While the traditional business models are under increasing pressure due to havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is widespread disruption to supply chains, and changing consumer behavior. In reality many of these traditional business models were already feeling the pressures of a shifting working world in a way that:
- Cost reduction became a priority, since managements seek to leverage new technologies and improve bottom line efficiency indicators
- Key functions such as tax, compliance, risk and finance are expected to increase effectiveness without any additional resources – do more with less
- Regulators are now demanding greater transparency. Consequently, managing obligations has become more complex and costly, as the rules change faster and faster.
- With tougher expectations around return on investment and operational performance – Board demands are on the rise
- Keeping ahead of competitors is harder than ever, requiring deeper industry insights, data analytics and digital tools – as well as the dedicated resources to drive effectiveness. But more importantly – to reimagine, businesses must first assess the damage caused by COVID-19, which means looking beyond the numbers.
Many saw that COVID-19 came with the inadequacies of recent technological solutions driven by years of pending investment and change management. Traditional systems were simply unable to support remote working, meet customers’ needs to transact online or address growing regulatory demands for transparency and digital security and reporting. While the smartest were required to spend most of their time ensuring the businesses continued to work so that critical functions kept operating and information was still credible, timely and effective – at the peak of the crisis. This allowed them time to focus on key strategic decisions that helped better navigate the impact on the business and its recovery – such as stretching operations, improvising on current products and services to make the offer more relevant and reassessing capital position. And now as companies begin to move forward; it only makes it clear that going back to “normal” is simply not an option. Surviving volatility and succeeding in a post-pandemic world will typically require business transformation – either to address shortcomings, access new opportunities, or both.
Transformation is no more about implementing more technology or making some improvements to internal functions – rather reimagining the entire business model to be more resilient and agile. Managed services – For many businesses is the only path to reinvention. An increasing number of companies were considering moving to a managed services operating model before COVID, but the option is now the center of many boardroom agendas. It allows:
- Opening the mindset – Change is no longer an option. During the recovery period, there is a dire need for renewed thinking that will redefine business’s success. In order for leaders to focus on the innovation that will drive recovery, businesses must be open to managed services taking on some of those functions that are board-critical. Through managed services, businesses have the tools to rule out what could be a long and volatile recovery, the resilience to face the economic challenges with confidence and the agility to make the most of opportunities.
- Improving agility: Disruption caused by COVID-19, particularly across various supply chain functions and infrastructure, has amplified the need for businesses to adapt faster to change and be responsive. And integrating this agility into operations will require companies to renew their focus on developing new ecosystems through partnerships, including with managed services providers. Despite volatile conditions, businesses must not be timid in recovery – bold moves will be critical to remodel.
- Capitalizing on insights to fuel innovation: Managed services are able to provide industry experts with sophisticated data analytics that can direct smart strategic decisions. Effective transformation will enable faster, better decisions that can fuel innovation. On the digital front – to better facilitate; managed services give companies solutions that are quick and easy to adopt, cost-effective access to technologies (such as AI), reliable automation and intelligence along with technical expertise needed to run these, without incurring huge costs or challenges in Human Resources.
- Redirecting expenditure: While companies do shift major tasks including, finance, tax, risk and compliance to managed services avoiding huge and fixed cost of capital they substitute it with on-demand flexible services. However, managed services goes beyond the BPO allowing providers’ to leverage their core expertise and investment in technology to make core functions more effective and efficient. Consequently, companies can save cost while they focus on reshaping their capital investment approaches. Additionally, they can ensure compliance with the evolving industry trends and regulatory obligations across all operational domains.
Many organizations are now adapting to look at moving operations to a managed-services model, to fast track business transformation. COVID-19 has augmented the need for businesses to address deficiencies in current operating models. As businesses rebuild in 2021, ability to think differently and transformation are urgently critical – managed services can be the solution – a faster, more effective route to transformation.
Author’s Name: Suman Valeecha
Bio: Author is a business graduate and a marketer. Currently working for financial sector, she is also a faculty member at one of the leading business school in Karachi. She has been a speaker at TEDx.