Presented by BCX

Why some businesses in the technology industry thrive in times of crisis

 ·18 May 2020

Great innovation thrives in difficult times. Our country and our lives have been disrupted and some hard choices have had to be made by our government.

The fault lines in our society have shown up deeply. And many of us looked back at history for learning and guidance. How did previous pandemics shape the world?

How did previous difficult times unlock innovation. And there is solace in seeing that. And impetus in harnessing that.

The Coronavirus crisis has changed everything and put us on a new path. At BCX we talk about re-inventing the customer experience.

About solutions that innovate how people learn, live and work. Never have we lived it with such speed and agility before.

Bringing digital transformation into pop-up call centres for the NICD in 48 hours, creating track and trace technology in less than 3 weeks, impacting our society in slowing down this virus as quickly as possible in order to get back to business as quickly as possible.

And what will business look like next week? Or the week after that? The world will never be the same again.

Business redefined

At BCX we have been reflecting a lot on what we want to create post Covid-19. We have seen productivity levels go through the roof despite difficult working environments, and teams never having physically met new clients.

We have seen value creation redefined. Teams working through the night so that businesses can be operational during a global pandemic.

And it is not just about the delivery but about the troubleshooting and the innovation that arrives during the midnight hours as hurdles after hurdles are leaped.

The way that we have turned the traditional notion of customer experience on its head as we move resiliently, and with agility to be able to green light projects, open the doors on remote call centres and tick off ‘another first for Africa’ is testament to a new spirit growing in our organisation.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 gave rise to national health institutes in Europe, while the Great Depression and the Second World war saw the formation of welfare state. Global warming forced the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016.

The world responds and adapts. It is forever creating a new normal. What will be our new normal be when the cloud of the COVID-19 crisis passes?

We have already begun to live it. It has pushed fast forward on the digital transformation of our country and our continent.

How will we, as a technology industry, be able to look back and say we helped to drive initiatives and changes that made us better as a country? How will we be able to say we made a difference?

The crisis has forced this on us. It has forced us to move quicker and with agility. We have been forced to implement those things we thought might never happen or have been too cautious to green light.

The new normal

Less than a month ago, working from home was seen as a luxury and unwieldy. Now there are entire call centres operating remotely – seamlessly, professionally, and efficiently servicing clients who have also been forced to stay at home.

Hundreds of millions of children around the world are able to continue their school years via streaming. Retail outlets have adapted, swiftly transforming from physical shop fronts to full-service, online stores across the board, from small bakeries to the largest supermarkets.

Medical advice and help are a call or a click away. We can track and trace those infected with the virus, using this information to plot its spread and curtail it.

The information gathered can be used to identify high-risk areas, as well as those with lower infection rates.

There are tough trading times ahead. But we look to the innovators of the past, present and future. We know that they thrive in difficult times. We will continue to innovate.

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