How public COVID-19 data is critical to helping businesses stabilise

The outbreak of COVID-19 has shaken even the world’s largest organisations, with 94 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies seeing coronavirus supply chain disruptions and, despite their perceived ability to be nimble and agile, small businesses, start-ups and scale-ups are not immune. As the nation collectively carves out a path forward through the peak of the pandemic, business leaders are striving to create a sustainable roadmap that will mitigate short-term risks and help them to recalibrate and prepare for a new era in operations.
Source: Canva

The outbreak of COVID-19 has shaken even the world’s largest organisations, with 94 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies seeing coronavirus supply chain disruptions and, despite their perceived ability to be nimble and agile, small businesses, start-ups and scale-ups are not immune. As the nation collectively carves out a path forward through the peak of the pandemic, business leaders are striving to create a sustainable roadmap that will mitigate short-term risks and help them to recalibrate and prepare for a new era in operations. 

Across all sectors, leaders are prioritising employee health and safety, business continuity, and financial stability. While these issues remain top of mind, teams are also challenged with the task of acting quickly to rapid changes – in business, the economy, legislation, public health etc. – and to deliver critical solutions with speed.  

In order to succeed, businesses of all shapes and sizes will need to take full advantage of internal and external data sources, while continuing to act on digital transformation initiatives with greater agility. 

One of the most important sources of data is publicly available COVID-19 data, which, if unlocked and leveraged correctly, could help businesses through the tumultuous economic and social effects of the current global health pandemic.

Build a single view of your business to ensure health and safety of key stakeholders by tapping into public health data

Digital teams will play a critical role in transforming your business’ approach to health and safety and the first step is to build a single view of the organisation. 

In order to do so, teams will need to determine which internal and external data sources will be needed. Internally, this may include HR data, ERP data and CRM data while externally, trusted data sources from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organisation (WHO), for example, may prove to be useful too. 

Once gathered, these data sources will need to be connected in order to create an overview of actionable insights that will enable IT teams and business leaders to make informed decisions to benefit end users – whether that be staff, suppliers, customers or other stakeholders. 

Ordinarily, the timeframes with which to deliver digital transformation efforts have been in months or years. However, since the outbreak of the pandemic, timelines for solutions have contracted as businesses are required to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing nature of the global pandemic. An effective way to deliver digital solutions without putting added stress on resource-poor IT teams is to form strategic partnerships with API and integration providers. Specialist providers can do the heavy lifting for you and enable you to create customisable and composable solutions for your business. 

Respond to changes in customer behaviour and;

Consumer behaviour has been in a constant state of flux in 2020 and is continuing to evolve. The habits and preferences that have been formed during this time, particularly in regards to the increase in interactions through digital channels, will undoubtedly remain post-pandemic. 

To successfully adapt to this shift in consumer behaviour, businesses must be equipped with the systems and services necessary to deliver their purpose digitally.

The key to achieving this goal is integration. With a well considered integration strategy and platform, businesses will be able to scale to meet demand, implement and integrate new applications to fill operational gaps and secure important data. 

For example, in Europe, AXA Luxembourg and AXA Wealth Europe were able to deliver its benchmark high-quality customer service and connectivity while navigating the challenges of remote work through the power of integration and its strategic partnership with MuleSoft. 

Adapt internal operations 

A healthy outside starts from the inside and this rings true for businesses seeking to flourish during these challenging times. 

The way that employees work and engage with one another has changed overnight. Remote work has become the norm while changing employee and customer needs are putting pressure on business functions and supply chains. In order to respond effectively to these changes, a business needs to be optimised for remote work. This will enable operational stability and the first step is to ensure that your business has the right technology in place to allow for a smooth transition to a remote workplace.

Systems will need to focus on the critical elements that will permit employees to work remotely while protecting data security, and empowering employees to communicate and collaborate with one another. 

Once again integration plays a huge role here. It enables flexibility, which is critical during these times, while reusable APIs enable IT teams to deliver the right experiences, product, services both internally and to external customers within tight timeframes.

A well-considered roadmap and the deployment of critical solutions will undoubtedly help businesses to stabilise and navigate through the challenges of the worst of the pandemic. Things may never return to business-as-usual as we have known it, but with the right strategies in place, every business, regardless of scale and the sector they operate in, can survive the fallout of the global crisis. 


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By Marc Caltabiano

Marc Caltabiano is Vice President of MuleSoft Australia and New Zealand, an arm of Salesforce.