For businesses in the UK, 2020 has been a year unlike any other and the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it some existential challenges. Some businesses were required to have employees work from home at short notice, while others had to furlough staff, and some had to completely re-invent themselves in order to survive.At Fifosys, our clients are at the very heart of our business and without them, we would not have been able to continue. When faced with significant uncertainty, we are proud to say that our clients stood up to be counted, faced the challenges head-on and protected their businesses, and we are proud to have supported them in achieving this.Ultimately, when we reflect on the Coronavirus era, we will be able to look back with enormous pride at the resilience, the strategic thinking and the business innovations that allowed companies of all sizes to adapt.
As the COVID-19 threat emerged in early 2020, government policy shifted quickly and businesses had to respond. In mid-March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the British public to avoid all non-essential travel and contact and just a few short days later, pubs and restaurants were ordered to close as part of the nationwide shutdown.These necessary public health measures provided an unprecedented challenge for businesses. After all, they now needed to allow employees to work from home when possible, needed to find new ways to carry out day-to-day operations without putting their people at risk and, in some cases, needed to completely change their business focus. Before long, stories of business diversification emerged. Many SMEs, for example, found ways to help local hospitals and other front-line services, while others started to enter into new areas entirely, like manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) or ventilators, or helping with deliveries of food and other essential items.As an article from Econsultancy highlights, the outlook for things like the corporate events market was especially dire, but companies found ways to shift events online, or bring elements of the in-person experience to people's doors. In the retail sector, companies embraced e-commerce, or found new ways to sell their products.A huge number of businesses also had to make use of online communications in order to carry out workplace meetings, go some way towards replicating workplace collaboration and also ensure employees had access to some social interactions. We were happy to be able to help some of our clients to put the necessary infrastructure in place.
Fifosys, one of the topics we focus on with our clients is the idea of business continuity. This concept is all about ensuring that no matter what happens, you are able to keep your business fully operational, or as close to fully operational as possible. In most cases, this relates to things like data corruption and cyber-attacks.However, so many businesses have been able to achieve business continuity this year, even in circumstances far beyond anything we could have imagined. In many cases, this has been achieved through IT systems, processes and strategies we have advocated for years - Microsoft Office 365, cloud storage, data backups, and cyber security awareness.In other instances, it has been thanks to the adaptability of business leaders and a willingness to try new things.We also recognise that in times of crisis, there is a tendency to want to cut costs on things like third-party services. This is especially true when difficult decisions are being made about reducing staff pay, or furloughing employees.Our own business relies entirely on our clients and we are so thrilled that so many of them have not only acted to keep their businesses operational, but have continued to work with us too, as we help them to navigate these uncharted waters, while contending with the increased cyber security threats that have emerged in recent months.These clients have acted responsibly, followed the government guidelines, capitalised on government support when needed, embraced new business innovations, worked closely with banks, supported their employees through times of unprecedented change, invested in business diversification and maintained a 'can do' attitude throughout all of that.“At Fifosys, we are not only proud of the way in which our team has adapted to the new methods of working, but are also proud of the way in which our clients have taken on the challenges and continued the operations of their businesses, rather than start cutting costs," says Fifosys MD, Mitesh Patel.
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