By 2020, health conditions and depression in recent history have forced companies in all sectors to take special measures to protect people while maintaining their business operations. As it pans out, COVID-19 has been a pivoting point for many organizations across the world, and people too. It changed the way we behave and perceive. Our habits have changed, we experience a whole new world as companies around the world are returning stronger, more resilient. Well, we do not need to dig deeper as we currently see two-thirds of all the organizations who have achieved business resiliency and have sprung back, have done so by accelerating their use of digital technologies. This certainly transformed business decisions and drove greater productivity, so much so that they managed to achieve in the past few months, what would have otherwise taken years. There are however some trends that are likely to unfold in the coming year while everyone is getting back up. Let us take a look at what they are:
Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) commitments will set companies apart
We will see greater pressure on organisations to officially commit to decarbonisation goals in the year ahead. 2021 will be the year in which it will not only be socially unacceptable to have a heavy carbon footprint but companies will also be judged on how they reduce their environmental impact. To do this, organisations will need to abandon expensive and carbon-heavy equipment refreshes, like the old way of procuring technology hardware. Instead, they will turn to smarter solutions that can perform and scale as needed, without having the planetary impact of rip and replace upgrades.
Businesses will become beholden to a ‘need for speed’
The year 2020 has taught us to be ready for any disruptions which are localised and also unforeseen and sudden and thus affecting the delivery of goods and services almost instantly. Successful businesses will be those which can pivot quickly and efficiently to the changing environment without affecting the customer experience. As consumers, our patience when engaging with slow technology has reached a new low – we demand instant access and service. This attitude is now mirrored in our professional lives, and the lines have blurred between how B2C and B2B companies deliver goods and services, with speed being key. Organisations need to ask themselves some tough questions around how legacy infrastructure is holding them back, and whether they can afford to lose customers if they cannot deliver at the speed needed.
If 2020 is a ‘teachable moment’, 2021 will distinguish the graduates from the students
2020 has shown that many businesses were not ready for such a sudden disruption.. Leaders were caught off-guard by the digital transformation requirements of the pandemic, and many over-invested in short-term solutions. With the added uncertainty of a Brexit outcome, organisations will need a holistic view of where the pressure points in their organisation are, so they can adapt supply chains to ensure minimal disruption. The ‘graduates’ of 2020 will recognise that the longer-term solutions they put in place will need a greater emphasis on ensuring their organisations can remain agile and adapt to changing environments.
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose fundamental challenges to our economy and society, some key lessons have become clear, and now businesses are increasingly seeking solutions to help them succeed in the post-epidemic era. It is time to rethink your partnerships, strategy, and rebalancing skills to meet these dramatic changes in a cost-effective yet secure way. For companies around the world, business as usual will not be enough. The game has changed so much, but even if businesses return to work by reimagining the way you recover, operate, organize, and leverage technology, they can lay the true foundation for continued success.
By Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, India, Pure Storage