From surviving to thriving, an opportunity to transform with the new normal

As companies have largely stabilized operations, regardless of whether they have had the good fortune of being considered essential by consumers (e.g. cleaning products, pharmaceuticals) or the misfortune of the opposite (e.g. cosmetics, travel), leaders have been shifting their vision to what the new normal will hold – and how to take advantage.

While many behaviours will return to pre-pandemic norms, many others will not.  Numerous changes that were already well under way have accelerated.  For example, organizations were already shifting to anytime, anywhere solutions through cloud technology.  According to a Cloud Adoption 2020 Survey from O’Reilly Media conducted before the pandemic took off, “Seventeen percent of respondents from large organizations (over 10,000 employees) have already moved 100 percent of their applications to the cloud….(and) more than two-thirds (67%) plan to at least move the majority of theirs (>50%) to cloud.”  With the increased importance of remote work and changing perceptions, this trend quickly shifted from if – to when – to how fast.

Along the way, many of these organizations have also begun to see the benefits of the additional flexibility and agility of moving to cloud based solutions.  Some examples include:

  • Need to quickly adjust operations and ensure employees are trained safely on the new procedures? No more tracking down SOPs, creating binders, and scheduling conference room training sessions; cloud solutions ensure the latest approved versions are made available whenever and wherever employees need them and track to ensure training is effectively completed
  • Need to quickly onboard, ramp up, and ensure compliance with new suppliers? No more provisioning laptops, VPN access, or emailing critical information “into the wild”; cloud solutions enable secure, controlled exchange of information beyond the four walls of the organization in real time to ensure ongoing flexibility while reducing risk.
  • Need to change your processes to ensure compliance with the latest changing regulations and standards? No more pulling people off of key projects or being at the mercy of consultants to add another customization; some cloud solutions allow you to ‘point and click’ update your workflows, the data and documents needed, and enable real time analytics to ensure ongoing in market compliance.

To be clear, cloud technology is not the end all, be all answer – it is just one of the tangible means available to enable organizational transformation.  Leaders are rethinking their organizations, core business practices, and supplier partnerships.  “In a crisis, when the immediate response can be all-consuming, transformational moves are harder. They are also smarter and create opportunities to win in the long term.” (‘Advantage Beyond the Crisis’, BCG)  This is the ‘secret sauce’ for organizations that lead the way out of crises like the recent pandemic and continue to accelerate away from the pack.  They’re adapting faster to consumer demands without compromising product efficacy, employee safety or organizational compliance.

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This blog was written and contributed by:

Bruce Beilfuss
Vice President, Strategy, Consumer Goods