Rethinking the future of work post COVID-19

COVID-19 has convincingly demonstrated that the future of work will be cloud-based and automated.

fpt tower hanoi
FPT

During the pandemic, businesses scrambled to ensure staff could securely access, from their homes, the data and applications they needed to do their jobs. However, those were only steps in a process already underway, one greatly accelerated by the pandemic: digital transformation, and in particular the increasing use of cloud computing facilities and services by organisations of all sizes

A McKinsey survey in October 2020, of executives worldwide, found: “responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years.” Companies have accelerated digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and their internal operations by three to four years, in response to a dramatic shift by customers to online channels.

Remote working and the use of cloud-based collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams skyrocketed as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic has also seen a significant rise in the use of robotic process automation (RPA) driven by the pandemic.

In the first months of the pandemic, Microsoft saw an enormous surge in the use of Teams, leading CEO Satya Nadella to say the company had “seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

Enforced remote working strained resources for every organisation. RPA can minimise business disruption resulting from COVID-19 by automating time-consuming, repeatable tasks freeing up human resources for other tasks.

The digital workspace evolution

With a majority of the global workforce remote, the idea of a workspace has evolved into what was never expected before.

IDC defines the digital workspace as a “connected, secure work environment, independent of place or time.” Cloud computing is one of the central technologies on which a digital workspace is built, enabling easy access to data and applications from anywhere in the world.

According to Synergy Research, global cloud spending rose by 37 percent in Q1 of 2020, compared to Q1 of 2019, to $US29b. Synergy Research said public IaaS and PaaS services accounted for the bulk of the market.

However, businesses often face several challenges that might cause the transition to cloud to stall, such as unclear roadmap, lack of resources, and cloud compliance.

Vietnam’s FPT Software has adopted the agility approach for cloud migration, customising its own digital transformation methodology, Digital Kaizen, to shorten the cloud journey.

Digital Kaizen is inspired by Japanese philosophy on continuous improvement. ‘Kaizen’ means change (kai) for the good (zen). 

Digital Kaizen suggests that every transformation process follows three steps: think big, start smart and scale fast. It prioritises making a series of quick wins that build towards long-term success rather than creating a ‘big-bang’ disruption.

FPT Software, recently recognised as a globally competent vendor in Gartner’s 2020 Market Guide for Public Cloud Managed and Professional Services Providers, Asia/Pacific, outlined some implications for cloud adopters:

  • Multi-cloud environments for greater agility and resilience;
  • Streamlining compliance through automation; and
  • Reviewing the entire process every 3-6 months

A Digital Kaizen approach has been shown to shorten time to market by enabling organisations to identify relevant business cases three times faster, prepare the environment five times faster, reduce development time by between 25 and 40 percent, and implementation cost by between 15 and 30 percent.

FPT Software’s well-architected framework can improve service quality by 10-30 percent, reduce security risk by 20 to 30 percent and improve operational efficiency by 20 to 30 percent.

FPT Software experts applying the Optimisation Framework have been able to reduce the TCO of cloud services by 10 to 25 percent and eliminate up to 60 percent of common pitfalls in cloud migration.

fpt software campus hanoi FPT

FPT Software

Workplace automation

Another technology that can greatly help an organisation stay resilient post-COVID-19 is robotic process automation (RPA) software. This mimics repetitive human tasks and is able to perform those tasks repeatedly with little to no human intervention.

A study undertaken by EY found organisations that had implemented RPA solutions prior to the COVID-19 crisis were likely to be faring better than others.

EY reported: “Companies who implemented automation before this crisis began are likely to be experiencing fewer problems while keeping a steady workflow, maintaining productivity, aiding customers and supporting staff.”

And it added: “Also, automation or front office bots can scale to fluctuations in supply chain demand, which has proven an important stimulus in these turbulent times.”

A survey of IT buyers by Bain & Company found more than 80 percent of companies are accelerating their automation initiatives in response to Covid-19.

Bain reported: “Virtual, digital and automation initiatives, for both customer interactions and internal operations, accelerated at astonishing speed. … [and] automation took on the work of some employees who were sent home and helped companies quickly respond to surges in demand.”

RPA supporting digital transformation

While automation could adapt to transform businesses of all kinds, success stories are often seen in banking, finance, retail, manufacturing and healthcare.

For example, RPA has helped the Vietnam operations of one multinational bank realise very significant efficiencies.

The bank had 13 back office staff to support its 400 salespeople, processing loan applications, and the workload was huge. They were processing 500 per day at peak times, and their task was made more difficult by fragmented information.

FPT Software developed a comprehensive automation solution based on its RPA platform akaBot, optical character recognition (OCR) technology and a web application built using a low code software development platform.

The system was delivered in six weeks and has cut costs by 60 percent and loan processing time by 70 percent. The full-time employee numbers required to perform this function fell by 90 percent.

Cloud and RPA: key to the future of work

Cloud and RPA are two core technologies that will shape the future of work. The potential of cloud was neatly summed up by Deloitte, in a 2020 report: The future of cloud-enabled work infrastructure.

“Cloud is more than a place, a journey, or a technology. It’s an opportunity to reimagine everything. It is the power to transform. It is a catalyst for continuous reinvention—and the pathway to help organisations confidently discover their possible and make it actual. Cloud is your pathway to possible.”

RPA is already freeing up employees from many routine tasks, enabling them to focus on more creative and productive tasks rather than simply enabling them to sustain business as normal. AI and RPA complement each other to create a more accessible, productive and high-performing future workplace. RPA and Cloud Managed Services are key programs for FPT Software in 2021.

About FPT Software

FPT Software is part of FPT Corporation, a leading global technology and IT services group headquartered in Vietnam with nearly $1.6 billion in revenue and 28,000 employees.

The company has become an industry leader by investing in four key areas that are the building blocks for technology products and enterprise applications of the future: cloud computing, mobility, business intelligence & analytics, and collaboration.

Discover how FPT Software can help you

Learn more about how you get ready for a post-COVID-19 way of working with FPT Software’s digital solutions.

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