Technology as a Driver for Business Resiliency

Necessity is the mother of invention. Market demands spawn necessities that, in turn, make innovation on existing inventions the fulcrum upon which progress and creativity must balance. It is in finding this balance that organizations achieve measurable and lasting success. In the time of COVID-19, we have witnessed the creativity of organizations in terms of achieving business resiliency.

Over the last five years, IDC has documented the rise of the digital economy and the digital transformation that enterprises must undergo to compete and succeed. It has defined Future Enterprises as an “organization that underpins business processes with technology, is fueled by innovation, is platform-enabled, and ecosystem-centric.”

DX as a Driver for Business Resiliency

“If there’s anything to be learned from the past DX (digital transformation) successes of organizations, it’s that innovation is no longer the exclusive domain of the IT department,”  IDC Asia/Pacific Practice Group Vice President Sandra Ng said. She added that LoBs (lines of business) are playing an active hand in determining what and how they want their respective organizational functions to innovate. She asserted that now more than ever, digital transformation must be treated as a team sport.

The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the significance of digital transformation from the perspective of CEOs across all countries and industries. With a recession on the horizon, CEOs are at a crucial turning point. They are deciding if they should follow the same course of cost-cutting as all previous economic downturns have dictated. On the other hand, should they flatten their own organization’s recessionary curve by harnessing the power of digital technologies.

Five Stages to Enterprise Recovery

According to IDC, there are five stages to Enterprise Recovery. Each is described according to its economic situation and business focus. They are as follows:

Stage 1: COVID-19 Crisis; Business Priority: Business Continuity: With hyper volatility becoming the norm, business continuity plans are being rewritten and will have to become more dynamic in nature moving forward.

Stage 2: Economic Slowdown; Business Priority: Cost Optimization: At this stage, organizations are in cost optimization mode, where they turn to the use of digital technologies that can either help them manage the economic turmoils or generate immediate financial returns for the current fiscal year. These organizations look for financing

Stage 3: Recession; Business Priority: Business Resiliency: Once they have overcome the initial phases, organizations will now focus on building business resiliency – the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while
maintaining the organization’s central purpose.

Stage 4: Return to Growth; Business Priority: Targeted Investments: At this point, economic activity is gradually returning to pre-crisis levels, and companies are looking to invest more aggressively with a focus on technologies that advance an organization’s digital capabilities.

Stage 5: The Next Normal; Business Priority: The Future Enterprises: When organizations come out of the recession, they will be operating in a new type of economy -the Next Normal. This will be the beginning of the digital economy with some new narratives as a result of COVID 19.

Projections for the Next Normal

Workplaces and factories are reopening, albeit gradually, and it is clear that the hard-hit Asia/Pacific region is raring to jumpstart its COVID-19 recovery journey. As businesses plan for recovery, every department in an organization must help leverage technology to ‘flatten the curve’—a persona-driven approach must be taken when planning investments. As the Next Normal emerges, IDC projects the following scenarios in Asia/Pacific:

  • Every “best employer” will have a holistic WFH/WAH program in place. At least 40% of employees will be working from home half of the time.
  • Almost all work processes will embrace tele-/digital capabilities. Automation and contactless use cases will be essential parts of all business processes, regardless of industries.
  • With customer-facing platforms pivoting to digital-first, physical storefronts and retail outlets will be downsized or at least reconfigured.
  • At least 70% of all communications, collaboration, learning, and co-creation will be done via video collaboration tools.
  • Security and privacy will be redefined. Increased digitalization will increase more security awareness and yet up the threshold to share data. Trust will be the key driver.
  • The use of analytics/AI/ML will accelerate to management of risk and uncertainty. Additionally, they will aid in predicting customer behavioral changes and market demands. Intelligence will become the core pillar at the end of the business resiliency stage.
Exhibiting Business Resiliency in the Digital Economy

The response of organizations to COVID-19 will shape the perception of their brand. Customers will observe how they leverage digital technologies to operate over the next decade. In the short term, technology has proven to be a key enabler that kept businesses operating during the crisis. Examples include remote work, agile businesses, and external digital engagements. Some organizations that have implemented impressive measures include Domino’s in Australia, MAVCOM in Malaysia, Taipei City Government in Taiwan, Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore, and Angkas in the Philippines among others.

But in the long term, organizations will leverage technology to underpin every single process, initiative, or value chain. This is a part of their journeys in becoming a Future Enterprise. With our way of life forever changed, forward-looking enterprises will continue to make digital investments to ensure that they will thrive in this new landscape.

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