By Anna Tan, Head of Apps, Oracle Philippines
The ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis has caught everyone off guard. The global lockdown in some of the largest economies has led to an unforeseen break in economic activity. While governments are taking cautious steps with gradual lifting of lockdowns, we are confronted with a new normal. Over the next few months, we will witness the unveiling of this new normal and its impact on businesses. However, one thing is clear, the new normal is going to be far more digital, it’s going to elevate individuals’ and corporations’ transacting models to an unimaginable level.
The territory ahead is unchartered, so it becomes imperative for organizations to understand and develop ways to create value out of every organizational function. Expertise and acquired skills can help alleviate risks and rebuild efforts for businesses and communities alike. At the same time, the situation presents significant opportunity for companies to: rethink and reconsider; to challenge conventional thinking; to encourage innovation and creativity. All businesses rely on the effectiveness of their Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to maintain essential functions during and after any crisis situation. If an organization does not have one, it is time to go back to the drawing board.
I have been talking to many customers over the last few months and have observed that now, more than ever, organizations are realizing the need for a strong digital foundation. They are reimagining business resiliency and fine-tuning business continuity plans based on strong foundations provided by new-age digital technologies. Businesses are progressively looking to digital technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence to ensure business continuity.
As an example, EEI Corporation, one of the leading construction companies in the Philippines, has implemented Oracle Cloud ERP which allows the company to have timely information on the costs of thousands of activities within every project. Management can compare the budget to actual spend and have visibility into the entire procurement process. The company can likewise gain detailed financial insights into its complex projects around the world.
Now is an opportune time for companies to take a pragmatic view of their IT infrastructure and assess whether they have built a resilient business model that can quickly adapt to future disruptions. Switching to an OPEX model is inevitable, leading to increased usage of cloud-based services. Consumer demand for digital solutions has never been greater, however with the overall transaction volume low, the opportunity to build improved digital platforms has never been greater.
Nonetheless, before fast-tracking their digital transformation, business leaders need to take a step back and re-evaluate their road maps as well as beliefs about their underlying value and feasibility. These beliefs need to be based on current and still emerging customer behaviors, supplier dynamics, and regulations. According to a Mckinsey study, digital interaction with B2B customers are now two times more important than traditional channels—more than a 30 percent jump since before the crisis.
In conclusion, I’d like to leave this thought – the future is unknown, but not dark. We have seen some remarkable instances of human resilience over the past few weeks. Amidst us are data visionaries who are finding ways through analytics and automation, to use new types and sources of data to generate value. Recovery may still be out of sight, but it will come and businesses who will be best prepared for this digital future will have the best chance for not just survival, but a brighter future.