How businesses are investing to improve operational resilience post COVID-19

In a recent survey, 47% of firms said they could have done more to prepare for the challenges of recent months

  
Business women brainstorming with sticky notes. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Business women brainstorming with sticky notes. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images

Businesses worldwide are planning to adopt major operational changes in order to become more resilient post COVID-19.

A recent survey by HSBC Commercial Banking of over 2,600 companies in 14 countries and territories showed that 47 percent of firms said they could have done more to prepare for the challenges of recent months, as many neglected contingency planning in key operational areas such as technology, finance and sustainability prior to the crisis.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they prioritized investment in technology to improve operational resilience over the last two years.

“Businesses aren’t waiting to be told how to ‘build back better,’ they’re starting now. The huge economic damage and human tragedy caused by COVID-19 have accelerated transformation plans and have brought relationship inter-dependencies to the forefront of leaders’ thinking,” Barry O’Byrne, CEO of HSBC Global Commercial Banking said.

“Since history shows that some businesses will fail coming out of a downturn, it’s vital that leaders push ahead with efforts to make their enterprises more agile and more resilient,” O’Byrne said.

According to the survey, 63 percent of firms said they have modified their operations already, while 44 percent will change their products and services further, either by diversifying (33 percent) or by reducing their offering to become more specialized (17 percent).

Over the longer term:

The survey showed that 38 percent of businesses are rethinking their physical footprint of office and production locations, while 29 percent expect to reduce their office space.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe that flexible working will become standard practice while 34 percent expect to cut their air travel.

Virtual collaboration will also become standard practice over the next two years according to 61 percent of businesses.

Ninety-one percent of businesses aim to ‘build back better’ by re-engineering their businesses to be more sustainable, while 27 percent intend to make their supply chains more environmentally sustainable over the next two years.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

© ZAWYA 2020

More From Business