The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way many organisations conduct business, from banishing daily commutes to attending meetings virtually. While some organisations are finding it difficult to adapt to the new operating environment, others are choosing to embrace this unprecedented time as an opportunity for innovation.
During the recent Return to Better virtual conference session, ‘Future-Proofing Your Organisation: Trends, Transformation and Regulatory Changes’, four expert panelists shared their insights and opinions on why now is the perfect time to give your organisation a refresh.
This program was moderated by Nathan Lynch, Thomson Reuters’ Manager, Regulatory Intelligence Asia-Pacific, where each guest gave a presentation around a particular theme. The four focus areas were:
- Evolution of businesses during COVID-19, presented by Duncan Hewitt, Senior Vice President & GM for Asia Pacific and Japan at VMWare.
- How to future-proof your organisation, presented by Anthony Mitchell, Chairman and Chief Potential Officer at Bendelta.
- How to manage privacy and data protection within your organisation, presented by Alec Christie, Partner, Digital Law at Mills Oakley.
- What we can learn from the latest digital trends, presented by Robbie Robertson, Virtual Office Managing Partner at Deloitte.
Read on for a recap of the conference session, or simply fill out the form on this page to access your complimentary Thomson Reuters guide on how to future-proof your organisation and harness its potential.
How businesses have evolved during COVID-19
To kickstart the conference, Nathan invited Duncan Hewett to share how COVID-19 has prompted businesses to undertake a “fundamental shift” to enable them to work effectively outside traditional office workspaces.
Duncan said many organisations were able to successfully move their team online and provide all necessary tools in a timely manner. These included businesses involved in the education space and the major banks, which had well-established business continuity obligations under the prudential regulatory regime.
“What we have seen is that those [organisations] that were prepared and that started to think through their model clearly have done well, and benefit actually, from these changes,” he said.
There is no reward without risk, however. Duncan said that privacy and cyber security have become areas of greater vulnerability, as hacking threats have increased by 38% so far this year.
Future-proofing your organisation
As businesses make adjustments to ensure they thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, planning for the future has become more critical than ever.
Anthony Mitchell spoke of how organisations can adopt a positive outlook and take advantage of the situation, despite the immediate financial toll from the global health crisis.
Based on historical precedents, such as the ‘Black Death’ and the Spanish Flu, Anthony was able to demonstrate how organisations can bounce back from a traumatic or disruptive event.
“When any cataclysmic event disrupts established patterns and provides a window for people to question both society’s norms and their own, it leads to massive change. Sometimes we just need the jolt,” he said.
Privacy, data protection and cyber security: 2020 lessons
Working from home is slowly becoming the preferred working arrangement for many employees. This new flexibility needs to be embraced while managing the new risks along the way, particularly around cyber security. But, of course, cyber and privacy concerns are just one part of the wider digital risks and resilience of an enterprise.
Alec Christie gave an insight into where organisations may have gone wrong in terms of cyber security, privacy and digital resilience/risks in response to shifting their workforces to remote working. This included issues such as:
- a lack of agility.
- an inability to access, update and share key data.
- little or no security on an employee’s personal devices.
Innovation and digital trends set to continue
Robbie Robertson then shared some crucial “tips and tricks” he has picked up from leading his own virtual team at Deloitte.
“Work is no longer a physical place. It is everywhere and ubiquitous. It’s where we choose to work and how we choose to work, so that it fits into our lifestyles and life choices that we have made,” he said.
Robbie detailed that sharing personal stories and celebrating diversity were some of the key ways Deloitte was moving forward, as it reconsiders traditional workplace values.
“Having the cat walk past the screen, that’s okay. Seeing the kids coming in behind you, that’s awesome. It actually makes us all better people. It gives people a window into your life,” he said.
For a deeper look at the insights and ideas examined during the ‘Future-Proofing Your Organisation: Trends, Transformation and Regulatory Changes’ virtual conference, download our comprehensive guide.