Businesses are living through the biggest global crisis in a generation. Companies around the world are making significant operational changes to become more resilient after many found their contingency plans weren’t robust enough to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
HSBC Commercial Banking’s new Navigator report, Building Back Better, draws from a survey of over 2,600 companies in 14 countries and territories. It shows that many firms neglected contingency planning in key operational areas such as technology, finance and sustainability prior to the crisis, with nearly half (47%) saying they could have done more to prepare for the challenges of recent months.
For some, the shift to remote working exposed weaknesses in their continuity preparations, with fewer than three in five (57%) saying they prioritised investment in technology to improve operational efficiency over the last two years. The availability of cash flow was also a challenge, with only 43% having prioritised steps to strengthen their financial position.
The crisis has forced many businesses to adapt, with almost two thirds (63%) having made changes to their operations already. Almost half (44%) will change their products and services further, either by diversifying (33%) or by reducing their offering to become more specialised (17%).