By Abid Makani

Continuity of services has always been a key priority for businesses. Recent times have shown operational vulnerability as never seen before. In crisis settings, particularly in our interconnected and interdependent environment, business operations may also get affected, exactly like we saw in many months during the pandemic. Organisations, however, understand that it is critical to get both technology and planning in place to accelerate their recovery, help safeguard people, assets and profitability.

For boards and senior management ensuring business sustainability has become a primary agenda item. Besides, a radical move to remote management with distributed locations has led to a shift in client priorities and various touchpoints. Organisations are now strategically considering how to incorporate new processes and services into their enterprise holistically.

Adaptability is essential to keep up with the pace of shift in the global landscape while keeping ahead of the competition. Digital Transformation is widely being acknowledged as the means of achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Forward-thinking businesses understand that there is a correlation between leveraging digital technology to optimise their facilities and the broader objectives of cyber and physical security, sustainability and operational performance.

Continuing technological changes, budget constraints and scarce talent imply a potential risk in executing comprehensive digital operating models solely using in-house resources. It may therefore be advisable to utilise service providers who can deliver the need for relevant expertise and advise businesses to transform their infrastructure and begin their transition to a scalable and completely digital operations.

As organisations digitise their operating models, new market prospects and skill sets also get unlocked. Enterprises are seeking to take the crucial measures needed to modernise their facilities and infrastructure, to enhance efficiency, reduce waste, achieve sustainability objectives and most importantly, to protect staff, physical assets and data.

Nearly 75% of companies have committed to the digital transformation journey, but only 25% have reached significant or more mature levels (see IDC MaturityScape: The Future Enterprise, April 2019). These statistics confirm that digital transformation can be a daunting process; with profound business implications, if no actions are taken in this direction. Not protecting people, data, and operations may lead organisations to face extreme consequences.

Recently, IDC conducted a research to survey decision makers across geographical regions and sectors to gain valuable insights into the existing state and potential needs of facilities and operations of customers. Their report conveys that an essential element for any organisations strategy is to successfully implement enterprise-wide digital transformation by engaging third party services and that Service providers can be very influential in traversing an enterprise through their digital transformation journey. Customers trust strategic guidance, planning and implementation, skill-set development and lower risk management capabilities that ultimately enhance the probability of long-term business success.

Sometimes, even the most mature enterprises can be the weakest link and expose the organisations to risks. Organisations face challenges in many fields of their sector. From protecting existing infrastructure to facilitating expansion into a new one, and from improving operational resilience to ensuring profitability of their facility. These objectives can be achieved if addressed systematically. It takes a third-party service provider to spearhead these efforts.

Engaging a professional services firm also make it possible forcompanies to focus on their core business and internal expertise, where it isessential. These experienced services firms can assist their customers througha robust and flexible suite of services, one that addresses resources, processand people. Furthermore, the internal procedure gets strengthened withthe implementation of best practices and skills enhancement.

Security, both cyber and physical is a principal concern for organisations. Remote management services and technologies are deployed to drive productivity in equipment maintenance, thus helping organisational staff to safeguard against potential risks and attacks. Digital services enable organisations to rely on data-driven decisions.

Organisations across geographies and industries are seeking partners for their digital transformation journey. Service providers, therefore, must demonstrate the value of their services as the ultimate objective for any organisations is to achieve meaningful business outcomes and a partner that can guarantee results.

For a service provider to extend partnership in today’s dynamic market, it requires an in-depth display of trust and deep understanding of technological developments and frameworks that facilitate change.

The author is Vice President – Field Services, Schneider Electric-India





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