In an ever-changing world with new distinctive economic challenges, the pressure for you to focus on your expertise has never been greater.
In 18 years, we have never seen a situation quite as dynamic as this one. The fabric of human society changing at a phenomenal pace, we have all had to adapt our businesses from one week to the next; often taking our eyes off what’s most important.
But what if now is an opportune moment to take stock of the operations of your business and proactively make changes that will allow you to ensure operational efficiency to deliver consistent, reliable services?
Despite being keen to get back on the path to normality, it is critical that we return not to ‘business as usual’ as we knew it, but take this opportunity to refine the outlook for your day-to-day operations – a leaner, more secure version for the future.
What steps to take?
We have been busy helping our clients across the financial services sector maintain excellence in their service delivery, while transitioning to a new world of working.
While some businesses effectively stopped operating, firms in the finance sector have had to adapt and take all necessary steps to ensure service continuity. Your customers continue to expect the best from your service, regardless of the external influencing circumstances.
To achieve all this, it’s important to give your team the most up-to-date, effective, and empowering tools that let them deliver a consistently reliable service that can adapt to an ever-changing business landscape.
Ensuring operational efficiency in an uncertain world with agile solutions
The shadow of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom large. With the continued threat of large-scale or localised lockdowns, firms need to have adopted agility in their working environment to maintain continuity and consistency of service, whatever comes along.
Collaboration and workflow management
Collaborating has naturally been far more challenging recently, whether bringing together a dispersed workforce or trying to meet with clients you would otherwise have seen face-to-face; the way we collaborate has changed.
> Consider how you will share and distribute potentially sensitive information between staff and with clients. Are these channels secure? Do they make it easier to share in high quantity? Are they easy to use?
> How can you continue to effectively and quickly communicate?
> How do you keep your people focused, accountable and on the same page?
> What software tools do you use? Where is that data stored and how is it accessed and shared?
> Do your team have confidence, knowledge and support in their new way of working?
> How can you keep your people following process if they are not working alongside one another?
Permitting ease of access while maintaining security, whether with internal or external stakeholders, can be a challenge. By implementing cloud services such as Microsoft 365 / Office 365, you can benefit from tools including Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint – all of which can be used in ways that suit your workflow to make communication and collaboration a breeze.
A comprehensive communication platform, Teams incorporates the following in a single intuitive package:
> Instant messaging – Create channels, share files, and bring groups together for discussions on specific topics.
> Video conferencing – Host virtual meetings with up to 250 participants.
> SharePoint integration – Share document resources in one unified space thanks to deep integration with Microsoft’s principal file-storage platform.
> Multi-platform compatibility – Teams can be accessed from Windows, Android and IOS devices so your team can use it no matter what device they are using.
> Cutting edge security and compliance capabilities – Teams users can benefit from Microsoft’s security platform that gives extensive administrative control over data management and security.
> App customisation – Bring all the apps your staff use under one roof by incorporating them within the Teams interface.
The workflow management space is a crowded one. A huge range of platforms are available, from the simple and lightweight (Asana, Trello and Microsoft Tasks to name a few) to middle-ground tools such as Microsoft Planner, to heavy-duty and feature-rich solutions such as Microsoft Project. Having a tool for the management of individual tasks within overall projects is very useful when trying to manage and keep a remote team on-task.
When it comes to choosing solutions it’s important to consider longevity. Over the past few months, many companies will have been tempted by free, limited functionality, consumer-grade solutions – Dropbox, for example, offers a free ‘Basic’ account. It’s important to consider whether such services really offer your business the features, security, and scalability that you require, or whether you ought to invest now in solutions you’d be comfortable using long-term.
A progressive IT Partner
Having the right technology partner to help you progress in the right direction through this transition is pivotal.
> Does your IT provider understand your industry sector – do they appreciate your day to day workflow?
> Is your IT provider road-mapping future solutions and identifying how to best integrate them into the way you work?
> Does your IT provider consult with you on matters of security and regulatory compliance? The right partner will not only deploy and migrate you to new technology but help you on the way to achieving the best in productivity that is suitable to your specific business process.
What else to consider?
Reputation is everything. If the way you work has changed, but the resources you use have yet to catchup, how does that appear to your clients?
Rather than let your clients identify changes in your operation for the negative, strive to surprise them and give them the positivity and warmth that your service has not only been consistent but has improved.
> What if you could improve the speed and ease of communication with clients?
> What if you could provide your clients with more visibility and (secure) access than ever before?
> What if you were more organised, structured and all of your team were on-process?
Where to begin?
Government funding support may help you start the process.
As a part of a raft of funding support out of the COVID-19 situation, the Government are in the process of announcing grant funding specifically to help businesses make efficiency transitions. Grants will become available between £1,000 and £5,000 that could help empower your team and improve relations with clients by implementing the advantages gained through new technology.
At Evolve we’re here to help you on this journey. With a wealth of expertise in technology, combined with the insights gained by supporting financial service businesses over several years, uniquely places us to help you overcome business challenges and focus on your expertise.
To help you discover the possibilities of a digital transformation and how grant funding may help, please book a free, no obligation discovery call with one of our consultants today.