It’s been a weird year. I think the only thing weirder than a global lockdown was the unrelenting use of buzzwords to describe what was going on. I noticed nobody was doing anything to try and flatten that curve!
“In these uncertain times, now more than ever, we must work together through these unchartered waters to ensure we make the most of this new normal of working from home. Remember, we are all in this together."
Spare me. You’re not fooling anyone with your band wagoning marketing tactics.
That said, it was a difficult year. For many of us, we had to change the way that we worked to accommodate the requirements of public health orders, whilst also ensuring that we were continuing to deliver high quality work to our clients.
So, what did we learn from the year that was, and how we can apply these learnings in the forthcoming year to bounce back bigger and better than ever? I can’t speak for many of the things you are probably thinking about, but I can tell you what we (and our customers) learnt about technology’s role in enabling us to continue, and what we have learnt along the way.
If there was ever a time you were thankful for the capability of technology, then 2020 would have been it. In the blink of an eye, employees of professional services businesses upped and went home, and continued working.
For many, it was something they knew they COULD do, but didn’t realise it’s something they WOULD do. The capability to work remotely was, for the most part, already available. With some minor changes to technology systems, and the inclusion of some new technologies to facilitate the requirements of an entire workforce connecting in from home (Think Zoom and Teams for example), we were able to get there.
It meant we could continue to service our clients, albeit in a different way. For many, the realisation was that we don’t necessarily need to be in the office to do our jobs. Technology was able to facilitate our requirements to continue doing what we are so good at doing.
What you likely discovered, was that simply using technology to facilitate the process probably didn’t make it any better. It just enabled you to continue doing it. This means that once restrictions are lifted, we will probably go back to the old way of doing things. In fact, many of you are already doing that.
So, we learnt that technology can almost seamlessly facilitate changes to the way we work, it’s actually not as scary or as difficult as we once thought it was, and that the technology we adopted didn’t make things a great deal better than they were before. Instead of asking what now, may I be so bold as to suggest you ask why not first? If you ask why not, you will find that the reason is likely due to the way the technology was implemented. It’s likely that it was implemented reactively, and in a way that was only meant to facilitate completing your business processes the same way you did while working from in the office. If the process didn’t change, there won’t be any benefits to realise.
If you then ask what now, the answer should be relatively clear. To provide genuine benefit to the business and its customers, we should be starting with the process. If we analyse the process, and look for opportunities to improve the process, the technology can facilitate the improvement.
If the technology facilitates the improvement to the process, the technology will provide tangible benefit, and therefore a return on investment, to supercharge your business and its bottom line in the year ahead.
For any assistance you might require with process, workflow and technology, get in touch with the team at ServiceScaler to speak with one of our senior consultants and start your journey to process improvement today.