If a business objective is what you want to achieve, operations strategy is how you can achieve it.
In short, an operations strategy is a plan to achieve business goals.
But if recent years have shown us anything, it’s that even the best laid plans can go awry.
Businesses need to be prepared for even the most unlikely of challenges. That means building fail-safes and backups into their strategy, so that they can stay afloat when unexpected and adverse scenarios arise.
During the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, communications capabilities marked the difference between those that could handle the change and those that couldn’t.
In other words, communications systems are what make or break your operations strategy.
Keep reading below to learn why this is the case, and how you can develop an agile and robust communications infrastructure that can help your business withstand radical changes in the marketplace.
Significant threats to operations strategies tend to come in one of three forms…
In business terms, a disaster is a rare, unforeseen, but completely chaotic scenario that brings your business to a halt.
These include everything from natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires and tornadoes, to power cuts, data breaches or even instances of public disorder.
Disruption is when a major new market development challenges the established order of things.
Usually in the form of a new technology, business, or service model.
Like how Uber and other ride-hailing services have began to replace traditional taxi services.
All businesses face competition.
But when your competitors are an active cause of your declining profit margins, or other tangible losses, then you have a serious business risk on your hands.
So How Can You Hope to Overcome These Risks?
If you want a robust operations strategy that can withstand risks like these, it must have three main qualities:
These are all qualities that can be built or broken by your communications infrastructure.
If your communications aren’t resilient enough to deal with disasters, this can lead to serious issues like data loss and operational downtime. Both of which are costly.
The best communications systems have built-in fail-safes and support systems to prevent data loss and keep your business up and running.
This protects you from reputational damage and financial losses, while ensuring the data of your colleagues and customers remains safe and secure.
Traits of Resilient Communications:
- Data is managed from geo-redundant off-site data centres
- Network provider guarantees 99.9% uptime
- Voice data is end-to-end encrypted
- Your network can ‘failover’ to a backup system
Sometimes, world-shaking circumstances require businesses to adapt. This can mean changing the size, structure, location or operating model of your organisation.
Legacy communications systems will make these changes slow and costly.
Leading communications systems – such as cloud-hosted telephony – easily accommodate sweeping changes like these with immediate effect.
All while maintaining business-as-usual operations.
Traits of Flexible Communications:
- ‘Anytime, anywhere’ network access
- Bring Your Own Device capabilities
- Ability to add limitless new users
- ‘Plug and play’ set up
Without adaptable communications systems, a sudden advance in technology can turn your market on its head, and leave you falling behind the curve.
Cloud-based communications systems can ‘futureproof’ your business by ensuring you are running the best technology, with the latest features at all times.
While physical phone systems require an engineer to carry out system upgrades, cloud communications can be updated in just a few clicks, at no extra cost.
Traits of Adaptable Communications:
- Software-based, cloud-hosted telephony
- Instant, automatic system updates, managed by your service provider
- Access to integrations with other leading communications apps
In summary, the three main threats to carrying out your operations strategy and achieving your business goals are disaster, disruption and competition.
And communications capabilities will determine how you fare when faced with these risks.
To ensure your business is able to withstand, survive and overcome these challenges, your communications systems need to be: