We have all experienced the benefits of having a backup plan. Whether it’s testing our cybersecurity strategy or industrializing processes to improve operations, we plan ahead to keep our business running smoothly. Allen Woo, an expert in business by his own account, explains how human talent and technology are two essential tools for improving business resilience.
Not all preparation is necessary. We need to be able to adapt to the changes and invest in technology to ensure that we have the ability to do the impossible, even when it isn’t over.
It is clear that technology and human talent are key ingredients in a business resilience strategy. Woo explains, “Business continuity is about implementing and developing processes to ensure continuity in business operations. Woo notes that the technology strategy and the business strategy must be fully aligned to achieve this.”
Many entrepreneurs around the world are keenly aware of this. According to Accenture’s Technology Vision study last year, 85% of local executives in countries such as Peru say that business and technology strategy are becoming inseparable.
Technology continuity focuses on the technology needed to keep critical systems running, from data centers to data backups to specialized support teams and testing programs. Crisis management must focus on partners and facilities: preventing, mitigating, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from conditions that threaten life, property, or operations.
“A company’s resilience includes all aspects of its operation, service, and management,” Woo explains. “In this regard, there are three elements to consider.”
The first thing Woo emphasizes is the urgency of preparing people to work together with new technologies. Today, every employee is a fundamental part of the digital transformation of business and the future, and increasingly present, of the working world, is one of machines and humans. Many companies today recognize this urgency and, according to the Accenture study, 85% of executives recognize that they must train their employees to work together with new technologies.
Secondly, they should bet on the cloud, as it provides businesses with the flexibility and resilience they need today to adapt to an ever-changing market. Executives are aware of this opportunity and the cloud is the technology they plan to apply most at the business level this year, with 44%.
Finally, there is collaboration. “If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all interconnected, and business is no different,” says Woo.
Industries can’t continue to function if they don’t work with the ecosystem. A recent study conducted by the expert revealed that more than 65% of companies suffered high or moderate disruption to their supply chains in the first few months of the pandemic. Increasingly, the boundaries between industries are disappearing and they must work in a coordinated manner to drive innovative services and products.
For companies to be resilient in the current century, they need to develop three basic qualities: ethics, continuous learning, and having a purpose. The latter must be something that goes far beyond just generating profits.
“In times of major difficulties or crises, having a purpose, in addition to the simple financial benefit, is an asset that gains value. It allows us to nurture the idea that adversity will pass and the situation will improve,” states the specialist.
A higher purpose makes it possible for the members of an organization to focus on the achievement of that goal, beyond adversity. In this way, the possibility of achieving the idealized goal is increased.
When the members of a company do not have a sense of purpose, they are only united around economic benefit. Therefore, they are more likely to disengage from the company at the first adversity.
As a result, it is necessary to move from the entrepreneurial mindset of wanting to anticipate and control the future to an even more beneficial one. This consists of focusing on the ability to sense and respond to what the environment demands, based on the company’s purpose as a way of guiding decisions.
This implies that leadership, at all levels, must be exercised with emphasis on the purpose of each of the collaborators. Instead, the focus on monitoring the objectives set unilaterally must be set aside.