COVID-19: An Enterprise Business Disruptor Emerges – How can digital help?

Eric Sleeth / April 2, 2020

The effects of COVID-19 on society is profound and unnerving due, in part, to the speed of its global impact. Similarly, we believe that COVID-19 will be an unmatched change agent for the foreseeable future. It has emerged as a profound business disruptor, requiring business leaders across the globe to take steps to sustain the health of their businesses and of their employees.

Many are focusing on resilience measures. As global supply chains, financial markets, and everyday businesses have been disrupted, the business leaders must not only be taking steps to address the immediate challenges. Leaders need to ensure that future risks are anticipated and managed, using this unprecedented moment in modern history as the ultimate learning experience.

Compared to 6 months ago, focus has shifted rapidly from business growth to one of sustainability and raising concerns of cash flow management, employee and client turnover, productivity, and business continuity. However, as we are having conversations with our clients and partners, business leaders are beginning to turn toward exploring new opportunities that could be captured in these affected markets; attempting to continue forward to this new normal for an unknown period. Potential acquisitions, business restructuring, and product innovations are being considered.

We believe that enterprises need to focus on these five critical areas as opportunities to strengthen their businesses during this period of accelerated change will come out the other side ahead.

Rigorous Risk Assessment & Enhanced Risk Management Practices

This includes a close examination of the immediate and longer-term financial, operational, and supply chain implications, as well as an assessment of competitive risks, and client and employee retention concerns. A particular emphasis is maintaining digital connectedness when standard forms of contact are eliminated such as face-to-face meetings, etc.

Meticulous Financial Assessment & Management

Detailed analyses of current and future working capital and cash-flow requirements are being conducted along with consideration of how to optimise the availability of tax incentives and stimulus packages being offered by many governments; identification of alternative/additional revenue sources; and reducing business expenses.

identifying flexible technology that can adapt and scale quickly; allocating resources more efficiently; and enhancing data collection and reporting to inform strategic business decisions.

Customer Attentiveness

With an understanding of customer risks, businesses must be developing strategies to enhance customer retention and identify new customer segments, utilizing digital tools. New digital product developments are being explored to attract new customers along with potential acquisitions for growing the customer base or adding new customer types.

Employee Engagement

Given the business travel halted, offices are closed, and employees are practicing social distancing by working from home, strategies are being developed to enhance employee engagement and retention. These can include the consideration of flexible work policies, physical and mental health consideration, productivity and collaboration.

Operating Efficiency

Business operations and the solutions that support them are being stress-tested to an unforeseen level. The goal must be to identify improved processes and solutions that could translate into improved customer and employee experiences. This includes the potential for streamlining business operations; introducing innovative cost-control approaches; identifying flexible technology that can adapt and scale quickly; allocating resources more efficiently; and enhancing data collection and reporting to inform strategic business decisions.

To be able to capture these focus areas, a business must be agile and resilient during these times. Those who succeed in making adjustments will sustain their growth. Perhaps we’re watching the next generation of great private enterprises emerging among companies that have the foresight and agility to uncover new opportunities.

We at Veriday understand the potential consequences of the current global health situation for businesses like yours. Watch for more blogs and content to stay informed of the business impact of COVID-19 and gain fresh insights for sustaining your business health. I encourage you to reach out to us for our practical knowledge and experience. We, too, are agile and resilient, and we are ready to support you.