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Within chaos lies opportunity

Governments around the world have taken measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted production, supply chains and markets, and has inadvertently sent economies into a crisis. There will be winners, losers and those in between who merely manage to survive.

businesses closing because of COVID
Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash
As the months have hastened along, businesses have recognized the need to shift focus from mere crisis response to building business resilience and maturity; the two critical factors predicting a company’s fate in the current crisis and in its aftermath. Businesses that will survive the crisis or even thrive in the world of social distancing are the ones with a strong digital backbone. The rest have only been granted a short window of opportunity before they are out of the running in a few months or quarters.

For instance, businesses and government bodies, for whom the lockdown has meant an effective freeze of operations, have the biggest incentive to re-engineer their operations. Banks are a notorious example. Another example is the retail sector that is already in turmoil, and cannot afford to stay the current course if social distancing becomes a preference or norm.

Fortunately, we are seeing more business leaders readily embrace the change in mindset and action. And, our recommendation is for these organizations to take full advantage of the current slow down which will help them emerge stronger when this crisis goes away. We believe the timing might be better than one would think.        

In many organizations, amid the current uncertainty, we are seeing new or ongoing investments being de-prioritised, put on hold or impeded by ground reality. This has created an opportunity to redirect some of the newly freed up capital and capacity. Furthermore, growing awareness of the crisis' severity might allow for internal alignment and the momentum that's needed for the intended recalibration. 

A savvy approach would be to implement quick enhancements as part of a short-term response, and to then build on top of them towards long-term evolution. This would continue the efforts of re-engineering, remodeling and re-architecting after this crisis and make the business resilient and mature, ahead of the next disruption. Thoughtworks has put together a detailed overview of that approach alongside a few examples of quick-win initiatives that progressive businesses can undertake now.

Click here to read the white paper that illustrates how businesses can evolve from ‘crisis response’ to ‘digital maturity and crisis resilience.'

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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