Technology – COVID-19 has Proven the Necessity of Systems for Our Businesses
Incorporating technology into your organization is no longer negotiable. It is likely that the recent COVID-19 outbreak forced you to increase or modify the usage of technology in your business, whether you were prepared to or not. The realization of how integral technology needs to be for all businesses, regardless of industry, has become a reality. Businesses have needed to increase or implement remote work accessibility or switch shift scheduling with increased process and project tracking parameters with less than a two-week turnaround. The task at hand now is the improvement of technology usage, the digital tracking of information, knowledge sharing, and using technology to limit in-person interaction with products, co-workers, and clients. Too many businesses which hadn’t incorporated technology are finding it difficult to continue operations and keep their doors open.
Organizations who have successfully integrated technology into their workplace are continuing to innovate and diversify with new uses, allowing them to respond to circumstances and client needs faster. These businesses are finding new ways to create solutions and increase employees’ productivity and ability to collaborate daily. Businesses who have adopted the mindset of technology innovation and usage of artificial intelligence algorithms are experiencing improved capabilities of adaptability during this this pandemic. The rapid technology advancement prior to COVID-19 already meant trouble for those businesses who were behind with their implementation strategies, and now with the reduced economic activity, these companies who were behind are now at risk of never being able to catch up.
There is a lot to consider before taking action on integrating or improving technology to continue operations during this crisis, cope with current lost revenue, or look for opportunities to pivot with technology for operational advancement. We suggest exploring the trends that had existed in your industry prior to COVID-19, talking to colleagues currently utilizing technology with operational success, operating thoughtfully and strategically, utilizing artificial intelligence, diversifying operations if possible, and managing your team.
Follow Trends and Needs. Business leaders need to be aware of what is trending in their industry and what is needed at this time. This is particularly true for industry specific technologies, but try to not limit your thinking. Exploring new options and thinking outside of the box are paramount to incorporating new and existing technologies in innovative ways. Implementation of needed technology will help your business become more sustainable, now and after the threat of the coronavirus has passed.
Explore Business Successes. Evaluate how colleagues or other industries are utilizing technology to shift business operations to a digital model or new offerings. Talk to others to see what is working and what isn’t. Talk to your team to explore ideas on how to utilize technology systems to maintain workflow, communications, productivity, and continual movement of cashflow or impact.
Be Thoughtful and Strategic. Taking the time to evaluate operations and the necessity for immediate change before reacting will prove to be helpful in the long run as situations regarding the daily pandemic changes. A strategic plan for incorporating technology must account for the ability to manage projects, customer relations, process automation, and data analysis. A thorough and encompassing strategic plan is necessary to ensure the ability to train employees properly and for the oversight of the integration and usage of technology.
Utilize AI. Artificial Intelligence needs to be in every business leader’s toolbox. This technology increases efficiency, improves customer experience, and saves time. Gartner’s exploration of the top trends in 2020 details how the use of AI reduces repetitive tasks for workers and tracks organizational processes, allowing team members to focus on specialized skills and experience. In our current business climate, the reduction of repetitive tasks will help your team focus on high priority operations and allow for an increased ability to pivot as the situation changes.
Diversify Operations. Current circumstances with COVID-19 required a change in your business’s working environment in order to achieve operational continuity. For many, this meant developing and implementing a process for some or all of your team to work remotely, new ways to monitor progress, new means of internal and external communications, and new standard operating systems. Others have utilized technology to adjust in-house operations for essential, on-site employees to comply with the social distancing practices recommended by the CDC.
Manage Your Team. Prior to the recent events, technology utilization increased professional development. Online systems and equipment provided accessibility for increased skills and knowledge. Now, with COVID-19, technology is proving to be essential for a business’s capability to quickly share the knowledge of critical personnel as businesses are downsizing. Technology is an essential tool to quickly capture knowledge, house “how-to” sheets and SOPs, and share the critical knowledge possessed by all personnel.
It is imperative to have a plan for technology while operating a business so you can be be prepared to adapt when disasters strike. We’ve all had to adjust quickly, but we’re all realizing how necessary technology us in business in the 21st century. It is more critical now to integrate technology and systems to prepare for a new normal sweeping across our world. As your businesses adjust from crisis response and survival mode into recovery and eventually back into growth, it is important to analyze how technology has helped or hindered your business operations and take action to fix or fill the gaps that have left your business vulnerable during COVID-19.
Having the flexibility and skills to pivot quickly requires personnel capable of enduring crisis situations and creating innovative operations utilizing technology. This article from McKinsey mentions the need to identify skills gaps and create skill-enhancing opportunities for teams so they can weather changes throughout the organization.
Technology, systems, and process are imperative for your business while in a crisis response mode, even when you’ve moved into survival for your business’s future for the next six months. If you’ve found your business has gaps in technology, systems and processes to maintain operations, Connections 4 Success can help bridge those gaps quickly. Contact our CEO directly to discuss how we can help save your business with operational systems and technology implementation processes. Inquiries are being responded to daily.