolding picture but the acceleration in digital change is real and is going to catapult us into the future – whatever that may hold.
Notes on InCloud Express Financials
- InCloud Express Financials is built on the Cloud ERP technology of SAP Business ByDesign
- You can get the InCloud Express financials only system in place in a month, implemented remotely and at a fixed cost.
- Decision makers will be grateful for the stability provided by the solid business core with the flexibility to scale up as things improve.