Business Continuity At The Forefront
The one thing that was on most companies’ mind throughout 2020 was recovery. The low business phase that the restrictions have brought upon non-digital organizations was immense. Furthermore these companies had also had to adapt to the fluctuations in business growth and put business continuity front and center.
In the grand scheme of things, 2020 was just a blip on the radar. Businesses have been through worse and will continue to do so. What makes 2020 different is that it was the first time where so many companies were impacted globally by something out of their control. It’s easy to forget that, businesses were still figuring out how to do business in a digital age.
The pandemic forced companies to take a step back and evaluate their business continuity plans. For some, this was a good opportunity to improve on their existing plans. Others had to completely start from scratch. In either case, the key was to not let their plans fall by the wayside just because things had returned to “normal.”
What does this mean for the future?
With the ever-changing landscape of technology, that plan needs to be adaptable and scalable. It is becoming increasingly common for businesses to outsource their IT needs.
This can be a great option for companies who don’t have the bandwidth or resources to handle everything in-house. However, it is important to make sure that your third-party providers are also Business Continuity Plan (BCP) compliant.
As much as anyone might dislike it, the ‘new norm’ will be financially shaky, that much is certain. In consequence, the same companies have started reacting, remodeling, and returning to business. No matter the ‘shore, business continuity all but forced most organizations to maintain previous outsourcing relationships. Having said that, these relationships would usually start including certain new provisions and policy changes.
A Shift In Perspective
In some cases, it may even be necessary to shift the focus of the business. What separates those companies that can truly come back and not just limp along, is their ability to maintain continuity in their relationships with others. In normal circumstances, this would be considered a triviality. However during a time of global catastrophe, it’s the difference between life and death.
How? Businesses have had to start being proactive in reaching out to new suppliers, customers, and business partners. Rather than waiting for the other side to initiate contact, they are building new relationships before anything bad happens. This can be tricky, as it’s often difficult to know who is still reliable.
Before the rest, businesses have begun favoring those outsourcing contracts that included global uncertainty type provisions. As you can guess, these provisions covered lockdown scenarios.
Businesses have also been stockpiling inventory, and finalizing deals with 3rd party businesses. In the current global pandemic, we have seen a rise in business continuity. Businesses are continuing to operate as they always have, while everyone else is seemingly on hold.
Hesitant, confused, and, at times, downright scared, startups and SMBs continued building products. Moving them to the digital space, and strengthening previous outsourcing relationships. This has been able to not just keep the business afloat but also build immunity to future disruptions.
Today, when people go to third-party vendors, business continuity is usually the first item on the company’s list. Aside from the usual factors that go into assessing an outsourcing company. Businesses also look at the said company’s data security and project stamina. Looking at the recent COVID developments, this is not the trend that will slow down anytime soon.
Sustainable Outsourcing Will Prevail
When they meet the term ‘sustainable’, most people picture eco-conscious practices. Prioritizing the environment first and foremost. That’s not the sustainability that we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is general sustainability. Meaning those practices that meet today’s needs without compromising tomorrow’s needs.
When most people think about business continuity, they think about data backup, redundancies and alternative plans. While those are all important aspects of continuity planning, they’re not enough on their own. Businesses also need to be prepared for the unexpected things that can happen. A Global Pandemic being one of them. That means having a solid plan in place for outsourcing staff.
These are the practices that will continue garnering attention from companies seeking long-term relationships. In today’s uncertain times, businesses were forced to revoke contracts with outsourcing vendors they couldn’t trust in the long haul.
It was the third-party outsourcing companies with a proven track record of data security and general project stamina that managed to stay afloat. Businesses are now more conscientious than ever about who they partner with. How these partnerships can be mutually beneficial even in the face of global adversity is incredibly important.
Sustainability is key in any industry but is especially important when faced with global uncertainties. Businesses need to be able to trust their outsourcing partners and know that these partners can be counted on.
Moving forward, the same companies will start (and already have started) siding with those agencies that can maintain strategic partnerships in the long run. Likewise, future companies will more than before value reliable networks with those third-party service providers who can ensure business continuity.
Wearing Many Hats
The relationships that we’re describing here will look a little different compared to the current approach. Besides focusing on the project(s) at hand, these partnerships will be looking at the big-picture goals. The same 2020 Deloitte survey that we’ve mentioned before tells us that clients are not interested in traditional vendor management anymore. They want people that understand technology, know the startup ecosystem, and can guide internal stakeholders without any assistance.
This leaves little room for specific rolls. Companies are looking for a partner that can fill in the gaps. Someone who knows how to outsource staff, build new relationships and keep the old ones thriving. Instead of viewing third-party partners as just resources, companies need to see them as an extension of their team. Building more products and running headfirst into a digital format is not sustainable if you don’t have the relationships in place to support it.
The goal is to maintain the relationships that you have with customers and outside of your primary customer base. Other sales will probably dry up pretty quickly if there’s a global pandemic going on. Quickly establish new ones. Even though it might seem impossible during these tough times, it’s important to remember that companies did survive and thrive after COVID-19
Before, most companies were looking toward outsourcing agencies for short-term solutions. Now, outsourcing service providers and the buyers are forming valuable and lasting relationships.
Businesses continuity is being redefined as the ability to work through hard times. These partnerships are a key part of that. Troubleshooting aspects of your business that need to be adjusted. Moving forward with business continuity at the forefront is essential to making sure that these relationships stay strong. It’s not always easy, but it is manageable with the right attitude.
Remember, these relationships are a two-way street. Just like companies need to be there for their partners, partners also need to be there for companies. That means being flexible and understanding when things change. It also means being able to shift focus when needed and not expecting miracles overnight. Building long-term relationships takes time, effort and dedication from both sides.
Many people might think that it’s impossible to maintain sustainability during tough times, but they would be wrong. The key is to keep your eye on the big picture and make sure that your business practices reflect your values. That means looking for sustainable solutions, even if they take a little longer to implement.
Widening Your Net
Being prepared for anything and everything you can as a business is difficult. The past year brought many challenges to the already changing business environment.
Creating community within your businesses and broadening your horizons with new and innovative technologies will help maintain sustainability, the key for any business looking to make an impact in today’s society. Building more products and running headfirst into a digital format is not sustainable if you don’t have the relationships in place to support it. Establishing new relationships takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it in the end.
Some things haven’t changed that much though. As always, the buyers set up goals (and the risks that come with these goals), changes, and requirements. From there, they build and choose the outsourcing strategy that fits these parameters. At this stage, all that’s left is kiss the bride join hands in building a strong, long-lasting partnership.