Coronavirus became a huge threat for companies. It revealed a long list of problems and weaknesses of companies’ operational agility. The question is how to quickly digitize the business-critical areas in order to decrease the negative effect of such an unexpected crisis?
The extraordinary situation related to the spread of coronavirus forced entrepreneurs to respond quickly and change the way how the organization operates. It can be easily noticed on social media platforms that more and more companies are switching to remote work. It was very demanding especially for those who didn’t develop a digital workplace before. While companies in the IT industry and those technologically advanced, i. e. with complex group work system, operate without any significant problems. Many other companies face a huge challenge: how to ensure business continuity when interpersonal contacts should be reduced to a minimum? Many service, manufacturing or commercial companies cannot afford to send all their employees to work from home but they are still trying their best to cope with the current situation for what they deserve great respect.
Thus, it is worth considering what processes could and should be digitized, not only because of the current epidemiological situation but in order to streamline business processes and protect the company in the future. The business strategy should include appropriate tools and procedures to deal more effectively with the crisis. A flexible approach, quick and efficient adaptation to the prevailing conditions allowed the business to continue without major turbulence.
Major challenges for the companies
Switching to remote working is currently a priority for many companies. Many of them were not ready to implement a “home office”. Thus, without previous experience in that field, with the lack of appropriate procedures and without the ability to connect to the company’s IT infrastructure, creating an effective home office may be very hard but it is necessary for the organization to thrive.
The first problem identified by employers is the lack of sufficient equipment that can be taken home. Many of the employees work on desktop computers and it is quite problematic to take them home. Using private devices, even if permitted might be complicated (software licenses and security and privacy policies). Employees who do not need computers to do their job should be able to keep in touch with the company through their mobile devices.
Another very important problem is the lack of specific IT tools, adequate procedures and clear instructions that will allow both employees and employers to cope with the new reality. These should be easily accessible to all employees so that everyone can read the management’s decisions and the follow-up plan – without going to work.
What kinds of processes are worth digitizing?
Disrupted communication can cause uncertainty, chaos and significant problems with managing people in the organization. This may decrease the overall effectiveness. Therefore, it is so important for employees to be able to contact not only with their superiors but also with their co-workers. Thus, the changing circumstances will not affect the character of their work. This is particularly important for group projects, which require constant mutual consultation. To make the whole communication process smooth and effective it is worth considering well-known tools such as Zoom, Skype (for companies) or Microsoft Teams. To ensure more efficient remote work you will also need an internal communicator with the option of group discussions, a common space for reporting and task updates, easy access to HRM, CRM and other field systems supporting all business processes of the organization. Remote communication is also important in the case of recruitment, which should not be interrupted. Video interviews have been practiced for many years. However, the process of hiring a new employee, including signing a contract, onboarding or training is usually conducted “offline”.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to digitize information flow, internal communication, HR processes, training, internal announcements, task management and all other business processes, including those carried out by different departments of the company, e. g. at the intersection of various fields such as business and trade, marketing or production.
Productive24 – digital workplace
Productive24 is a platform that efficiently centralizes all internal processes, ensures business continuity, and can protect employees during the crisis. Productive24 is a single, comprehensive tool that supports all business processes of any organization, so that remote management won’t be a problem anymore.
Dedicated IT systems built on the basis of the platform allow to automate various activities that previously required physical presence. For example, the HRM Productive24 system created to support the HR Department will automatically generate appropriate documents (e. g. contracts, employee applications) and will store them in electronic form (e-file). With HRM Productive24 you can not only remotely carry out all processes such as onboarding or online training, tracking your employees’; progress (survey module, assessment module) but also smoothly carry out all other HR processes, such as those related to data protection.
Productive24 digitizes any documents and related processes (e. g. circulation of documents such as invoices or employee applications, etc. ). Thus, while their physical circulation was disturbed they can be easily stored and accepted.
The platform ensures constant access to company resources and knowledgebase (the WIKI module), enables the distribution of information in the organization – both directed to the entire crew or specific groups of employees (the announcement module). Additionally, it ensures adequate communication (internal chat). Moreover, it is useful in terms of monitoring the level of implementation of the company’s strategy (OKR, MBO, KPI modules), electronic document circulation (EOD), project and risk management (the project management module), customer relations (CRM) tasks (the ticketing module), absence and time management (the absence management module, the company calendar module), work schedules (the work schedule module), contract management (the contract management module), resources (the booking module, the records and registers module), correspondence (the law firm module), personal data (the GDPR module), marketing and sales (the modules for budgeting and planning promotional campaigns), orders (the order module)…and much much more. All this available in one, single ecosystem where all processes digitized can mutually intertwine, influence and combine with each other. This will, therefore, increase the effectiveness of the whole organization.
It is worth to build up business immunity
Unpredictable factors and situations that were not included while creating the business strategy may cause a lot of troubles for the companies that didn’t prepare any appropriate tools and procedures that will help them to quickly respond to those changing circumstances. This may be a major threat to the liquidity of operations. That difficult situation has, however, its positive sides. The way how the organization operates may change in a positive way and prepare companies for possible future threats. A modern company is a digital company. Thus it has to be digitized to the possible extent taking into account the specificity of a given industry – it is a necessity in the 21st century.