Australian businesses see the light at the end of the tunnel

Blog 27th May, 2020

Business recovery

The key business activities and trends you need to know as we step into Phase 2 of COVID-19

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, business owners in Australia and across the world are asking “What now?” as they start the uncertain journey towards business recovery.

Unfortunately, no one knows what the second half of 2020 will hold. Life and work may return to some semblance of normality, or we may endure an “on again”, “off again” approach to lockdowns for the foreseeable future.

One thing is certain though: businesses that have survived the tumultuous past few months have done an incredible job. They have rallied to meet the urgent demands of an external threat that would have been difficult for even the best risk analysts to predict. And they have done their best to make it through the storm, be it through hibernation or rapid innovation.

But as the clouds depart and we step back out into the sunshine, now is the time to reflect on what has been, so we can approach an uncertain future with greater confidence and resolve.

“Now is definitely the time for reflection and assessment,” says Stephen Hemsworth, Harbour IT’s Senior Business Development Manager.

“The past few months have shown how quickly situations can accelerate – from months to weeks to days. So as this situation eases and companies finally have a bit of breathing room, it’s the perfect opportunity to look back and ask ‘How did we go?’.”

Time for a post-incident review

“Feedback from our customers is that everyone has implemented their IT Business Continuity Plan,” says Stephen.

“Phase 1 has come and gone, and we are settling into Phase 2: reviewing our IT BCPs so we can identify issues, close gaps, and fine tune our operations.”

Here are 4 key activities you can do to review your Business Continuity Plan, and assess how well your business responded to COVID-19:

1. Review recent decisions as they relate to your overarching strategy

Key to a post-incident review is to evaluate whether the tactical decisions you made in Phase 1 align with your long term strategy. This particularly applies to IT, but should not exclude areas such as HR and communications.

2. Evaluate if business processes were effective

Reflect on how long it took for your business to respond to the crisis and whether this could have been improved. Look at whether lines of communication were effective, or if miscommunication created significant risks and issues.

3. Assess your data centre environment

Consider these questions as they relate to your data centre:

  • Are you experiencing any issues with integration, bottlenecks or latency?
  • What were your greatest security risks as you transitioned to a remote set up?
  • Do you still have gaps in security and how might these be addressed?

Harbour IT are offering the option of a complimentary MiTrend infrastructure assessment. The assessment can be set up remotely and provides the in-depth analysis as well as an overview of your data centre functionality. Quickly gain visibility into various operating parameters including performance, utilisation levels, deduplication.

You can book the assessment through this link.

4. Examine the widespread impacts of technological change

“Phase 1 required significant technological change for many businesses,” says Stephen. “But technology change has a cascading effect and is likely to have had some cultural and psychological impacts as well.  

“Service desk calls may have been higher in the past couple of months than any other time in your organisation’s history. This means you had staff who potentially had to wait days for a response, and technical staff who have been under the pump and possibly demoralised.

“In addition to staff perception of the organisation, you also need to consider what risks these delays caused (i.e.: security exposure), when and why there were spikes in support calls, and what strategies you can employ to avoid it in the future.”

Return to work trends as we head into Phase 2 of COVID-19

As businesses put a first foot forward towards recovery, here are 3 key trends that appear to be unfolding…

1. Video conferencing is here to stay

In recent months, video conferencing has proven highly effective in empowering collaboration and communication between staff, suppliers and customers.

As explored in a recent article from McKinsey Digital, videoconferencing may be a more productive way for people to continue to connect – particularly for quick check-ins. Moving forward, it’s likely that we’ll see organisations employing a hybrid model with a mix of in-person meetings and video conferencing.

2. Remote work will be more acceptable

For those industries where remote work is possible, another likely trend is the rise in the number of people who work from home on a part time or full time basis.

In addition to the potential cultural benefits, remote work may also improve organisational agility and potentially reduce the significant costs associated with having an office large enough to accommodate hundreds of staff. 

Our tech giants are certainly giving the status quo more time to play out, with Google and others announcing staff can work from home until at least the end of the year.

3. Businesses will seek to leverage new setups to recover costs

Many businesses experienced cost blow-outs as they rapidly transitioned to cope with COVID-19 quarantine demands. As the dust settles, executives will seek to understand how they can leverage these new capabilities to ensure a solid return on investment in the long term.

Get your business recovery plan ready

As your organisation begins the journey through Phase 2 of this drastic upheaval, consider how a post-incident review and these key business trends may help you use the lessons and expenses of the past few months to maximise opportunity as you plan for a successful recovery in Phase 3.

Harbour IT is constantly innovating and adjusting to the needs of our clients if you would like a short no-obligation chat with a consultant about how you can plan for your business recovery, contact us today.

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