Graham Healy of Avanade Ireland explains how companies should respond, reset and renew to succeed in the post-Covid world.
The coronavirus pandemic has put business continuity plans in every industry to the test. So what can companies do to ensure their post-Covid progression is relatively smooth? I spoke to Graham Healy, country manager at Avanade Ireland, to learn more. Avanade delivers digital, IT and advisory services to clients all over the world.
Healy said there are three key steps leaders will need to take: responding to the crisis, resetting their organisation and renewing in due course.
“There are three macro thematic steps that I would look for companies to undertake,” he added. “One is keep your foot on the pedal. Most companies have implemented more change in weeks and months than they would normally do in years. Really use this opportunity to extend that change and to continue with it.
“Secondly is to do it in a ‘no regrets’ manner. So make sure it’s secure and look at things like data compliance, managing the perimeter of your security and your secure online collaboration with both your customers and your employees.
“And thirdly then, as always and more persistently and with more focus, prioritise your customer and employee experience. That’s going to require an omni-channel approach.”
‘Grabbing the nettle’ in the post-Covid world
Healy said that the challenges companies have faced in the past few months spanned change readiness, resilience and flexibility, effective collaboration, maintaining customer service and efficient supply chains.
Working through these, he explained, will require specific skills. “Ultimately, it’s about grabbing the nettle. Otherwise you’re going to leave everything to chance. Have a clear vision, whether that be an IT vision or a more strategic business vision, and, most importantly, execute on that vision.
“You know, the technologies are there; they exist and they are there to enable that transformation. But it’s primarily about the will of the organisation to transform and to bring its people and its customers on that change journey. So really it is as much a people activity as it is a technology activity.”
Covid-19 has accelerated our move from “the old world of on-premise technology and on-premise tech employees to cloud and a mixed employee environment, both virtual and physical”, Healy said.
Riding this wave of change will require “an evergreen mindset”, he added. Previously, digital transformation saw a company continue on to business as usual after the changes were complete. Now, however, there are going to be “constant sprints of transformation”.
“The skills that are needed relate to an ability to work with ambiguity and an ability to adapt quickly to fluid situations,” Healy said. “You know, change happens. It will continue to happen. So we need to anticipate it, monitor it, adapt to it and, ultimately, enjoy it and be willing to embrace the fact that it is ever constant.”