Want balance in 2023? Look to your partners
Head of Brand, Content and Creative
Virgin Media O2 Business
02nd March 2023
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We’ve got quite the year ahead of us.
From small businesses right up to large enterprises and the public sector, 2023 will be a challenge. Rising costs, increasing customer and employee expectations, a growing demand to make a positive impact through ESG – and of course, all this before you’ve even had the chance to think about your own business ambitions.
Walking the high wire of 2023 is going to take balance. With three quarters (76%) of large businesses identifying rising costs as the biggest risk to their business in 2023, it’d be easy to assume decision-makers will be looking to reinforce their bottom lines to weather the storm ahead. But could this be a mistake?
Research from McKinsey has shown taking up defensive positions during times of crisis tends to only lead to middling company performance. On the other hand, those businesses which are willing to pursue the upsides while managing the downsides were likely to be most successful.
Meanwhile as the battle for talent continues, employees are demanding quality technology to help them stay engaged at work, with 81% saying it helps them stay engaged and happy.
But maintaining momentum is more than a business decision. The potential downsides of stepping back from ESG commitments at a time when consumers and governments are calling on businesses to do more could not only damage business, but also our society.
It’s not all doom and gloom, either. Decision-makers who are willing to invest and innovate during a time of difficulty often come out on top. Some of the world’s biggest names have been made in the crucible of crisis; Amazon Prime, Uber, and Airbnb to name just a few.
And resilient decision-makers are already recognising the opportunity ahead. IT spending in the UK is projected to grow by 5.2% in 2023, the highest growth in EMEA. The optimism is out there, and it’s time to home in on how best to focus it and find the right balance. In fact, our Managing Director, Jo Bertram, recently spoke with The Times about this very subject.
And finding this balance is where your partners come in. So, how exactly can they help?
Lay down the challenge to partners in 2023
Your suppliers and partners have all kinds of expertise for you to tap into. In the case of a telecoms partner, that could be expert advice on cybersecurity, data management, interoperability, connectivity, and digital transformation.
No matter where you need support from partners, it’s time to lay down the challenge to them. Not sure how to do that? Here are a few examples of questions to ask.
Five key questions you should be asking partners
- What areas of expertise can you offer my business?
- Are you aligned with our business goals and digital ambitions?
- Am I getting the most out of the tech and tools I already have for my employees?
- How can you help my business unlock efficiencies in the face of 2023’s economic challenges?
- How can our relationship deliver more for my business beyond the transactional exchange of goods and services?
Support doesn’t stop there, though. A true partner will be able to advise you on ‘softer’ organisational challenges, like helping you to achieve your ESG goals. Being able to follow through on ESG commitments is a great way to attract top talent to your organisation, with a global poll by IBM finding 1 in 3 people who had changed jobs in the past year said they’d even accepted a lower salary to work for a sustainable or socially responsible organisation.
Partnerships with the public sector, like our Connect More Programme which is helping tackle the digital divide, are a great way for a business or organisation to give employees a space to give back to the community. The programme is delivered by our staff volunteers who share their time to help with digital skills training at local authority drop-in sessions. Every one of our employees can take 5 volunteering days a year and all our volunteers attend digital skills training in advance, to be well equipped to help.
These chances to volunteer shouldn’t be seen as a day’s lost productivity. It’s vital not to underestimate the impact that this can have on your employees and customers.
We’re invested in partnership and that starts with you
At Virgin Media O2 Business, we understand the importance of continued investment in technology to remain competitive and meet customer and employee demands. It’s why we’re investing £10 billion over five years in our fixed and mobile networks to bring businesses like yours next-generation connectivity.
As you navigate 2023, it’s also entirely possible your priorities might shift. Because we want to get to the heart of your business priorities and be able to flex with you, we offer free digital consultations and flexible contracts that allow you to make faster decisions.
For larger enterprise and public sector organisations, we offer a Success Agreement that puts our customers’ goals at the heart of our working relationship and shares the risk of digital transformation.
For smaller businesses of 11 to 249 employees, we’ve created the Get More fund, which gives new customers 10% of their monthly bill back to spend on the latest technology to enable their teams to achieve more with their tech.
Even in turbulent times, businesses can find the space to innovate and stay true to commitments for the wider good. The right partners will be able to support you along the way, prioritising flexibility, accountability, and a tight focus on your business goals.
Tempering your ambitions won’t secure long-term success. It’s time to challenge your partners, get more value from your existing tech, and continue to find new ways to achieve that balance together.
Want to speak to someone about how we can help your business thrive in 2023? Get in touch today.