Stick or twist? COVID-19 combined with a likely no-deal Brexit is seeing unprecedented times for UK businesses. What’s the best approach to take to ensure the future success of your business? Ronnie Wilson, Senior Executive Vice President at Serviceware puts his cards on the table and explains how to take on the combination of two of the biggest economic challenges ever faced.
The notion of fight or flight has been brought dramatically to organisations’ doorsteps in 2020. Despite many businesses choosing or being forced into the latter option and turning away from ordinary investment patterns, this strategy is unlikely to safeguard their futures.
With COVID-19 still punching businesses in the UK and worldwide, a further blow is set to arrive in the form of a no-deal Brexit in the months to come. Hunkering down and protecting yourself may seem like the best option, when actually there is still room to throw a considered and strategic punch of your own.
This isn’t to understate the current climate, of course. The pandemic has caused widespread turmoil: from the scaling back of workforces, to Europe-wide downturns, and now the first UK recession since 2009. To make matters worse, those who have absorbed the COVID attack are predicted to be most vulnerable to the forthcoming EU withdrawal.
Inevitably, an initial reaction is of protectionism. Minimise costs, guarantee a stable cash flow, protect employees. Simply: stay alive. However, by shutting down proactivity altogether, futureproofing – and therefore, longer-term survival – will be put severely at risk.
A considered game plan
Rather than battening down the hatches, organisations must instead free up money for ongoing investment into future growth. Stagnation is akin to giving up, and the C-suite now needs to ensure that they are developing a business strategy that is customer-centric, transparent and collaborative, in order to ignite more strategic and considered investment.
This possibly means investing in the company you’re envisaging for the new future, rather than for the one that exists now. Inevitably, this requires forethought, and clear, transparent planning.
Firstly, every organisation needs complete financial visibility across the business, but especially for IT assets/spend, which now account for a substantial percentage of budgets along with digital transformation initiatives. It’s key to understand the usage, performance and cost levers in real-time, in order to make the right investments and vendor choices as part of this futureproofing, transformative strategy.
Punch with precision
Understanding costs and optimizing spend sounds like an obvious business strategy, but for many the issue has been further forced or accelerated by the pandemic, where customer purchasing methods have changed dramatically and historical budget padding has been removed.
What has held organisations back traditionally has been the idea of removing decision-making from manual hands and placing it into the clutches of automation. However, pride is being thrown out of the window under such strained circumstances, as organisations realise that effective futureproofing and development can only be achieved off the back of optimum investment decisions, driven by data.
The answer here lies in the right financial management tool, which is vital in enabling the C-Suite to gather important, real-time, operational, project and vendor cost data. Being able to make smart financial decisions by modelling your own fact-based scenarios and goals is a sure-fire way of adding value, through optimising services and refining processes.
Failing to realise the value of data and analytics when tools are so mature and accessible through cloud-based SaaS offerings, is no longer an option. With the stakes so high, doing so will either result in swinging wildly with ill-conceived investments, or a continued hunkering down in the corner until the storm has passed.
Find out more about how financial management tools, and a more proactive approach to digital investment, can help your business through the remainder of 2020. Learn all about the benefits of proper ITFM and get a free demonstration tailored to your business demands by following the link below.