Think Beyond Resilience Amid Pandemic
Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog
No matter which part of the world you are from, by now you must have experienced the disruption brought about by the pandemic. It has impacted the lives, health, and prosperity of millions across the world and what is worse, the future continues to look uncertain. Its impact on economies has been particularly brutal as it has caused troubles across all three parts of the value chain: supply, demand, and operations. It has led to the bankruptcy of many small businesses, caused job losses and an uncertain economic future for many.
However, as more and more countries regain control over this pandemic, there are some encouraging signs on the horizon. Governments, businesses and common citizens have, over time, adapted to the changed circumstances, in ways that allow them to weather this storm better. Ways of working have changed, processes and organizational structures have been revamped, and certain technologies have come into greater focus during these disturbing times. At Capgemini, we too have been working on ways to adapt and improve, so that we can continue to serve our clients better during this time of troubles.
We Understand the Challenges
The outspread of the virus rapidly produced adverse and undesirable health and financial effects which rippled through to businesses and their clients, employees, suppliers, and operations. Suddenly, organizations have observed business perils such as constrained collaboration with customers, disrupted supply chains, inadequate governance, and overwhelmed technology infrastructure.
To help our clients negotiate with current and future challenges, Capgemini has developed a “3R” strategic IT approach that is aligned to both short-term and long-term enterprise goals. The 3Rs – Response, Restore and Relaunch provide a framework that allows a systematic, disciplined and structured response to the various challenges and disruptions thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The actions across these three phases enable business continuity, business resilience, and business growth for the clients. Having said that, our support to the clients goes beyond offer development to on-ground executions of key projects which are currently helping them to respond to the crisis and recover swiftly.
The immediate challenges called for “first aid” actions as part of the preventive strategy. The primary agenda for our clients in this phase was to be resilient to the quickly changing market dynamics. In our current client engagements, we have helped clients through assessment of continuity barriers, identification of necessary organizational reforms, and adoption of technological and procedural changes to ensure that the business kept functioning.
- In one of our engagements, we ensured business continuity for a leading postal service provider in the UK. Through seamless remote collaboration, Capgemini provided rapid delivery of IT functionalities critical for client operations. In another case in same region, Capgemini enabled continuous IT support for a leading luxury fashion brand in the UK.
- As physical visits to stores started declining and online sales picked up, for one of the top retailers in Nordics, we not only scaled up their ecommerce platform to support the traffic that quadrupled in a matter of 2 weeks, but also quickly launched new functionalities for consumers to digitally experience the products they were buying.
With the pandemic wave entering the suppression stage in the world’s major economies, we are gradually entering the recovery phase. Nevertheless, the fear of recession still looms over most of these countries. Companies in these geographies should be prepared for the upcoming challenges in the recovery phase.
- Cost Reduction: As liquidity is key for survival, organizations look for cost reduction opportunities which can have an immediate impact on the company’s cash reserves.
- Workforce Productivity: A shift to a remote workplace alone won’t suffice to meet the organization’s current needs. Workforce productivity enhancement involves re-alignment of resources, re-configuration of the workplace, re-determination of work shift schedules, and renovation of employee efficiency tracking.
- Security: With employees working from home, cyber-attacks such as phishing and ransomware are on the rise. Thus, giving rise to the need for robust cybersecurity solutions.
- Supply Chain Continuity: Supply chain streamlining requires a focus on optimization of the product portfolio, thorough supplier assessment, and efficient inventory management.
- BCP and DR Reinforcement: As the crisis caught us unawares this time, there is a dire need for a revamped plan that covers all elements of the value chain, including people, workplaces, technologies, processes, sourcing, and delivery, to handle similar contingencies in future.
To deal with the above hurdles, actions in the restore phase concentrate on diminishing the impact of COVID-19 by gradually bringing business operations back to their original scale. To attain the original state, we are working with our clients to explore the best options to restart frozen business capabilities with limited resources at hand.
- Currently, we are helping our client, a leading American fast-food chain, by translating the new way to sell in its Beverage Video System. Capgemini has deployed an order placement feature across 14,000 restaurants with a speed of 1000 deployments/day while continuing the support for other applications.
- In another engagement, we are working with a Swedish Manufacturer to reduce spends across different business services.
In the coming months, as the pandemic wave is further suppressed, enterprises will aim to accelerate growth and disrupt the market. However, they would need to address the following pain areas to become leaders of tomorrow:
- Cost Optimization: Adopting only quick fixes and unsustainable reduction methods can leave organizations devoid of a long-term competitive strategy.
- Business Model Evolution: The dynamics of the post-pandemic world will change the definition of customer value, as well as the formula for profit, hence, organizations would need to continuously evolve their business models.
- Demand Generation and Distribution Management: Apart from a few industries which have observed a spike in sales, most of them have seen a slump in revenue which can be attributed to fall in demand, restricted customer reach or both.
- Automation and Intelligence: Sophisticated process automation and AI solutions will get more ingrained in future operations and decision making
To strengthen capabilities in the above areas, the relaunch phase will focus on the actions necessary to excel in the post-COVID-19 world. The new normal may vary across industries and geographies, however, it would have digital adoption as a common denominator. Today, there are many clients across Europe where we are consulting them to relook at their IT Landscapes and IT Spends to refuel their transformation journey.
At the moment, the business environment may not look conducive for most of the organizations, but our tomorrow will be improved by the paths we traverse through during the current difficulties. The 3R approach is a structured way of addressing the questions raised by the pandemic and is designed to help our clients not just survive but also thrive once the crisis is over. This is why the combined measures across the three phases include an optimal mix of both protective as well as progressive actions. Using this framework, we are already working closely with most of our clients to build agility and resiliency, in these challenging times.
To know more about the 3R framework and what it means for your business, you can write to me email@example.com or drop a comment below. In the end, just remember that we are all in this together. Communicate, collaborate, and stay safe.