When we talk about Crisis Management, the intelligence unit of an organization, bizOps play an important role in maintaining business continuity and disaster recovery. Process functions like supply chain, finance, sourcing, marketing, customer operations, human resource, and other industry-specific services get severely tested by continually arising challenges.
As per a recent report by Gartner, only 12 percent of businesses are prepared to deal with the impact of coronavirus. And even then, every preparedness by megacorps suffered setbacks because of the grossly unforeseen situations. An ideal smart leader should steer their focus on enhancing the product/s through constant innovation, protecting the interests of the people through futuristic workforce strategies, serving the customers through optimized business processes, and stabilizing business continuity.
Now, the million-dollar question for enterprises is to invest in de-risk processes or risk transfer tools. It is important to understand that no de-risk process is 100% warranted. Also, risk transfer tools do not come for free. But what they do is, transfer the risk from one entity to another on the basis of a data-backed analysis and diversifies the risk to protect the organization from financial showdowns.
Rigorous Upheavals In The Market
When we talk about market disruptions, delivery risk assessment becomes a crucial factor. A resilient service delivery encompasses all probable risk factors and embeds a strong risk assessment process in the SDLC. In my experience as a Operations Head, I have ensured service resilience even in uncertain times, for withstanding major and minor disruptions – and the best way of doing it is, integrating it before any change is made live in a service.
Let me broadly categorize the delivery risks I generally face while designing and implementing IT operations:
1. IT Operations and Service Delivery Risk
2. IT Value Enablement Risk
3. IT Program and Project Delivery Risk
The most critical of these is the IT Operations and Service Delivery Risk factor as it deduces the risk factors associated with IT systems and services that eventually can pause a threat to an enterprise with reduced value.
Assessing and managing this risk category is crucial for daily IT operations because without critical disaster recovery provisions, this could result in a havoc on end users. I will break down IT Operations and Service Delivery risk into three parameters:
- Risk Introduced By Projects: It’s the iterative nature of projects to require everchanging capabilities for adding new solutions or change the nature of existing solutions. Often with newly developed/ developing projects arise a slew of uncharted or miscalculated risks which emerge as major threats.
- Existing Service Delivery Risks: These are generally calculated risks that an organization accepts with a project development initiative. Mostly for such planned risks, organizations chart out recovery options.
- Risk Introduced By External Factors: These are the unforeseen risk factors which are not supposed to be a part of the development project. However, due to cases like usupported versions of tech solutions, new risks get added to the existing risk profile.
Let me now discuss in brief, a few key risk processes that can be control validated through a firm’s risk and control framework:
- Unresolved security issues in the production environment
- Infrastructure and app failures giving rise to unavailability of IT systems
- Inadequate research and business continuity planning
- Non application of logical access management controls
- Faulty application of problem management processes
- Hassles in service management due to unavailability/ inaccessibility of service documents
Additionally, we have seen a couple of exclusive challenges emerge recently due to the advent of the pandemic and the financial apocalypse due to its physical distancing norms. We can roughly categorise them as:
Cash and Capital Constraints due to dwindling investment : In a high-risk scenario as such, investors across business sectors are reconsidering business decisions before making lucid investments. Adding to it, there’s also a gap in resource availability in a gradually recovering market. Low cash reserves have resulted in internal cost cutting and limiting expenses across IT operations and infrastructures.
Changing Government Restrictions : We are presently in a highly volatile where governments are forced to take random decisions due to new influx of the pandemic spread. All governmental efforts to flatten the curve of infection has already given rise to an unhealthy crisis of labor, raw materials and equipment. It is increasingly becoming difficult to predict the impact of new regulations in terms of severity and timings.
Volatile Market Conditions: As a global leader for IT solutions, we have to be prepared for strains of insolvency and bankruptcy along with disrupted supply chains.
How To Manage Extraordinary Crisis
In our two decades of being a global leader for IT services, we have applied one tried and tested root formula for every major disruption in our new office . As leaders of the business, we do devise and innovate business solutions as per each scenario. However, the basis of every major mitigation plan have been these two core principles:
Effective Communication : We have seen many fellow businesses fail due to ineffective and opaque management communication. Radixweb, however, believes in an all-inclusive approach. Our C suite has always emphasized on a strong and effective communication with employees, partners, suppliers and associates when faced with a major crisis.
Empathetic Leadership : Hard times call for active collaborative efforts across all the rungs of the business. The key to maintain business continuity is ensuring a positive employee experience, and recognition plays a crucial role in promoting enagement between teams.
Steps For Building Operational Resilience
In times of utter existential crisis, a truly smart management will promptly identify the need to become mutually collaborative and have an empathetic approach towards areas that will help us thrive through a chaos.
I have listed down a couple of time-tested approaches which helped Radixweb’s operations become intelligent and resilient:
- Developing a Human+ Machine Workforce : A value-led, proactive, data-driven operation procedure helps reduce the stress on the operations department. In the process to achieve unattended automation, resources can be effectively reskilled and redeployed to ensure continuous functioning of operations through real-time monitoring and AI. With the help of right digitalization drives, the human workforce can devote its focus on complex processes that cannot be resolved by the machine; while the machines can foster the base for scaling operations through continuous learning.
- Deploying an agile, elastic workplace model : The world has moved towards a home-based work model and based on the nature of work and skills required, the process can be enhanced with the help of cloud, data, security and other forms of technology. We must acknowledge that a fluid approach and an elastic workplace with agile practices, enabling accessibility and the freedom to work from anywhere ensures flexibility. Diverse teams focusing on key business priorities across verticals in the new agile and enables resources to pick up new skills, as well as enables them to work in a truly global set up.
- Adapting to a distributed global services model : The future of organizations is not going to be location specific, but will be more focused on attending to customer needs and the availability of right resources. To mitigate operational risks in a volatile market, a distributed global model ensures that top-notch performance is delivered in time. Working across time zones requires you to have talents without the timezone restriction, who assure a high level of compliance.
- Building a resilient work culture : The first step towards building a time-tested work culture is by augmenting digital capabilities for critical knowledge workers. The right Operations guy will identify critical opportunities to adapt to and reshape priorities while enhancing evolved work environments. We must understand that our businesses will go through several uncharted situations in the future but these lessons will only make us future-ready and proactive for future incidents.
It is true that software development projects often introduce uncharted service delivery and operational risks to existing services. But it is essential that the risk is assessed and managed in time before the issue spirals out of control. However, that is possible only when we implement a sound risk assessment process within the orgamization. Going by my experience as an Operations Head, only a strong and sound self-assessment process embedded into the software development lifecycle supported by an enterprise-wide risk transfer tool set can yield objective end results.
In our two decade long strong presence in the IT market, we have built these capacities through extensive market research and industry experience accumulated through a bevy of development projects. Checkout our current openings here and become a part of our tribe. Optimizing our operational processes and risk assessment techniques has undoubtedly put us at the winning end of the cycle.