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From crisis to recovery: reinventing business continuity for a new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the entire enterprise landscape. As it continues to evolve, now’s the time to start reinventing your business continuity plan (BCP) for the post-pandemic world.

The coronavirus outbreak has thrown into sharp focus the crucial role of a BCP – both in supporting and maintaining your business’ operations in times of crisis.

Now, as we transition into recovery and renewal phases of the pandemic, business continuity planning demands a new approach: one that is tailored to help you survive and thrive in the new world order.

Start with putting employees first

‘Pre-COVID-19, companies spoke about digitizing the workplace. Today, we talk about digitizing the workforce,’ said Sean Kwek, Managing Director of the Cloud Communications division of NTT Ltd., Asia Pacific at the recent Online 2020: Asia Risk and Resilience Conference.

This shift is testament that perspectives have changed. The pandemic has reminded us that people take precedence over everything else. ‘they are, after all, the key drivers behind business continuity and operations,’ Kwek said in his keynote delivery.

We saw proof of this when COVID-19 first hit, and organizations had to turn their workforces remote almost overnight to safeguard their employees. At this time, a ‘people first’ approach is even more relevant. Especially as employees re-enter the workplace and start operating in the new world that COVID-19 is shaping.

To support a positive return-to-work experience, Kwek said that organizations must prioritize their employees’ well-being throughout the re-introduction period and beyond. He added that this return phase of the crisis is a good time for organizations to create more tailored responses to workplace challenges. In addition, it opens up opportunities to elevate the trust and rapport earned during the earlier phases.

Building a BCP for the new normal

Cloud-based productivity tools have been crucial in enabling remote communication and collaboration, and will continue to power these experiences

Safeguard your business continuity with the right tools

The sudden disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the adoption of new tools and technologies. Cloud-based collaboration tools enabled newly dispersed teams to stay connected seamlessly and securely. They also became critical to facilitating productive remote working arrangements.

During this time, platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex delivered ways to call and meet online, and to share and collaborate on files. All within a highly-secure environment.

Having experienced this new normal, organizations are now re-imagining the way that work can be done. This may include the extended use of cloud-based technologies and automation. Other options will likely include flexible work arrangements, and extended and permanent work-from-home working patterns.

Suffice to say that remote working, once seen as an employee benefit, is now being looked at as a business lever. This makes having the right collaboration tools especially important in allowing businesses to operate efficiently in the new normal. Beyond that, it ensures greater defensibility should there be a resurgence of the virus.

Facilitate adoption of new technologies

Game-changing transformation requires game-changing behaviours. This means driving the adoption of new technologies and helping employees embrace new ways of working.

If users don’t adapt to and adopt the new technology, it is wasted money, time and effort. However, user adoption isn’t achieved simply by training users on how to implement these new technologies. It is achieved by gaining user buy-in and commitment.

‘Before you make a decision to deploy a new technology, be sure to solicit feedback from your end-users. Their views will be incredibly important in facilitating your decision,’ Kwek advised.

Further, as a new wave of Gen-Z-ers and millennials enter the workforce, demand and appetites for new technologies will continue to increase. And reshape the future of the workplace.

Reskill and upskill your workforce

As the saying goes: ‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ In the same vein, helping employees reskill and upskill enables them to be self-sufficient and adaptable amid the rapidly changing conditions of the new world.

This dynamic goes beyond remote working. It’s about how organizations can upgrade their workforce to deliver new working models and to strengthen their structure for future disruptions.

To meet this challenge, companies should put together a talent strategy that develops employees’ digital and cognitive capabilities. And one that builds versatility and resilience. The end-goal is to create a sustainable flexible working model that is both agile and scalable, and will enable employees to continue working effectively anytime, anywhere.

Watch: Reinventing your BCP through technology

Sean Kwek, Managing Director of the Cloud Communications division of NTT Ltd., Asia Pacific at the recent Online 2020: Asia Risk and Resilience Conference. Click to watch the video.

New mindset for the new normal

‘We went from being The Flintstones to The Jetsons in less than a year. Within this duration, many companies have adopted and consumed digital assets at a rate that is almost threefold compared to pre-pandemic times,’ said Kwek during his keynote.

Indeed, it has been said time and again that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the greatest workplace transformation of our time. One that is still continuing.

With that, more businesses have noted the huge success of remote working and virtual collaborations.

Many are beginning to re-evaluate the role of the physical space. And exploring new ways to scale their remote working infrastructure.

How the workplace will fully transform remains to be seen. But no matter the organization, having a post-pandemic BCP and new preparedness is crucial to building defensibility and resilience against the unknown future.

Now is the time to make changes and emerge stronger, ready to face the next challenge.

Want to learn more about how cloud communications solutions can help ensure your business continuity? Contact us today.

About the author

As Content Marketing and Campaigns Manager, Fiona oversees all marketing-related content initiatives within the APAC region. She has over a decade of collective experience in journalism, public relations and marketing communications across tech, finance and real estate industries.

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