How Times of Crises Can Serve as an Opportunity for Change

Written by Elango R, President – Enterprise 5, North Americas, Mphasis

Crises have shaped human history. Every time, communities and nations have risen from them, adapted to change, and found new ways to live and flourish.

This is because crises are great times of opportunity. When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” itself is composed of two characters – while one represents danger, the other represents opportunity.

Businesses that make it to the other side of upheavals ride it out by loosening their hold on erstwhile successful models, re-evaluating their supply chain, and “using” crises as an occasion to reimagine the company’s business model, and sometimes its very purpose.

We don’t need to go too far back in time to remember examples of commercial airline companies switching out their flights to serve as cargo planes during the Covid-19 pandemic; restaurant chains doubling up as grocery markets; and hotels providing affordable day rates to work-from-home employees.

And though not evident in every instance, underlining nearly every recent successful business adaptation is technology. Its ability to underwrite entire ecosystems of production and communications means that when a squeeze takes place on a company’s resources or operations, technology steps in to help do more for less, focus on customers who really matter, strategize communications, and leverage the power of the cloud.

Let us take a closer look.


Doing More with Less

During times of crisis, organizations face the need to compress, extend and leverage the investments they have made in people, process, and technology. This is when businesses will do well to adopt minimally disruptive transformation practices.

Organizations, especially large legacy firms, looking for transformation need to learn how to prioritize it incrementally. No organization can change overnight. But what they can do is focus on transforming key components of its enterprise IT architecture by adopting smart technologies like automation, which can help save money and time while focusing on other parts of the organization in need of change.

Plotting opportunities on a grid with ‘impact of change‘ and ‘ease of execution’ as focus areas, will provide firms with the first set of priorities. The grid will also help visualize which domains are likely to have the least impact, providing clarity on areas to reduce spends on and divert limited resources to high impact sectors. The key throughout will be to look for small but steady wins that line up with the bigger picture.

A common mistake executives make at such times is to let the complexity of technology deter them from transformation decisions. A tech partner will undoubtedly be needed but there are many specialized players in the market who will step in, and some with minimally disruptive transformation archetypes embedded in their DNA.


Prioritizing Customer Lifetime Value

The second way in which businesses can get more value for money, especially during times of crisis, is by prioritizing customers with high lifetime value. When budgets are limited and investments have been curtailed, organizations can rethink expansion plans by focusing on a target audience that can be depended on for a steady ROI.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence or AI and machine learning or ML can step in to assist in this endeavor, as these can scour through data, derive patterns, and provide insights into trends around future purchases. This can, in turn, help firms rethread their marketing and production strategies to best suit high-value customers’ current needs and future aspirations.

Noting that there is a lot of complexity and mystery surrounding AI and ML, companies moving into AI/ML can get lost or take too much time to make decisions or spend too much time and money with no results. This is why it is crucial to bring in a specialized partner, focus on ‘fail fast’ proof of concepts and continuously improve data quality. After all, AI is only as good as the data that goes into the basic models.


Strategizing Communications

Important as they are, tactical solutions can only achieve as much impact as the communication woven around them. The way an organization strategizes communication during crises has a cascading effect on employees, supply chain partners, investors, and clients.

Being able to leverage branding can impact a company’s prospects during times of flux. This is because the story it tells itself and the external world while dealing with change provides its stakeholders with a sense of how resilient the company is and how successful it will be in adapting to an altered ecosystem.

Consider an example of a company that branded their technology transformation as an opportunity for employees to work on new technologies, not as a way to get out of the current technology that all of them loved and were comfortable with. Needless to say, this proved to be a huge hit and created positive change in the organization.


Leveraging FinOps Teams to Find Success with the Cloud

Last, but not least, businesses using the cloud can also better deal with the impact of a crisis on cost management by embracing the help of their financial operations teams. This group can provide businesses with the agility to continue to invest more smartly so that growth continues even during times of great change.

Nearly every business has moved or is moving to the cloud for disaster recovery, and agility. However, the move entails additional expenditure, which is why companies will do well to rope in financial operations to help make the most of the investment. FinOps can provide visibility into the costs of investing in the cloud. With it, organizations across verticals can follow their cloud spending and focus on specific areas where they can lower costs.

Crises pose existential challenges to companies, but the more organizations view it as an opportune time to revisit day-to-day operations and business models, the more they stand to gain now and in the long run.


About Mphasis

Mphasis’ purpose is to be the “Driver in a Driverless Car” for global enterprises by applying next-generation design, architecture, and engineering services, to deliver scalable and sustainable software and technology solutions. Customer-centricity is foundational to Mphasis, and it is reflected in Mphasis’ Front2Back™ Transformation approach. Front2Back™ uses the exponential power of cloud and cognitive computing to provide a hyper-personalized (C=X2C2TM=1) digital experience to clients and their end customers. Mphasis’ Service Transformation approach helps ‘shrink the core’ through the application of digital technologies across legacy environments within an enterprise, enabling businesses to stay ahead in a changing world. Mphasis’ core reference architectures and tools, speed and innovation with domain expertise and specialization, combined with an integrated sustainability and purpose-led approach across its operations and solutions are key to building strong relationships with marquee clients. Click here to know more or contact: