2020 Takeaways: 3 Big Places to Focus as You Plan Ahead

In a recent publication, McKinsey took a look at how the effects of COVID-19 played out in the business world. In it, they not only take into account the massive economic chaos that accompanied the pandemic, but also the dynamics of the workplace environment and the role technology played in it all.

Beyond the general business impact, today we discuss the opportunities the new paradigm presents, and consider what might lie on the road ahead, specifically for process automation and AI.

A Forced Reckoning and Faster Than Expected Turnaround

According to McKinsey, while many businesses had already considered implementing certain aspects of automation and new technologies, the pace and severity of COVID-19 impacts made such considerations necessities.

These changes included new redundancies in supply chains, advanced technologies in operations, increased spending on data security, transitions to remote work and more.

On the whole, McKinsey survey respondents said their companies moved 20 to 25 times faster than they had expected on new technology and other implementations. And in the case of remote working, the figure was 40 times faster!

The biggest takeaway here for businesses is that while planning for implementation that considers the long-term is always the wisest approach, it is also sometimes a luxury. In instances where things must change quickly, technology has proven an invaluable asset. With the right tools in hand, it is quite possible to exceed expectations, even in the face of unbridled uncertainty.

McKinsey goes on to say that the composure of the company itself has a lot to do with resiliency in the midst of COVID-19. The strongest companies they’ve tracked are capitalizing on the moment by finding smarter, more agile and more flexible ways to get work done, placing a strategic emphasis on speed and productivity.

COVID-19 Takeaways: 3 Big Places To Focus As You Plan Ahead
  1. 1. Business Process is Everything:
    On this blog in particular, we’ve long harped on the benefits of efficient, pragmatic and flexible business processes that directly support business outcomes. A quick look through our topics here will prove this is something we think about frequently and long before the pandemic. But what the pandemic has taught us, if somewhat painfully, is that every business can look to their business processes as a source of value. There are a multitude of ways to improve productivity within your business processes. And with tools like the EPSoft Intelligent Automation Platform that does the heavy lifting for you, there has never been a better opportunity to start shaping them.
  2. 2. Embrace Change and Learn From It:
    As the pandemic played out in economies around the world, it became obvious the world was changing before our eyes. While this has always been true, the magnitude and pace at which it happened was greatly accelerated by the virus. Businesses had to change, adapt, and then change some more. As McKinsey noted, not only did businesses change faster than they ever thought they could, but the strongest businesses focus heavily on this flexibility component, allowing for constant, iterative change.
  3. 3. Leverage Technology Focused on Scale and Resilience: In order to grow, adapt and continually improve your business, your business must be built to scale as needed, and resilient enough to weather the unexpected. Technology that supports the lifecycle of your business processes will help ensure scalability and resilience.

2020 wasn’t the year anyone counted on, but it’s clear that even in the face of unprecedented uncertainty, when you focus on the right things, there are always opportunities to grow. As you plan for your year ahead and begin considering new technologies, we invite you to explore our resource library, where you’ll find white papers and discussions about RPA and IPA, and their ever-expanding business benefits.

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