Every business is vulnerable to threats like running out of cash or getting outcompeted and can be affected by natural calamities, but only a few become irrelevant as new age technology and trends advance. The COVID-19 pandemic further created more uncertainties that made businesses realise the imperative need to address various issues and ensure their assets and businesses are future-proof, particularly amid the unprecedented time of business volatility. While business environments are always evolving, the new technologies on the horizon and constantly changing consumer demands and preferences wreak havoc even on the best-laid plans. So, how can we try our best to future-proof businesses?
While all businesses are distressed about their capital, the major priority should always be people. The reason being if you are able to put a people-first business, revenue opportunities are most likely to follow automatically. And to make people a first priority, make sure you have an open communication channel with your customers, which will allow you to respond to their evolving needs – be it by digitising service or via any other tech-enabled means. Empower your employees to work from anywhere they feel safest and ensure they have all the necessary access required to work effectively and collaboratively. Businesses should also understand that brand identity is more than just about products, but about its people. Successful brands are now taking a balanced approach to clear identity and voice to fuel their marketing efforts at the same time remaining true to their core values while also adapting to environmental shifts.
Embrace Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation has become a driving force for many organisations and is driving a culture of innovation and preparing businesses to face any disruption. In a broader perspective, the term represents expediting business processes, activities, and competencies to leverage opportunities proposed by digital technologies. It is not just about leveraging technology or digitising your data, rather brings all that together, utilising new processes and technologies to make your business more efficient. Once a business is ready from a digital transformation standpoint, it will allow companies to gather important insights quickly which will also increase the speed of decision making.
Scale to meet every demand
There are various ways in which cloud computing and a hybrid IT infrastructure can prove beneficial to an organisation in unprecedented times. Leveraging Cloud computing, both public and private, has enabled the global workforce to work from anywhere during the pandemic. And by utilising hybrid cloud infrastructure, businesses would be able to utilise both public and on-premises solutions to store and share data and manage workloads. Additionally, since a vast majority of workforce and customer interactions have become online, it has also become essential for businesses to secure and protect everything that moves through the internet. According to industry reports, cyberattacks and data fraud are the third biggest threats that risk professionals identified; thus, organisations should have proper safety measures in place to protect data.
While the future continues to be uncertain, brands must always plan for the survivability of their organisation beyond any present crisis such as COVID-19 times. What this translates to is striking a pragmatic balance between operational survivability and ensuring that your brand does not lose the momentum it had before any uncertainty.
The risks could be internal to an organisation such as failure in manufacturing plants, strikes, or external to an organisation such as a change in regulatory policies, market breakdown, etc., or being encountered by a pandemic or a war. The best example of risk management can be derived from the COVID-19 pandemic. As it sent shock waves putting a big jolt to the global economy, the companies struggled through unpredictability while adjusting to unprecedented events to make themselves survive. Across the globe, businesses are still battling to endure that downturn.
Thus, in order to survive and make themselves profitable, businesses should look to minimise risk as soon as possible in unprecedented times. Businesses should continue to think in a broader perspective about the risks that would bring a downturn ultimately affecting you and your industry. Truly evaluating a risk exposure requires a business to not only look at what will happen but also how you and your competitors might respond. All of us including businesses and now living in an ever-changing world that puts forth new challenges often. Thus, businesses and processes must be incorporated in a way to meet modern demands and evolve to adjust the approaches to risk assessment.
The author is the CEO, Realme India, VP, Realme, and President, Realme International Business Group.
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