COVID-19: Ensuring Continuity and
Building Resilience

How business leaders can respond, survive, and thrive in the new normal

COVID-19 Response: Turn Challenges into Opportunities

Analyze the impact, overcome uncertainty and reinvent your business

The international response to COVID-19 continues to develop with governments making significant interventions to contain and mitigate the disease and its impact on people’s lives, families, and communities. As your business tries to navigate the financial and operational challenges, you also require to rapidly adjust to the changing needs of your people, customers, and suppliers. The volume of potential transformation looks daunting. Fingent is here to help you turn this massive complexity into a meaningful opportunity.

What are the key areas of focus for organizations to survive the crisis and succeed in the post-COVID world? Our leaders share their thoughts.

Key Areas of Focus for Organizations

We believe that these five changes are inevitable for enterprises and businesses to survive and succeed now and next.

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Reinvent business strategy

Build a resilient workforce

Reset to changing customer habits

Restructure operations

Accelerate new technology adoption

Reinvent your business strategy

Necessity demands prioritization. Hence the primary focus of any entrepreneur or CEO is to support their people, customers and suppliers, and mobilize responses to supply chain disruptions. Though we’re yet to see a sure sign of rapid economic recovery, the post-COVID period will raise new competitions and opportunities at great speed.

The pre-COVID business practices will give way to a New Normal, a new era characterized by changes in societal values, customer behaviors, and cultural norms, which will reinforce responsible business practices.

Plan to reinvent your business strategy with these considerations:

  • Build employee trust with compassion and communication
  • Create a safe and secure working environment for
  • Plan for a phased return that responds to unforeseen events
  • Focus on the longer-term financial health of your business
  • Embrace technologies that support innovation at scalen

Build a resilient workforce

Organizations worldwide currently experience workforce disruption. To keep people in paid employment, industries need to build shared workforce resilience. For instance, hard-hit industries such as travel, tourism, and hospitality can redeploy their labor into industries that need extra workers like food or grocery retailers. This means that only the roles are disrupted, while the skills prevail.

Human resources officers and talent managers need to help individuals acquire the new skills and mindset needed for future work. Equipping people with new skills will help businesses cope with large-scale workforce shifts.

Plan to build a resilient workforce with these considerations:

  • Use technologies- Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Analytics to predict where workforce changes are needed
  • Assess the skills you have versus the skills predicted to be in demand, and plan to develop the skills that will eventually incur more demand
  • Accelerate online learning platforms to address skill gaps within your organization. Implement customized Learning Management Software and remote learning systems to educate and hone employee skills
  • Connect people to continued employment opportunities through strong external partnerships and collaborations
  • Develop new operating models that will increase people’s ability to adapt to change

Adapt to changing customer behavior and habits

COVID-19 is changing customer attitudes and buying behaviors. In industries like consumer goods, the crisis will lead to many structural changes w.r.t. how and what customers buy. Leveraging digital channels to support business continuity and changing the way you design, communicate, build, and run the experiences are crucial to meet varying customer demands.

Behavioral shifts among customers accelerate organizations’ move to digital commerce (e-commerce), introduce new lines of services, expand existing offerings, and popularize “contactless†services. This allows you to capture new markets successfully.

Reset to changing customer habits with these considerations:

  • Deploy data analytics to predict the changing needs of customers and workforce
  • Augment and automate customer service with AI virtual assistants and chatbots
  • Support the right mix of proactive and reactive customer needs
  • Prioritize choices and innovate solutions that can sustain for the long-term
  • Contact centers operating in the work-from-home model should have ample remote access facilities including technology and infrastructure to handle customer concerns promptly
  • Prioritize and sequence customer support requests so that the most critical needs are addressed first

Restructure operations to build the intelligent enterprise

Fundamental changes in customer behavior, supply chain, and routes to market will accelerate the adoption of agile ways of working in enterprises. Intelligent Enterprise, driven by cloud, data, and technology will become the “new normalâ€. Rigid structures in organizations will be replaced with plug and play modules that facilitate continual adaptation and dynamic self-management.

The new way of working offers a chance to reimagine the nature of work, workforce, and workplace. The Intelligent Enterprise that integrates business and operating models, technology, data and analytics, and physical assets will lead the transformation.

Restructure your operations with these considerations:

  • Cloud-based systems and collaboration tools to build an elastic digital workplace
  • Simplify governance structures to enable speed, agility, and flexibility
  • Identify tasks that can be automated or eliminated to cut unwanted expenses
  • Diversify partnership ecosystem to expand delivery and drive innovation
  • Exploit analytics for dynamic sensing, forecasting, and decision making support

Accelerate new technology adoption

Even before COVID-19, IT challenges have been existent in enterprises. The crisis accelerates the cause for technology adoption in organizations to support real-time decision making, enhance workforce productivity, eliminate security risks, and address a range of other challenges. Preparing your company for future disruptions requires laying out a technology roadmap.

With robust technology and digital infrastructure, you can ensure the stability of critical business processes and systems. Besides encountering the immediate effects of the pandemic, technology resilience better prepares your company for future disruptions.

Upgrade technology for a digital-first workplace with these considerations:

  • Mobile and virtual desktop solutions to manage operations in a connected workplace
  • Remote work collaboration software with virtual meeting and project management features

Use Case:

The entire team at Fingent uses InfinCE, “the all-in-one collaboration and communication platform to work from anywhere†to manage work-from-home and support deliverables during this lockdown. Collaboration platforms like InfinCE simplify remote workforce management and support business continuity.

  • AI, machine learning, and automation to immediately resolve high-volume tasks
  • Cloud acceleration and optimization to boost innovation and reduce technology costs
  • Re-engineering and lean governance practices to support service continuity
  • Analytics-based assessment to derive insights on where and how human touchpoints can be reduced and which tasks can be deflected to digital channels
  • Secured remote working capabilities and security protocols and solutions to mitigate any unexpected cyber risks

COVID-19: Industry-Specific Insights

Industries need to continuously adapt and evolve to address new and uncertain market conditions

Healthcare: Digital innovation spurs telemedicine

In the fight against COVID-19, the role of technology in the healthcare industry is crucial. Fingent believes that these transformations are here to stay:

  • Telemedicine and remote patient care
  • Smartphone apps, tracking features, Internet of Things, and wearables
  • AI-based systems for screening and predicting early symptoms
  • Virtual Reality for medical training and treating patients in isolation
  • 3D-printing will be key to ensuring uninterrupted supply of medical aids & equipment

Real Estate: Virtualization becomes the new normal

COVID-19 has forced realtors to pivot overnight in how they conduct their business. The real estate industry can get through by adopting smart technologies for sustainability, safety, and remote collaboration.
  • Virtual reality to facilitate virtual showings, virtual site tours, etc.
  • Cloud-based remote collaboration software to streamline operations and continue operating
  • Adopt online auctions (live-streaming auctions) and conduct virtual inspections
  • Transact property sales digitally through digital contracts and digital deposits
  • AI chatbots and virtual assistants to share dynamic, real-time notifications to customers and employees
Also Read: Accelerating AR/VR Adoption Among Customers

Retail: Personalized omnichannel digital experiences

Physical distancing and quarantining transform our lifestyles and working patterns. What, how, when, and where customers buy is undergoing a drastic change. Regulations w.r.t. to in-store and online retailing will demand retailers to adopt new digital experiences to serve shoppers better.

  • “Personal contactless” delivery of goods, either directly-to-home or curbside pickup will witness a significant boom
  • Mobile and cloud-based collaboration platform to leverage connectivity and support corporate retail personnel to work remotely
  • Ensure the safety of employees, particularly supply-chain workers, delivery staff, and front-line employees in-store
  • Communicate periodically with your employees via mobile apps to manage time, availability, and safety
  • Identify new suppliers to diversify your supply-chain ecosystem to ensure that your inventory doesn’t run out of stock
  • Deploy AI/ML-based demand forecasting tools to analyze your big datasets and gather metrics on upcoming shopping habits and trends
  • Internal third-party logistics (3PL) and employee applications will help monitor staff availability and alternative shipment options

Logistics: Future-ready services and delivery models

The role of freight and logistics service providers in keeping shelves stocked and ensuring the incessant operation of critical product lines is praiseworthy. Interruptions in supply-chains and sudden surge in e-commerce force logistics companies to take these swift measures:

  • Automate logistics facilities and physical processes using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and co-bots (worker plus machine model) to ensure safety at work
  • To enable safe remote working, IT systems should have the bandwidth, security facilities, and other remote system protocols
  • Non-customer facing and non-core tasks can be automated to address issues like labor shortage. Automating redundant tasks allows human workers to focus on core, value-adding functions.
  • Maximize the value of data and leverage insights to respond to future events
  • Small retail kiosks can be converted to virtual self-service kiosks (touchless virtual branches)
  • Strategic cost evaluation and reduction measures should be implemented in administrative and operational functions. This will augment the need for flexible staffing.
  • To fulfill the increasing demand for last-mile delivery, logistics companies must strengthen investments in smart tech and build strong partnership ecosystems

Also Read: How Automation Ensures Businesses Stay Afloat During COVID-19 Crisis

Education: Disruption leads to continuous learning

In an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic spread, governments around the world have mandated temporary/ long-term closure of educational institutions. To mitigate the impact, communities, nonprofits, and learning institutions need to ensure the continuity of education through remote learning.

The impact on education will affect millions of student population, schools, colleges, NGOs, training centers, families, new graduates, and a lot of other players in the ecosystem. With teaching moving online, the education segment needs to make the required adaptions.

  • Personalized learning will gain more prominence with the inclusion of virtual reality, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence
  • AI, analytics, and immersive technologies will influence multiple aspects of the student journey – admissions, onboarding, learning, assessments, reporting, and so on
  • Learning Management Systems, e-learning platforms, and live streaming of classroom sessions will be pivotal in expediting remote learning
  • Cloud, mobile, and web technologies will be optimally employed to deliver learning effectively across multiple devices
  • Video-based immersive learning experiences will be mainstream
Also Read: E-Learning Taking A New Front: How Can LMS Technology Help

Data, Readiness, & Empathy are the three vital qualities required to keep people healthy and businesses running.

We’re closely monitoring the situation and helping businesses return to work with our technology consulting and innovation capabilities.

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