Mike O’Neill Optimal Risk on the new blended approach to working

As we continue into the ‘20s it will become normal for a blended approach to working, with time split between the office, client sites and home.

The flexibility and agility with which many businesses were able to swivel to home working was impressive and we should be thankful that the broadband providers kept up such a good service.

We can expect to see robust reviews of organisational resilience planning and response. What worked? Were we flexible enough? Were critical decisions made with accurate and timely information? Digital roadmaps with a timescale normally laid out in months and years telescoped into days – and delivered.

Supply chains are also going to come under a lot of scrutiny. Over the years they have been squeezed to optimise costs and reduce stockholdings at the expense of resilience. This lack of flexibility caused loss of business and rising costs from alternative suppliers. I foresee an increase in organisations wanting to have a better understanding and visibility of their suppliers’ own supply chains.

Budgets are going to be under huge pressure with security, as ever, coming under scrutiny. We will have to respond with efficiencies that don’t cut capability. This may require the use of new technologies, upskilling staff and a fresh risk-based approach. There must be an emphasis on what good security really adds rather than what it costs.

Whatever the ‘new normal’ becomes, history shows that coming out of downturns such as this will see many companies stumble, but for others it provides a fantastic opportunity to drive ahead in ways that could only have been on a distant horizon before COVID-19.