Growth and wellbeing in a time of crisis
The pandemic and its fallout instigated a period of reflection for us. With so much change and turmoil, we had to take stock of our resilience and also our ability to grow in such an uncertain climate. In addition, and this is an important one, we asked ourselves a lot of questions about how we look after the health and wellbeing of our employees. Actually, not just our employees. We reflected a lot on our clients. Does what we do actually save our clients (some of who are solicitors and paralegals) from issues such as burnout and illness? Do we lead towards an improved work experience for people? In a new world, with people so distributed, does our work help support this?
In terms of resilience, it has definitely paid off for us to have such a highly technical work force – as one would expect of an IT consultancy. Our own infrastructure was already set up to allow for remote working but that wasn’t the case for many of our clients. Covid-19 really brought home to many of our clients the need for technologies that would support business continuity. For some clients, having Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in place was critical. The thing about bots is that they are immune to the upheavals of Covid-19. One of our clients, a drinks distributor, whose business grew substantially during the 2020 lockdown periods, told us that without RPA handling a lot of their supply process, there is no way they could have met the increased demand.
Reflecting on growth, organizations that had long neglected aligning their IT strategy with their business strategy (and funding that!) suffered. Without a strong technology base, a crisis such as the pandemic means BAU is difficult and growth is nigh on impossible. We’re involved in lots of discussions with clients about automation; not just process automation but infrastructure as code and so on. Many organisations are now playing catch-up.
The thing about automation is it does have huge benefits for individual employees – it’s not just about increasing company revenue through efficiencies. If we take bots for example. Bots tackle those chores that humans have hated for decades; chores such as sanctions checking, invoice processing, payroll, client on-boarding and so on. Typically, these tasks that don’t inspire your employees. Providing technology that liberates humans from the mind-numbing is a huge benefit to their wellbeing. They’re free to thrive on what they’re great at – creating plans and strategies, problem solving, building relationships; tasks that require creativity or ingenuity.
I look back at March 2020 and recall clearly the day we sent employees home and closed the UK offices. Thankfully, we were all healthy but we never anticipated how long this would play out. As a company, we grew during 2020 and 2021 which meant we’ve new employees who have never met most of their colleagues in person. We’re looking forward to continued growth. And we are definitely looking forward to a horizon of easier travel, more opportunities to socialise together and a chance for interactions that increase learning from others.