Throughout 2020, corporate leaders, workers, healthcare professionals, government officials - virtually every single person on the planet - held onto hope that we would be back to business as usual by now, safely returning to “the way things used to be.” Of course, that is simply not the case as we enter 2021 facing more uncertainty as the COVID crises continues to disrupt daily life across the planet. The global community is now nearly a year into the pandemic and the reality is that there is no “normal” to return to.
The True Meaning of Disaster
If we learned – or relearned – anything in 2020 it is to expect the unexpected. At this time last year, very few of us were thinking or planning for an event like COVID that would impact every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Many financial services companies saw their carefully crafted business continuity plans (BCP) pushed past the breaking point. Most organizations were simply not prepared for an event like a global pandemic.
The definition of “disaster” has been broadened significantly by COVID-19 and the global impact caused by the ongoing crisis. Business leaders now must consider questions such as these when revising or building new BCPs:
- Can I operate and manage my payment systems remotely for extended periods of time?
- Do my people have access to all of the tools and resources they need to test all of the changes that will need to be made during a long-running emergency situation?
- Are my teams able to communicate and collaborate while working from remote locations?
- Have we automated and integrated our payment operations to the greatest degree possible?
While we have all said goodbye (and good riddance) to 2020, it is important that we take the lessons learned to heart so that we can continue to protect our business, our employees, and our shareholders.
2021: More of The Same?
Working from home, Zoom calls and social distancing will almost certainly continue to be key components of your business strategy for 2021 and probably for years to come, regardless of what the future holds.
And while much remains uncertainty remains, we do know that this is going to be another dynamic year of change. Even though we must wait to see how and when these changes occur, we do know that our best chance for success is to be prepared for anything.
From my perspective here at Paragon, there are several keys areas of focus:
- Move your test assets into the cloud so that they are scalable (up or down) and accessible to your staff and down-stream customers.
- IT infrastructures and certain software applications were not well positioned to facilitate a collaborative remote work environment. It is important to focus on and invest in solutions that will promote a collaborative and harmonious working environment for your teams.
- Automate and integrate your test environments as much as possible to maximize efficiency, minimize costs and deliver the highest quality products and services.
- Innovation is critical whether you are dealing with changing market conditions or a pandemic. Getting the right testing assets in place are key to driving the innovation needed to succeed in today's dynamic marketplace.
While we hold onto a collective hope that the COVID crisis will be over soon, it’s imperative that we also embrace the changes that are here to stay. During the coming months, the team here at Paragon will explore some of the key testing concepts that will help your business survive and thrive in the post-pandemic world.
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