As businesses across the globe are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the option of working from home has moved from being a luxury to a necessity. Currently, most sectors excluding employees working in essential services have been asked to work from home. Organizations are still incurring the cost of retaining employees, or are now facing the challenge of laying them off. Sadly, an economic recession will be the by-product of COVID-19. The world economy is being heavily impacted and will have a downstream impact on the social and economic fabric of our communities that could take years to reverse.
How long can an organization – public, private, non-for profit – stay dormant without losing its ability to deliver on its objectives? There is no such thing as preserving an organization when employees are not meeting their objectives. Furthermore, customers rely on these organizations to continue providing services, especially during times like these. For example, imagine a loyal customer from a supermarket or a bank trying to complete a transaction, but the organization is unable to operate due to the absence of tools and equipment.
Conversely, imagine the opposite occurring. There are stores that are fully operational and are able to provide online payment and delivery services. There are banks who are swiftly adding more ATMs and call center staff to assist customers with their needs. In both scenarios, services are being fulfilled, businesses are operating and generating revenue, and the concern of spreading infection has now been mitigated. This is the competitive advantage available to businesses with resilience and who are able to adapt to our new reality. Not only will they have a greater chance of surviving the economical impact of the pandemic, they could also emerge with higher market capital than before. Not having this competitive advantage is the biggest threat for any organization struggling in this current situation.
Contrary to many perceptions, remote solutions are more affordable than ever before
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery plans have been developed by many organizations, however it’s the depth and details of these plans that vary depending upon the size and budget of each organization. Although many organizations understand the need to have a business continuity plan, these undertakings face funding challenges, or they’re perceived to be extremely costly. Implementing a remote workplace that includes information technology, cloud, data storage, firewalls, IT equipment, etc., may be viewed as unaffordable and can become overwhelming to think about.
Luckily, times have changed. Equipment and online services have now become more accessible and affordable. Cloud-based servers are much cheaper than building and managing one’s own servers, and are far more secure and reliable. In addition, web portals managed and run by expert third parties are also more affordable, and the staff that run them have skill sets far greater than a small or medium sized organization could secure and afford on their own.
What solutions are available for Internal Auditors?
When it comes to Internal Audit, they have often been classified as the third line of defence. As such, they tend to receive limited resources to operate, including the development and implementation of a resilient business continuity plan. Also, in the past, many software options for Internal Audits have been very costly for small or medium sized businesses. For larger organizations, Internal Audit Software with true remote access have also been very expensive, or the affordable solutions were complicated and time-consuming to implement. Furthermore, these solutions would take months if not years to implement, and would be costly in terms of time as well as money.
Luckily there are now cloud-based internal audit solutions providing access to auditors, auditees and senior management to communicate, review, approve and access live data from home. This can all be accessed with a generic web browser, internet connection and credentials to web portals. Work can be done, saved, shared, reviewed and approved online.
Adapting to the new reality is the key to survival
Standing still and waiting for the time to get better is not an option. A business willing to adapt and learn will no doubt have a better chance of surviving through these difficult times. Whether you are an Internal Auditor, or business in another sector, being resilient under these current circumstances and having the adequate tools will allow your business to continue and even thrive. By opting now for the competitive advantage, organizations will not only survive, they may even be further ahead after this pandemic ends.
Adlar Group can help
Adlar Group’s Internal Audit Management System provides a cloud-based solution that is economical and gives your organization an advantage of delivering its planned audits remotely. Adlar Group also provides server management which mitigates the requirements for an in-house server or IT Administrator. With an internet connection, you can be up and running quickly. Access the platform anytime, anywhere and you’re team is all set!
For more information, or to book a free demo, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Integrated risk management page.