The COVID-19 pandemic has had a vast effect on all industries, including the technology sector. It will certainly be a conversation that runs far into the future while we continue to adapt and adjust to the new working world and beyond. During this time, it is important to take a look at how SME CEOs are looking to pivot back to normality, and the short/long-term changes they are putting in place to achieve such goals.
At the start of the pandemic, it was all about reacting and adapting to the unprecedented event and the subsequent working conditions. While the market is still in decline, we have now moved into phase two – stabilisation.
Unfortunately, many countries are still under government-instructed restrictions, lockdowns, and regulations. Therefore, many technology CEOs have to spend their time fighting to stay financially/operationally afloat, as well as setting themselves up for an eventual recovery.
However, the first stage of recovery should arrive far sooner than many CEOs believe. In short, as soon as a business manages to recover from the initial shock of the pandemic, they should have one eye on their eventual full recovery.
We recommend that you do the following when the above applies to you:
- Re-evaluate your goals as things will likely have changed from pre-COVID. Set new achievements to aim for as these will direct your company progress.
- Investments and portfolios may need to be adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a look at resources and figure out whether they need to be reassigned. New products may also need to be developed in anticipation of a rise in consumer demand.
- The short-term aim should be to earn as much revenue as possible. You can do this by redefining existing products/services to suit fresh consumer needs.
- Show a sense of empathy to your customers in order to strengthen your brand. How can you support them? This will work in your favour in the long-term.
A new normal
Technology companies are working under different circumstances than some other firms/sectors. As a result, some tech CEOs have revealed that they have made the following changes during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Changing current sales models to move towards remote selling.
- Flexible work hours
- Remote work opportunities
- New products
- Changing existing product prices
- Free trials
Many CEOs have learned valuable lessons the hard way during the pandemic, forcing them to make both long and short-term changes in strategy. While some of these changes will be reverted once the pandemic is over, some will remain in the long-term. While COVID-19 has forced the hands of CEOs to make certain changes, it has merely acted as a catalyst to permanent change in other areas. There has been a change of emphasis from finding new customers to looking after existing ones, as well as targeting specific business prospects in order to bring in greater returns.
Moving forward – Not back
While the phrase ‘bounce back’ is relevant in terms of firms getting back on their feet post-COVID, they should really be looking to bounce forward. What we mean by this is that tech CEOs should be making decisions to work towards a more successful future, rather than putting all their efforts into simple reverting back to their pre-COVID position.
The CEOs who will rise to the surface post-COVID will be those who make difficult decisions, for the correct reasons, for the best of the company, employees, and customers. These CEOs should be honest with themselves about the reality of the weak customer demand in the current market, re-working existing services/products accordingly. In order to achieve this with success, they will need firm leadership, improved customer relations, and clever product management.
We may not be able to predict the future, but CEOs and leaders must put themselves in the best possible positions to adapt and take action, or risk falling behind.