We are now in to the second half of summer 2020. A few of our bravest customers have travelled to the comparative safety of countries with air bridge status, but the vast majority of you have definitely had a very different experience this year compared to any year prior! For most, it isn’t so much about swanky hotels / apartments on the Côte d’Azur, the Spanish Costas or anywhere in between but more about quality time with our families and friends who until relatively recently we were forced to avoid contact with. For most of us, holiday / relaxation has this year been more about the trusty £5.99 Cote du Rhone, the paddling pool and if you were very lucky (speculating on COVID and reinfection rates and booked early)… Maybe a beach side hut in Scarborough or a static Caravan in Clackton-on-sea… either I am reliably informed would set you back a not so cool £200 a night!
Obviously, the effects of #COVID19 have indeed proven profound in all aspects of modern life and equally within business, commerce, education and transportation.
As noted in the June Newsletter, we are all addressing business challenges pertaining to the provision of information technology in an era where social distancing within the workplace is a requirement and the provision of hand sanitizer, plastic screens, COVID detecting thermal imaging cameras are seen on an equal par with mobiles, laptops, WiFi’s etc… The Deloitte 2020 Human Capital trends report that I recently read does a very good job at highlighting some of the environmental / business issues that are now evident in the workplace. It states fairly quickly that 93% of people who responded to their survey believe that belonging (feeling respected and treated fairly) drives organisational performance. COVID social distancing has created a need to drive actual physical separation and this has inevitably strained the feeling of belonging / culture that working alongside and with on a daily basis can distil within the workplace. The article talks about the virtues of creating inclusive cultures and enhancing the alignment between individuals and organisational objectives as ways by which an organisation could be up to 8 times more likely to achieve better business outcomes in the future! The full report can be viewed HERE.
With this report in mind and in reflection to the first 120+ days of COVID I find it easy to parallel the improvements in time spent with loved ones to the obvious deterioration in the organisational culture. After all, we have all been forced to cherish the time with our loved ones yet at the same time social distancing directives are fundamentally changing the bonds within the workplace… it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to draw lines between those particular dots then!
Adjustment to working practices are everywhere and many of our customers have been active to embrace modern workplace practices and have initiated the purchase of point solutions with many being rolled out at breakneck speed to address some of these issues. We do remind our customers that where possible they need to take a step back and to consider IT strategy and their business requirements first as this invariably will result in the best decisions relating to the future of IT in support of the business requirements. This should be the time to orchestrate the evolution of IT and working practices to fully streamline your respective businesses and not simply react with a loosely coupled and ill-defined point solution that will not truly solicit the value that you hope it will down the line. This is something we here at PAV pride ourselves on as I noted in the June PAV newsletter. We were better prepared as a result for the seismic changes that came in March and which continue to create disruptive headwinds even today.
The work / life balance has always been a dilemma to organisations but COVID has very definitely had a very big effect on the prior status quo. In our view here at PAV, the most successful customers will be those that embrace change, are inclusive with their staff, who invest in them and who have the sharpest / most crystallised value proposition. If an organisation achieves this then everyone will be pulling in the same direction and the issues associated with social distancing and virtual teams are diminished if not turned on their head all together.
To this end, we here at PAV have focused on the launch of 3 new solution sets and have aligned them with specific technology enablers and identified the training and enablement with associated vendor accreditation requirements to ensure we are developing our teams and delivering quality outcomes that save you as our customers both time and money. A Win / Win scenario! A biproduct of this investment in our human capital is invariably a feeling of self-worth, inclusion and importance within our teams which address many of the negative effects of the work practice changes that COVID has thrown at us. We are going to continue to double down on our accreditations and training / enablement to ensure that we continually add happy customers to our testimonials or customer references sections.