The pandemic hit the world as a global disaster and caught businesses flatfooted, unprepared for this kind of crisis. As a result, many closed shop or filed for bankruptcy, including big names in American business.
Many of those who survived are still reeling. Some, however, thrived during the crisis, and they must serve as examples for others.
Remote Work Setup
To prevent the spread of the virus while continuing the business, companies had to quickly arrange for their employees to work from home. This meant having to supply those employees with computers, monitors, and headsets at home, and setting up secure virtual private network (VPN) connections and cloud access for them. They should be able to securely access the company’s information technology (IT) systems, data, and information.
Having employees scattered in various remote locations amid Covid-19 also meant there was a higher risk of employees getting sick or cybercriminals hacking their data. Companies realized the importance of having a solid business continuity and disaster recovery system.
A disaster recovery plan means restoring data and critical systems after a breach. The modus of cyber criminals these days is to hold your data hostage and erase all backups. It would be best for a company to use a protection system that prevents hackers from erasing data after they breach the system. This makes data recovery possible and quicker.
Having a business continuity plan means ensuring that your entire business continues with full functionality even after a crisis. For instance, moving your employees remotely must not affect your services to clients. You must also have a plan that will automatically take effect to reassign critical tasks if an employee suddenly gets sick.
Using cloud computing makes the transition to remote work easier. With a company implementing cloud computing, it can even make remote work the norm for many, if not all, of its employees. Many large companies have already announced that they will continue to practice remote work even after the pandemic. Most employees also said they prefer to continue working from home.
The pandemic situation disproved the fear that remote work will lower productivity. Employees were productive and even worked more hours from home since they did not have to commute to and from work. Remote work can therefore be a benefit offered by a company from here on to attract the best employees.
Use New Technologies
Companies must invest in innovative technology to survive and prosper. The shift to remote work is not possible without new technologies. The pandemic also showed that the companies that flourished were those that operated online.
Information technology (IT) with artificial intelligence (AI) are key components of running a business nowadays. As brick-and-mortar stores closed, companies that boomed were running online on sophisticated websites driven by IT with AI.
These websites monitor a visitor’s browsing behavior and present customized offers to each visitor. A chatbot is available to quickly answer queries.
A company can use AI for online research among competitors to determine their strengths, weaknesses, and pricing. AI can also do online research on a company’s target market to determine their needs and preferences. AI can then analyze these data to come up with the best attributes a company must include in its product or service, and the most competitive pricing.
Pricing can even be dynamic using AI. It can change in real-time based on demand, supply, competition price, and subsidiary product prices. AI can customize the price offered to a visitor according to all these and the visitor’s purchase habits.
Companies must use AI to integrate and streamline their processes. For instance, AI can connect sales and inventory and trigger a reorder once inventory reaches a certain level. This will prevent items from running out of stock and losing potential sales.
AI can also monitor and forecast demand to prevent overstocking of items that will tie up capital in inventory.
Human Workforce and Technology
There is a saying that lessons learned the hard way tend to stick more. In the case of business lessons learned during the pandemic, these must form the backbone of business planning from here on.
The pandemic shows the vulnerability of the human workforce. It also showed the resilience of the human workforce amid adversity. Businesses still need the best employees for creative and innovative thinking that is critical to have a competitive edge especially during times of crisis.
Innovative technology is also much needed to allow the human workforce to focus more on what humans do best. IT and AI automate and accelerate processes to work in synergy with employees. This gives the company more agility, resiliency, and security whatever comes.