As we approach the end of a year living under the various forms of COVID restrictions we can acknowledge that many important lessons have been learnt. These are not only just about the vulnerability of humans to a global pandemic, the effects on the economy and our mental health, but also how we can adapt to situations to continue to deliver key services through the best use of digital technology.
Albert Einstein said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”
During the midst of a crisis the focus is on managing as best we can to get by and quick decisions have to be made to get things done. Making these pressurised reactionary decisions invariably means that we do so for short term containment of the situation and not necessarily as long-term solutions. When these decisions are analysed in the cold light of day once the crisis has passed, businesses and organizations can clearly see where they were most vulnerable and where the holes are. These must be plugged with better and more long-term solutions; be they systems, processes or a culture of more collaborative working. From crisis comes opportunity because the weaknesses are exposed.
Now is the perfect time to take robust and focussed action and put in place a plan for the future. What we cannot allow to happen is return to business-as-usual or to become complacent, again. Now is the time to take what we have learnt and really work together to make sure that we effectively implement the right solutions so that we are ready for the next crisis, because unfortunately there will be a next time.
How does this prepare us for future crises or pandemics or largescale threats? Well, with a strong foundation we can be more flexible with how we operate and function delivering services in the future and because we are more connected to the data and colleagues, we will be more agile. Focus needs to be on several key areas that will give businesses the solid foundations they need:
Joined up Processes
A collaborative Culture
Future proofed Digital Platforms
Security with anywhere access
What is very apparent from the experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic is the absolute need for connectivity and collaboration. Without these 2 factors we would be in trouble. It is easy to say this, but what does this really mean? What is connectivity and collaboration?
Connectivity is the beating heart of digital transformation; it is what facilitates the solid foundation to continue operating effectively whilst driving the change. As more and more customers go ‘on-line’ or get connected so organisations must evolve to meet this growth in the digital by default expectation. The solution is also not static in nature it is ever evolving, morphing and changing, so the method of adapting to and delivering change needs to be fluid, agile, progressive – sophisticated.
Platforms, systems, and applications, intranet, secure portals, websites, devices, hosting;
Users, customers, teams, patients, staff and colleagues need to collaborate to get things done better, faster, more efficiently, more safely and with better outcomes. To do this within a distributed workforce and when physical contact is restricted requires secure and robust tools. It is now second nature for us to use them to connect online for recreation or to work. It is however not just about the platform that allows us to do this, it is also about up to date, accurate and reliable data and the organisation's collective knowledge pool. If we have 24/7 secure anywhere access to solid and reliable data, knowledge and support, we can pretty much deal with most situations including effectively dealing with the current pandemic.
Vocoll, Teams, intranets, access to data, access to knowledge, sharing knowledge
This global COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the way that we live and work, but it has presented us with an opportunity, an invitation, to learn from our mistakes and shortcomings and be better. There is a feeling that we are on the cusp of an exciting change. We are ready for it, are you?
The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word crisis. The first stands for danger; the second for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger but recognise the opportunity.