We surveyed 1,119 UK organisations to find out. In short, there’s no simple answer – businesses are facing a huge range of unique problems, including:
- Cancellation and delays (faced by 54 percent)
- Late payment of invoices (faced by 41 percent)
- Supply chain problems (faced by 23 percent)
When you look at the wider picture, it’s not immediately obvious, but many of the greatest issues organisations are facing as a result of the coronavirus crisis are born out of a single pain point.
Coronavirus is a crisis of technology
What’s the root cause of these problems? Is it because, due to the constraints of an ongoing pandemic, we can’t meet face-to-face? Surely not; we’ve been conducting meetings over the phone for decades and video chat is certainly nothing new.
No; this pandemic is a crisis of technology precisely because, over time, businesses have become dependent on computing power to get the job done. Modern financial software is fantastic, but it can also lead to your everyday working data becoming stranded – along with your financial position. For many organisations, this financial data now sits lonely in spreadsheets on servers and heavy desktops in deserted offices.
Businesses will need agile access to this financial information – all of it – to make the predictions that will steady their trading in the ‘next normal’ that the crisis is carving out.
Without the right technology, it’s impossible to predict where your organisation is facing the most difficulty – and, for finance directors, that means there’s no way to predict where to funnel funding.
Organisations that are paving the way for a more secure next normal are aware of this, and they’re adopting technology that helps them to see the big picture of their finances.
For example, 26 percent of our survey respondents who have adopted cloud-based administrative platforms are predicting a return to normal trading levels within just six months. These businesses will also continue to feel the benefits of working in the cloud, with reduced overheads, easier collaboration and real-time financial information.
Companies will also need access to a steady supply of labour. While recruitment is more difficult than ever and employees could need to take time off at a moment’s notice due to personal circumstances, the need for a strong safety net becomes apparent.
That’s what automation technologies are doing for many businesses throughout the crisis. In fact, 28 percent of organisations that have adopted business automation technologies such as invoice processing are predicting a return to normal trading within six months.
The overall message is clear – attempting to beat the pandemic without technology is like trying to win a tennis match without a racket. Without the right tools in place, you’ll struggle to mount an effective response.
If this article has helped you, you might be interested in our free insight guide, “Finance departments in the next normal – making the difference to your organisation”. It’s packed with findings from our survey and valuable insight that has helped many organisations not only survive, but thrive during the pandemic. You can download a copy for free now.
Many financial professionals have turned to IRIS Financials to help them thrive during this crisis. IRIS Financials is an all-in-one financial management system that enables cross-location remote working – you can find out more about it here.