May 18, 2021
The world has changed dramatically since March 2020. Supply chain models and concepts that we took for granted have been stretched, and in some cases, broken. New business models, new market opportunities, and new ways of working have emerged. As has been said by many, the world will never be quite the same. A recent report by McKinsey, “The future of work after COVID-19,” highlights that e-commerce has grown 2 to 5 times faster than before the pandemic, and that about 20% to 25% of the workforces in advanced economies could work from home between 3 and 5 days per week without a loss in productivity.
So, what is your company’s strategy for the future? Has your business model changed or evolved? Have your employee work patterns, procedures, and expectations changed? Have agility and innovation become more important? While many businesses are wrestling with these and other strategic questions, the important situation to avoid is the old, “Alice in Wonderland” scenario:
Alice asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?”
The Cheshire Cat replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Alice responds, “I don't much care where.”
To which the Cheshire Cat replies, “Then it doesn't much matter which way you walk.”
A well-defined strategy, with clear goals and a plan for how your organization will get there, will be essential for success. And for almost all companies, another critical success factor is likely to be ensuring that you have the right IT strategy in place. Like the acceleration of e-commerce and working from home, another key change is that the world has accelerated toward digital and cloud has become the norm.
Companies running their businesses with on-premises solutions should seriously consider moving to the cloud to benefit from automation, scalability for growth, improved security to mitigate threats, agility to respond to changing customer needs, and the ability to quickly adopt new innovations to stay ahead of competitors. In addition, the cloud can enable you to capture, combine, and analyze data sources to provide new insights and identify opportunities for growth. Do any of these resonate with what your organization is striving to achieve?
To quote Anthony Chapeltegui, IT manager at Z Nautic (a company that recently made the decision to upgrade to the cloud): "There were three main reasons for this choice. The first was Infor's ability to offer us standard business functionalities that were perfectly adapted to our equipment sales (including rental), spare parts management, procurement, and stock management issues. The second is our desire to switch to a SaaS-mode configuration for security, scalability, simplicity, and reliability. The last is the integration of embedded analytical modules to be able, in the long term, to give our users control over the production of tables and reports, particularly by geographical area and by product."
Now is the time to take another look at the advantages cloud offers. You may find the total cost of ownership is also attractive. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
- Susan Lund, Anu Madgavkar, James Manyika, Sven Smit, Kweilin Ellingrud, Mary Meaney, Olivia Robinson, “The future of work after COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, February 18, 2021.
- Infor, “Z Nautic Group Floats to the Cloud with Infor,” May 11, 2021, press release.
- Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (London: Macmillan, 1865) p. 89.