Adapt to Survive through tough times

As we move into Q4, will 2020 prove to be a year of two halves?  Will the blows of Coronavirus on businesses weaken as the year draws to a close or should we expect a much longer fight? Is your business ready to take the strain?

Watching the infection rates rise again across Europe, I have a feeling we are not at the end of the pandemic story, and one thing is clear – the economy cannot afford to lock down a second time.  Business leaders will need to build resilience and flexibility into their operations in order to survive. On the other hand, if we emerge into 2021 surrounded by light, the businesses that thrive will have made performance and agility their top priorities.

Has your business had to adapt and can you sustain a new operating model?  Assuming you can cover salaries and rent, where should you invest to secure your market position for 2021?

In recent history, we’ve seen some failures – businesses that have failed to move with the times…

Take Kodak, for example, founded in 1884 and known for inventing roll film.  It filed for bankruptcy in 2012 having failed to embrace the digital camera.  Similarly, Blockbuster Video failed to recognise the threat of online streaming, and HMV ignored the rise of online retailers, downloadable music and supermarket discounting.

It’s not rocket science to identify a common thread here.  What links these failures is a blindness to technology and the speed of advancement in the digital world.

Then there have been the success stories – businesses that have continued to invest during tough times…

During the 1930’s Great Depression, Kellogg’s was a small brand with little market share.  Instead of saving precious advertising pennies, it chose to invest in building brand equity and took to a new media at a time when its popularity was still growing – radio.  During the time that Kellogg’s ‘owned’ the airwaves, advertising costs on radio were low, enabling the brand to raise awareness and manage reputation on a relatively low budget.

And the moral of this story is…

There is always an opportunity to innovate, even in the simplest way, to allow your business to grow.

Why is this relevant when it comes to my IT?

Technology is the single enabler that ensures your business is as productive, efficient and agile as it can possibly be.  Closer to home and during these recent hard times, some of our clients have embraced the digital world, not only maintaining business as usual but also improving performance and increasing productivity; changes which will reap rewards for years – pandemic or no pandemic.

Office furniture supplier Hunters used lockdown to go entirely digital.  Implementing MS SharePoint and Teams meant crucial projects could be managed seamlessly by multiple staff from remote locations.  You can read their story  Here.

Funeral Director AB Walker was able to free up precious resource by saving time on paper-based administration.  You can read the full story Here too.

You don’t need to be the next Kellogg’s to embrace new technology and use it to help your business out of the rough.  Good, Cloud-based IT systems can help small and medium-sized businesses work more efficiently.  The software rental model from Microsoft and lack of maintenance costs associated with on-premise networks means your investment is not only likely to support your business better but also to reap measurable returns.

To find out more about how we can help you embrace better technology and spread costs, get in touch with us today.

Jim Simpson CEO

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