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16 October 2020

As enterprises create safe and productive workplaces for employees returning to the office, business resiliency becomes a critical topic. As a natural extension of the conversation with Ram Subramanian on safe workplaces, we wanted to hear how enterprises are strengthening their resilience, now that conditions have stabilized. Deepak Bhardwaj, Vice President and General Manager, ServiceNow, and Ram Subramanian, Practice Head, HCM-EAS, TCS identify what to consider when crafting successful resilience strategies and recommend best practices to modernize operations as workforces return to work, while keeping employees safe and productive.

Business continuity planning to maintain resilience when unexpected events happen is a standard part of enterprise management. What made the pandemic so daunting initially for organizations—and now looking ahead?

Deepak: It’s true that for years business continuity experts planned for how an event like a hurricane might result in technological, employee, or supply chain challenges in a particular geographic location. But, no one prepared for a global pandemic that would impact the entire world and result in every one of those challenges occurring all at once and for an extended amount of time. Understandably, in the first weeks and months businesses had to react quickly to the economic disruptions and concerns for employee health and wellbeing. As the pandemic continues, businesses need to find ways to operate safely and securely by providing productive and safe workplaces for their employees.

What are the central considerations to create effective business resilience strategies in today’s current economic reality?

Deepak: To ensure resilient and stable business operations, leaders need to transform their workplaces into purpose-led and adaptable organizations. They need to communicate effectively and develop comprehensive strategies and processes to ensure employee safety, security, and wellbeing. At the same time, these new plans and processes need to empower workforces to be as productive as possible to meet business goals. And how will strategies and processes be translated into reality? Digital technology.

What are some best practices to incorporate digital technology to implement business resilience strategies?

Ram: Business resilience depends on enterprises being able to quickly harness digital technology to unify and connect different parts of their organizations, simplify the operations involved with returning to the workplace, and provide the capacity to respond decisively and quickly to circumstances. Best practices to achieve these goals include identifying requirements, data sources, and existing technologies. Next, enterprise leaders are advised to work with technology partners to take existing data sources and technologies and select optimal solutions or platforms that can integrate these with new, tailored, agile, and connected digital workflows. Finally, decision makers should use this centralized solution and connected workflows to provide a 360-degree view of return to work programs. The objective is to easily monitor return-to-work readiness in real time, facilitate data-driven decisions, and support clear communications to enable workforces to return to work and be productive.

There are many digital solutions on the market. What should enterprise leaders keep in mind when selecting the right digital platform and partner to achieve business resilience?

Ram: Every organization has different requirements to ensure employee health and well-being while supporting productivity to meet business objectives. For maximum benefits, it’s recommended that decision makers look for a platform that is open and flexible and can accommodate existing technology and new digital workflows. They should also work with a partner who has deep experience and insights into all kinds of customers and can easily take advantage of the open and flexible platform to create effective workflows. Ultimately, these workflows need to meet specific customer requirements, simplify the complexities of returning to work, and foster business resiliency so enterprises can flourish in these uncertain economic conditions--and in the future.

How should organizations start preparing for business resilience?

Deepak: While there is still a lot of uncertainty about the pandemic, organizations need to start preparing for business resilience today. This will enable them to have the agility to manage any market disruptions—and even create opportunities from sudden shifts. But to be prepared, organizations should take three critical steps:

  1. create effective two-way communication for pro-active outreach and also get insights to what’s going on with employees.
  2. digitize processes to reduce manual efforts and to expedite change to address sudden issues, such as COVID flare up and
  3. centralize your data in one platform to have a holistic view of the activities happening in your organization.

To learn more, attend the TCS-ServiceNow Roundtable with Josh Bersin and S&P Global on November 5. Register today.