How to ensure your technology company weathers the coronavirus storm
Simon Wilkinson, CEO of global software services provider Mobica, examines how an agile approach from tech firms can be used to adapt and survive the coronavirus pandemic...
We might be getting tired of hearing the words, “unprecedented situation”, but it’s difficult to find a phrase that more aptly describes what we’re currently going through. We’ve never dealt with the same level of uncertainty that we are dealing with today.
Having disaster and recovery plans set out, processes to follow and communication strategies to execute are all part of running a good business. Preparing for a global pandemic? Less so.
I do, however, have a huge amount of trust in the resilience and the sustainability of the UK’s technology sector. While some worry that COVID-19 will halt innovation – much as it has halted everything else - thus far, I have only seen the opposite. As an industry, we are naturally agile and forward-thinking – always looking to the future, and continuously developing new solutions.
So, how can we ensure our technology industry stays buoyant and bounces back when this is over?
Speed of change
The ability to act quickly cannot be understated. While some companies had the infrastructure already in place to support remote working, those that did not have had to move quickly to keep operations functional.
As a software services business, Mobica is focused on technology but it’s our people who possess the skills – creating next-generation solutions. It’s been impossible to avoid disrupting their working routines but having practical solutions in place to minimise the impact has certainly helped to ease their pain.
We were fortunate enough to have already taken steps to increase our investment in secure remote working operations earlier this year, which allowed us to make the transition to home working quick and smooth. But this isn’t everything.
While we’ve ensured our staff are able to connect through their devices, it’s also been important to ensure all our employees feel connected on a personal level too. We’re a fast-growing company and maintaining a feeling of togetherness is vital, especially where the newer members of our organisation are concerned. So, communicating what’s been happening in a timely way has been critical.
That has been a challenge, especially when you consider how we have more than 850 employees spread across offices in the UK, US, Poland and Germany. We’ve made it work, though. With the situation constantly changing, Mobica’s senior management team has been meeting daily, via video conference, to share updates and ensure communication is clear and consistent.
This has meant that we’ve also been able to continue delivering high-quality services and projects to our customers. We have been able to reach out and reassure them that our teams are not just equipped and functional, but fully up-to-date with any policy changes they themselves are implementing.
With the situation changing daily, it may feel a little premature to think and plan too far ahead - especially when many business are still in survival mode. However, what’s been evident during this crisis is how quickly many technology trends have accelerated.
At Mobica, we’ve been fortunate that most of our projects have managed to continue uninterrupted and by quickly proving our agility, we’ve been able to cope with the shift in technology focus. We’re living in an ever more digitally connected world and the value of those connections have been highlighted more than ever.
When this extremely testing time is over, UK businesses need to be in a position to bounce back and meet heightened expectations. Organisations will be judged not just on how they fare over the next few months – whether they continue to manage operations to produce the best results for their clients – but on their ability to meet demand in emerging areas of technology over the years to come.