In recent months, much has been said about a new normal without an appropriate reflection of its guiding principles
I’m convinced the assumptions of society in which we lived before have changed. Consumer habits will tend to become depersonalized, personal relationships will suffer from the fear of contagion, and work dynamics will move towards a more flexible model. Having reached the reopening stage in most European countries, it’s up to IT firms to show the way and precisely define a standard of good practices. You will legitimately ask me: Why IT companies?
Well, I believe these companies have a social responsibility to interpret and act according to the data they own, as this virus accelerated the digitization process of numerous businesses (as you can see from the Asian example illustrated below).
The modern business models will most likely be based on digital assumptions. The flow of Internet users increased and today we are witnessing a new wave of democratization of the web. Therefore, the IT sector has, I repeat, a civic responsibility to respond to current needs. In face of the exposed assumptions, I decided to identify the three pillars of the new business paradigm, presenting three guiding vectors for each one from IT companies perspective.
The time has come for IT companies to prove the advantages of outsourcing. Foremost, it is necessary to focus on the client’s business and not only on what are the prerogatives of the contract. Companies have suffered setbacks that they did not count on, and that’s why inter-business solidarity is required, to promote the recovery of the economy.
It is, therefore, extremely important to emphasize the competitive advantages that stand out for the specialization of services, instead of absolute advantages, associated to an exhaustive sales model that in no way helps companies to recover. Being transparent about in-house knowledge is, apart of ethical duty, a form of altruistic selling.
Finally, I assume the commercial relations are no longer the same. Business developers know the most intimate realities of their partners. They spent the last few months on calls from home, adapted to each other’s family schedules and, perhaps, developed bonds of friendship.
With this in mind, in this changing scenario, we must stay as “flexible as possible in every way, not just in terms of our equipment but in terms of our strategy”. I would merely add, being flexible with our partners. This is what the current situation calls for.
I would venture to say that in recent months we have observed an unprecedented transformation in the relationship between Man and work. The impact of remote work on workers’ lives was poetically reflected in the family structure. Parents invest more time with their children, and kids enjoy the essential parental support for growth as human beings. If we say the pandemic was the engine of the digital transformation, we can also shrewdly declare it restored the long-awaited family harmony.
However, it is imperative to state that in this field the IT sector is at the forefront of these procedures. It is established practice for software developers to enjoy at least 1 day of remote work (as here at Cleverti, by the way).
Remote work also impacted employee mobility. Some experienced the freedom to be able to work from their holiday homes, for example. Others were able to travel to the countryside, running away from the city mess. After all, it is possible to have cities whose traffic is not chaotic, the pollution is not asphyxiating, and the use of a private vehicle is not a burden.
Without a doubt, all of this resulted in a proper emotional balance of the workers as they faced the work with less stress. The question is: Will the new paradigm of employees first succeed? It seems inevitable.
The last, but not least, concerns the modernization of business. It seems appropriate to conclude that companies are in a position to transform threats into opportunities. Let’s think in terms of cost reduction and process optimization.
It has been proven that workers do not need to spend so much time in the workplace when they can work from home, which widens a new horizon for infrastructure spending that companies have. If, on the one hand, they can monetize the space with extra activities, on the other hand, they can circumscribe their physical space and human resources to modern needs.
Besides that, in process optimization, opportunities are identified in automation and robotization. These two aspects are pillars of technological evolution with substantial impacts through the flexibility and scalability of processes.
In the same way, it is also on the human side that we observe changes with the introduction of these technologies. Part of the employees was allocated to mechanical tasks conducive to greater mental strain, increasing the probability of human error. The new technological standard opens the door to the valorization of employees, integrating them in differentiated functions that add value to organizations, thereby increasing productivity. As a result of these procedures, increased revenues and reduced operating costs are felt.
However, in addition to these two factors, it is necessary to add a culture of an agile methodology capable of responding to the new and volatile challenges of the market. The IT sector has long debated agile practices, selling them as a matrix of its operational management. It is therefore up to IT firms to lead the applicability of this new normal, based on the accumulated experience of dividing and prioritizing the goals of a project.
All things considered, the new business paradigm is, through the combination of these three pillars, an open door to modern sociability. What threats can we expect? Threats we already know, but on a different level, I’d say. With many employees working from home, the corporate virtual private network Servers (VPN) has become a lifeline for businesses. Their security and availability will be in the eye of the storm from now on. We have observed a spike in phishing attacks, Malspams, and ransomware attacks as attackers are using COVID-19 to impersonate brands thereby misleading employees and customers.
It is in link with the three pillars of the new paradigm that IT companies will play a key role. A proactive attitude is required in solving cybersecurity problems, providing partners with a secure architecture capable of responding to corporate network threats. First, and from an institutional point of view, they are asked to assure the reputational management of companies. Second, protecting sensitive business data, which are now more exposed to attacks from outside. And finally, for the needs of employees, ensuring the privacy of their data.
COVID-19 has reshaped our lives forever with contemporary work styles and new cybersecurity issues. Those who want to face this new battle alone, are likely to succumb. By contrast, those who are on the side of technological evolution will be closer to success.
Written by Mário Martins / Marketing Assistant at Cleverti
 Adam Smith in “The competitive advantages of Nations”.
 Linda Hasenfratz (chief executive officer of Linamar) in “The sum is greater than the auto parts”