High-Tech Enterprises: A Paragon of Resilience in Times of Crisis (And How to Maintain It)

COVID-19 cases as of 3/30/20

Image source: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

If there’s one thing that the current crisis has taught businesses, it’s that the companies that have invested in digital solutions and services to power engagement for sales, service, marketing and collaboration, are having an easier time with business continuity during COVID-19.

At Adobe, we recognize the critical role technology plays in business success. With entire company populations working from home, we believe the high-tech enterprises supporting remote working, collaboration, and cloud infrastructure and services, have a responsibility to help support the global economy. Providing up-to-date information and alerts at all customer touchpoints as well as escalation processes is best practice.

Below, we provide some best practices for high-tech businesses that are trying to navigate the current crisis — while continuing to meet and exceed their customer needs.

Nonstop communication and collaboration are paramount

Adobe customers across the world are taking unprecedented measures to ensure service delivery, reconfigure supply chains, reduce adverse impact to revenue, and execute an overall crisis response. While millions of new remote workers are finding that there is no such thing as over communication with their teams, the same applies to organizations.

For high-tech companies thinking through their crisis communications strategy, ongoing support and guidance across customer channels is paramount. You’ve likely already published a letter from your CEO and other leaders on your most visible channels to build confidence in your brand’s response to the global health emergency. Now, it’s important you consistently make meaningful updates from the same voices. Communicate what your organization has done to protect and help employees, their families, the local community, and customers. Empathy, common sense, and societal-level altruism should guide your actions in terms of what you can offer to help.

Below is a list of resources and examples to help guide you:

Upgrade your foundation for greater agility and scale

March has tested and strained core information and communications technology infrastructure and systems (think: networks, storage, and computing), as well as personal technology and residential bandwidth, as employees shift to working from home. But that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ongoing operations of technology companies. The need to acquire goods in support of remote workers such as laptops, monitors, cameras and collaboration software, have overstretched commerce and service capacity.

On the road ahead, we can expect remote work is here to stay, and technology suppliers are eager to accelerate their online sales and service initiatives to meet current and future needs. Being able to quickly stand up new infrastructure and ensure security standards is the new norm and is fueling demand for cloud infrastructure and services.

Below are various resources to help guide you to achieve agility and scale:

Embrace how the future of digitalization is becoming the present

Overnight, new digital workflows replaced what was often handled in person among physical teams. While the crisis will pass, much of these new processes will likely remain digital, especially if they bring about cost savings and efficiencies.

As of now, for companies with a direct sales force the sales supply chain is strained and possibly broken, and a patchwork of online tools is filling in the gaps. Virtual events are replacing their flagship in-person counterparts (e.g., Adobe Summit Live); discovery, RFP response, and demos are now handled over video, and social networks and messaging tools are enabling a remote workforce at an unprecedented scale which the world has never seen before.

Some examples and resources to learn from:

At the time of writing, the US and many hotspot countries are working tirelessly to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and the economic and sociological fallout. We expect these hard times will eventually pass and life will return to normal, albeit a new version of normal. The lesson to take away is that we can’t ever overlook the need to justify an advanced business continuity and disaster recovery plan. How we respond to today’s crisis will determine our companies’ health in the future.

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