Part One: The Rising Role of Technology in the New Normal - Cloud, eBusiness, Mobile

Preparing the way for Business Resiliency

2019 ended with soaring jobs growth and a strong finish on Wallstreet. Stocks were up, unemployment was down. Momentum was surging for many American workers and businesses alike, and U.S. growth was projected at a moderate pace.  Even as reports of a mysterious virus circulating in Wuhan, China, reached our news outlets in January-February, few foresaw how coming events would very quickly define 2020 and, make history.

It’s been seven weeks since California issued the nation’s first stay-at-home order on March 19, and as the country looks towards phasing in recovery efforts and the reopening process, many eyes are on innovation. As businesses evaluate what worked, and sadly for many, what did not, they will need to think in terms of better, faster, and more efficient, especially as work from home (WFH) environments continue to replace face-to-face contact.

In this first of two blogs, I will discuss three of seven vital tools that some of our S2K Enterprise customers are leveraging to effectively maintain operations during the pandemic. Not only are many of these companies likely to emerge intact, they are also poised to step into what could be the new normal more securely and adeptly than before, well ahead of the curve and ready to excel.

Prescription Cloud for Healthy Business Operations

The ongoing pandemic reveals how cloud computing has become essential for doing business in the modern world. The ability to deploy applications in the cloud and access data from almost anywhere in the world is vital for a company’s business continuity. From supply chain and warehouse workers, to mobile sales teams, WFH, and back-end accounting, programming, web design, online marketing, teaching, and training workforces, cloud adoption has proven to be an enormous benefit during the Covid-19 pandemic and will be indispensable moving forward.

Finding the Essentials with Web Ordering, Billing, Payments, and Customer Self-Service

As we engage in fewer manual processes and increasingly virtual face-to face-time through cloud-based services, eBusiness and eCommerce comes to the forefront, especially as we rely more on web ordering for must-have supplies such as food, medicine, and paper goods. The advantages of placing orders through the web include a more cost-efficient process, flexible business hours, no geographical boundaries, improved customer service, and personal safety for both employees and consumers.

Mobilizing the Team

Staying connected with customers and suppliers during this pandemic is crucial for sustainability. For sales teams and customers, having immediate access to account and product information while on the go is key in making and processing sales. As the world is increasingly mobile with devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, mobile applications like Mobile Order Entry, Proof of Delivery (POD), and white-label apps can result in increased order frequency and customer loyalty. Companies looking to increase their bottom-line going forward will need to empower their sales teams with mobile tools for order processing, delivery confirmation, payment processing, inventory management, truck settlement, and more, in order to effectively compete.

The new normal requires connection with the advancing technological shift. For businesses emerging from the effects of the pandemic, it’s now clear that 2020 has accelerated the need for mission-critical technology that will ensure survival in any kind of environment. These technologies will no longer be just a wish list, but rather, must-haves in order to give businesses the biggest and best advantages to achieving continuity now and in the future.

Please stay tuned for part two of this topic, covering the rising role of technology in the new normal, where I will look at CRM and email marketing, warehouse management, supply and demand planning, and analytics. These additional mission-critical applications round out the tools that are powering the technological shift accelerated in recent times by disruption. Being prepared for future times of uncertainty may very well paint a picture of success, rather than certain business failure.

Kevin Beasley

Chief Information Officer