Systems check – steering your business through the covid-19 crisis

Roger Bennett of Cloudstratex explains why this is a good time to re-evaluate your approach and review your business processes

The UK is currently undergoing a huge amount of uncertainty. Having just left an ‘age of austerity’, only to face Brexit uncertainty, and now the global menace of covid-19, it is clear that we are a nation in crisis. Putting health considerations aside, the economic impact of coronavirus will be severe for the UK.

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, stated during his Budget speech that the virus is ‘the key challenge facing our country today’ and it will have a ‘significant impact on the UK economy.’ Yet we must keep in mind that in the long run, its effects will be temporary, and it will be ‘business as usual’ in just a few months.

That means that, right now, your business should be embracing a proactive outlook and seizing every opportunity that comes its way. If the UK business community doesn’t rise to the challenge, the fallout from the coronavirus will be far, far worse.

Re-evaluate your approach

Rather than fearing covid-19, let us instead see it as a chance to look inwardly at ourselves as professionals and the companies we represent. Now is the time to re-evaluate strategies, make necessary changes, see what works and get better results. The coronavirus crisis is giving you an opening to behave differently for a short period. Take advantage of it!

Go back through your business ‘to-do’ list and undertake a thorough review of the important but less urgent items that you have left gathering dust. Typical things that often get overlooked during normal periods of activity include basic business activities. These might be the writing up of job descriptions or checking employee progress in regards to personal goal setting, or more in depth activities like the creation of training sessions and road map development.

Review legacy systems and operations

On a more technical level, you can take the time to make your essential computer systems work better by improving their resilience and failover, by ensuring you have a standby in case of a hardware or systems failure. Speaking of which, is it time to do a review of your legacy systems?

Perhaps you just update your company security posture or even go one step further and finally make that move to rip out your legacy phone systems and replace it with an internet-based comms platform.

Strategy communications assessment is imperative

If you have not reviewed and updated your Business Continuity Plans (BCP) then do so immediately to ensure they are fit for purpose and to minimise the effect of the pandemic on your business operations.

Key to this will be ensuring the viability of remote working arrangements over the coming weeks, and dare I say, months. By doing so you can ensure business critical functions can still be carried out. As more people will be connecting remotely, now is also the time to remind your colleagues of the appropriate etiquette when telecommuting. There is nothing worse than an important detail being overlooked or the wrong decision being made, because everyone sitting on a videocall is talking over one another!

Maintain a winning mentality

The coronavirus is a terrible occurrence, not just for the UK but for the world. That does not mean that you or your company should wallow or meekly accept defeat. Instead see the adversity it brings as a challenge to rise up and overcome.

Review your processes and make them slicker to ensure you can get the job done quicker. It may even lead you to question your purchasing decisions such as whether you even need to spend money on certain things or are they just a nice-to-have.

Also, take the time to reflect on where you can add the most value to your clients, and how you can improve the lives of your employees in the tough times ahead. Remember that if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, regardless of the situation.

Roger Bennett is the practice director at CloudStratex.

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Roger Bennett

Roger Bennett is Practice director of CloudStratex.