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COVID-19 has affected every industry, causing businesses to revise budgets, amongst many other operational matters, in order to manage the effects of the pandemic. With the viability of several companies at risk as a result, companies are striving to be in a position of financial stability, and adopting new technical trends as part of digital transformation is definitely one way to maintain business relevancy in this new context.
Moreover, the goal is not just surviving, but also thriving, as global competition is fierce, and the pandemic environment has made it even more agressive. This new setting forces CEOs to analyze their companies, so that they can first take advantage of areas they can leverage to improve efficiency and reduce costs in order to focus on generating revenue activities. Bringing more efficiency to the daily workflow is set to become the focus of many businesses in the future, and the only way further is by embracing technical trends and advancements.
#1: The old strategy has changed, or needs to change
In the past 12 months CEOs have been faced with overwhelming challenges and uncharted territories as they continue to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the context will carry on, as the pandemic’s progress, strength or recurrence in different geographies is affecting recovery strategies, even with a vaccine present, whose distribution is also different and may delay the “return to normal” we all expected. Course correcting, re-evaluating scenarios, and strengthening the ability to respond have become must-have skills in the past 12 months, and those that have not yet adapted (and managed to survive on the market) are now competing with companies that have boosted their technology, business plan, and strategy by at least 2 to 4 years. The market we will all be present in once the pandemic will be over will have a different setting, and our mindset needs to change as well.
#2: The customer is different, embrace this
The global pandemic has changed consumer experiences, attitudes and behaviors. Companies will need to consider the impact on the way they design, build and run the experiences that people need and want. Which means an opportunity to reimagine digital strategies that capture new marketplace opportunities as well as new digital customer segments.
#3 Finances have taken a hit, make the right choices
From plummeting sales and revenue, to increased costs, CEOs and their companies globally have taken a hit in the past year. There is an immediate need to adapt, which may require investments in key technologies, processes and people, investments which can have an immediate impact on the survival of the company and its financial health going forward.
#4 Invest in the right technology
Even before the pandemic, many organizations faced considerable IT challenges. Now, COVID-19 is pushing companies to rapidly operate in new ways and IT is being tested as never before. New technological advancements adopted at a fast pace will not only ensure that the company will keep its clients and revenue, but that it will also keep the pace with the competition and the trends on the market. Let’s have a look at some technical trends that have emerged as relevant and important to have in the past year.
The current pandemic is expediting the adoption of digital channels and digital ways of working, which are often founded upon Cloud infrastructure. This rapid adoption curve will give companies an opportunity to update their digital risk framework, test resilience and gain further from the benefits of rapid scalability.
One of the results of digital transformation is the increase of number of APIs and web applications. And the risk of vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers is directly proportional with this increase. Therefore, it is critically important for companies to manage a secure transition to a digital environment by guaranteeing the user a safe navigation in a secure environment where the data will remain private.
Gartner predicts that APIs will become the number one application attack by 2022, and because it has a major role in the digitalization movement, it is essential to handle all API security gaps.
Especially in the current pandemic context, organizations need to have day-to-day processes in sync with IT by focusing on the same goal – a strong relationship between business and IT, which is today’s primary key to success. To create this digital transition, organizations should consider a micro services infrastructure for their product. The benefits are obvious:
- improved reliability (if a micro service is down, it will not affect the entire app),
- faster releases (reduces build time, test execution times, etc.), therefore reduced time-to-market, a huge advantage for the business,
- scalability and adaptability, which will help the organization foster new business models and be able to adapt to new developments in the market, as well as be relevant for its customers.
The COVID pandemic was a ramp for hackers to expand their campaigns of attacks against businesses worldwide, so even though cybersecurity was always an important aspect in a business, starting with 2020 it has become a critical technical trend. Moreover, the volume of data is rapidly increasing and we find ourselves in need of machines to be able to interpret the data, therefore the value of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to data analytics is major. Studies show a considerable growth in the adoption of AI in 2021, with Deloitte reporting that companies have been heavily financing AI technology in the 2020, with 53% of AI adopters spending more than USD 20 million on AI-related technology and talent.
Finding a solution in outsourcing
There is a continued demand for cloud infrastructure services, and potential increases in spending on specialized software. Most organizations do not have tech stacks in place and will need help from IT service providers to set up a resilient, flexible and secure IT solution.
Through outsourcing, businesses can focus their funds, reducing expenses by eliminating the need to hire or train new employees and/or the support staff, and thus enabling opportunities for growth. The great advantage in the process of outsourcing is the fact that it allows company owners to build a team of skilled professionals without adding the expense of full-time employees or equipment. With outsourcing, business owners can focus their resources on their company’s core needs and spend their time setting new goals and finding ways to achieve them.
Where to next?
With a plethora of advice and information online on how to approach business strategy for the years to come, it is difficult to know what to listen to first, what to read first, what to do first. The main thing to do when considering future in this new context, is switching to a flexible, growth mindset. Embracing challenges and persevering in face of failures will help in reaching and achieving company innovation.
Building is very important also in this stage, as a stagnant rhythm, although safe and consistent, might not bring the same results in the “future of” scenario, driven by technology adoption and change. Considering future of work tools, for both customers as well as internal business processes may be the difference between a fast, smooth process, and a frustrating user flow that leads to abandonment.
Finally yet importantly, collaborating can become a life raft in this environment – by maintaining a lone-wolf mentality, one can lose opportunities that would not be available otherwise, and be prone to failure or even a closed business. From teaming up with a software outsourcing company for technical trends and improvements, a sales and marketing team for growing a customer base, and even a merger or acquisition opportunity to enhance budget and capabilities, partnering up might be the right answer that can mobilize a company into growth for 2021.
About Andreea Zanfirescu
Within Maxcode, Andreea has mastered different roles, from technical to business-oriented. This experience has helped her understand all stages of the outsourcing business, so now her focus is to discover new opportunities for Maxcode and participate in the evolution of the company. Moreover, her commitment stands and has always stood in a great partnership with our clients, and a flawless collaboration on projects, from start to finish.
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