Kushagra Shrivastava, Managing Director, Verizon

Business resiliency took on a new meaning in 2020. The pandemic, civil and political unrest created significant challenges for businesses across the country. Companies that seemed untouchable struggled and many businesses were forced to close their doors. With all the uncertainties in the world, business owners and leaders must prioritize resiliency, flexibility, and adaptability in 2021. Building a resilient business can be achieved through strategic technology integration backed by strong organizational leadership.

Business resiliency through technology implementation

2020 proved the importance of adapting to unpredictable circumstances. Leveraging technology is key to remaining agile and being flexible enough to thrive amid uncertainty. Consider how important integrated technology systems became in 2020, when the world pivoted to a nearly universal remote workforce. Integrating website, email, chat and video conferencing systems became paramount to keeping businesses running at some semblance of “normal.”Secure cloud platforms and VPNs enabled safe communication, collaboration, and file-sharing across teams and organizations. These technologies were mission-critical to business success in 2020 and will become even more important in the new year.

Taking it to the next level in 2021

Robust technology integration is a key aspect of creating a resilient business. Having a data-driven supply chain can help prevent issues such as the supply chain disruption the world experienced in 2020. Automating manual processes through AI and machine learning creates more time for strategic goal setting and improving the bottom line. Business intelligence tools can provide analytics to cross-functional teams, from human resources, sales and marketing, to finance and supply chain, enabling business leaders make smarter, more informed decisions.

Digitizing critical aspects of business management is also key to building a resilient business. For example, digitizing contract management can help legal departments minimize risk, decrease margin of error, and can help businesses react swiftly and effectively to unforeseen circumstances. Strategic technology integration can help businesses withstand economic downturn and remain agile enough to succeed despite circumstances that are out of their control. 

Developing an agile workforce

Building a resilient business must be an organization-wide goal. An important example of this in 2021 will be how businesses approach and strategize around new working models. As hybrid work from home infrastructures become more common, a thoughtful approach to developing and implementing new working models requires collaboration between human resources, tech, and business leaders. Working in tandem, these leaders must pursue plans that promote efficiency and security, but also ensure employees feel listened to, supported, and valued. Working models that allow for flexibility ultimately enhance workforce productivity and stability, in turn helping businesses run more efficiently and effectively.

Building an agile business

Resiliency must be at the core of business plans for both established business leaders and budding entrepreneurs. While the turbulence of today’s business and consumer landscape may seem daunting, new business opportunities are emerging to meet needs and serve new customers. This has created the perfect climate for entrepreneurs to pursue business endeavors that align with these new needs. Consider the circumstances under which iconic brands like Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, and Airbnb were born—economic hardships and recession often leads to innovation and the establishment of flexible, resilient companies. Building a business that will last must start with conducting ample research, identifying white space for the new company, creating a business plan, and developing a strong operational strategy before launching. Working with a trusted partner company to help develop a business plan can also be helpful, as consulting with a business advisor can help minimize risk and build with resiliency in mind.

Building for the future

The COVID-19 pandemic proved that businesses must be resilient to survive. Technology is key to developing businesses that can not only withstand unprecedented circumstances, but also grow stronger in the face of uncertainty. As markets and economies continue to change, building an agile, adaptable business will become even more important in the new year. Strategic technology integration and strong, unified leadership are key to creating resilient businesses.

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