Business Resilience and Continuity during COVID-19
In January 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic, the United States and China were ranked as the two largest economies in the world, with nominal GDPs of US$21.44 trillion and US$14.14 trillion respectively. America’s GDP alone constituted a whopping 25% of the world’s economy, and China was the fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy at the time. But that’s all history now.
Analysts looking at the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic now project that the global economy will take until the end of 2022 to reach pre-crisis levels, predicting the U.S. economy could recover by end of 2023, while China’s recovery might take a whole decade. The current crisis has highlighted the effects of globalization and economic interdependency, with supply chains around the world in total disarray and warnings that the full impact of COVID-19 is yet to be seen.
Being Ready for Change
Businesses around the world, big and small, are feeling the effects of these drastic changes in supply and demand not only on their top and bottom line, but also in the way their people are forced by circumstances to work remotely, reduce their productivity, or not work at all. Resilient business leaders who planned ahead are responding boldly to the crisis and are likely to emerge battered but victorious. On the other hand, those who didn’t assess risks to their business and make contingency plans may struggle for survival.
That’s why many organizations these days are realizing the importance of having a business continuity plan or BCP. We at Pyxle activated our BCP a month ago before the crisis unfolded, empowering staff to work remotely and continue our key business operations and customer services, supported by our cloud-based operational and communications infrastructure. The BCP made it possible for customers and partners to continue engaging with us uninterruptedly, while the local, regional, and global business environments around us quickly collapsed.
Assessing and planning the potential disruption of these crises to one’s organization is relatively straightforward if leaders are experienced in risk planning, risk assessment, and risk mitigation. To successfully implement a business continuity plan in the event of a business disruption, employees need to be equipped with strategic and operational tools and techniques to continue being productive anywhere.
Essential Elements of a BCP
Here are the essential elements of a business continuity plan.
A Sustainable Leadership – Effective management of the organization, who can look ahead and foresee the gravity and the depth of a situation before it occurs, is one of the key elements to have in an organization in order to minimize the harm and recover quickly from a crisis.
Strong Organizational Culture – The culture of the organization needs to be such that the employees are used to working under minimal supervision while maintaining productivity levels and delivering quality results. Clear policies and procedures should be established and implemented to avoid problems and delays in decision making and approvals.
Information Security – Leveraging secure technology platforms and applications to ensure information security.
Streamlined Communication – Communications at all levels, from management to employees, should prioritize business sustainability. To effectively manage a remote or distributed team entails managing proactively, actively collaborating, encouraging feedback and discussion, minimizing interruptions, and communicating using the appropriate methods and at the right time.
Implementing Tools & Techniques – For staff to be productive and efficient while working from home requires the right tools and techniques. For example, remote desktop protocol, cloud storage, proper workstations and infrastructure (laptops, WIFI routers, VPN, etc.), storing all documents to the corporate cloud, automating certain human resource (HR) services through robotic process automation (RPA), etc.
Providing Customers with Services, Direction, Confidence & Resilience – Instil a customer-centric mindset across the team. Closely examine how you can advise and work together with customers to help them adapt to the changing circumstances.
Employee Satisfaction – Working remotely can be overwhelming. The management should communicate regularly with employees, maintaining an open dialogue. Encourage peer-to-peer interactions. Provide enough flexibility for the remote work requirements of employees.
Maintaining business continuity through smart and pre-emptive strategies, while helping to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic crisis, should be the focus of every business at this time. Developing, maintaining and activating a BCP is crucial to surviving in these turbulent times.
If you need support to start developing a business continuity plan or to strengthen your existing one, Pyxle can help. Our business consultants can help your organization think strategically about business resilience and develop a business continuity plan tailored to your business. Our free consultation will help you identify any digital maturity gaps, which you’ll be able to rectify with our value-added services.
Pyxle can help your business operate smoothly with a range of digital transformation services, including robotic process automation (RPA), software product engineering, data warehousing, business intelligence dashboards, and data analytics and insights.
As the COVID-19 crisis highlights, it’s imperative for every business to leverage a business continuity plan in order to survive the turbulent times and thrive in the future.
 Source: “The 5 Largest Economies In The World And Their Growth In 2020”, Nasdaq, Prableen Bajpai, 22 Jan 2020, https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/the-5-largest-economies-in-the-world-and-their-growth-in-2020-2020-01-22