Vodafone Business Identifies ‘Future Ready’ Attributes Key to Business Resiliency Beyond Covid-19

  • Social responsibility, sustainability and purpose remain essential as consumers demand clearer commitments
  • Broadening employer diversity and increasing workplace flexibility key to address growing skill gaps

LONDON, July 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today’s leading businesses are adaptable, people and purpose focused, according to a major new study from Vodafone Business. The report identifies the attributes of the most resilient ‘future ready’ organisations and their responses to common business challenges before, during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.*

Making up 20% of all companies, ‘future ready’ businesses (FRBs) can be identified by six unifying characteristics, including adaptability, an openness to technology, and clear transformation goals.

The Covid-19 crisis has been one of the biggest business disrupters since the 1930s, yet businesses displaying ‘future ready’ characteristics are more confident they will continue to succeed:

  • 30% of FRBs expect an increase in profits during Covid-19.
  • 57% of FRBs expect their profits to increase over the next five years, compared to 45% of all businesses.

Vinod Kumar, CEO, Vodafone Business said: “Covid-19 has forced rapid change for everybody. However, some businesses are better prepared to deal with the issues that have arisen, and we want to help all organisations understand what they can do to match these ‘future ready’ companies.”

Employees have taken centre stage, particularly for FRBs:

  • 44% of all businesses now prioritise employee wellness and mental health, up 10 percentage points since before Covid-19, but for FRBs this is at 77%.
  • 90% of FRBs reported supporting their employees further during the pandemic.

Societal attitudes and consumer expectations have changed, and businesses have moved to focus on ethical behaviours or to find a purpose beyond their core offering:

  • During Covid-19 81% of organisations reported taking some form of action to support those outside their business, compared to 94% of FRBs.
  • 46% of all businesses (compared to 58% of FRBs) wanted to support their country or local community, a shift from the reasons given before the current crisis. These centred on differentiating the business (41%, compared to 46% of FRBs) and customer retention (55%, compared to 62% of FRBs).

Covid-19 has proven that work can be done differently and from anywhere. Businesses need to adapt to this new way of working in order to survive:

  • 71% of FRBs already made at least one new technology investment in direct response to the pandemic.
  • 44% of FRBs surveyed expect that greater flexibility in where people work will persist after the pandemic is over.

Vinod Kumar continued: “Industries that hadn’t embraced technology are seeking to move swiftly into digitalisation. We want to help companies move quickly into this new era of working, supporting them in becoming smarter, faster and more resilient, but not at the cost of their humanity.”

To support small and medium businesses as they rebuild, Vodafone Business recently launched V-Hub, a resource service for SMEs looking to digitalise. The service offers SMEs access to articles, guides and live help covering topics such as website construction, cyber security, remote working and digital marketing.

Read the full Future Ready Report here.

*Notes to editors:

We conducted two phases of research, before and during the Covid crisis. The first phase took the views of 1,813 businesses of all sizes and sectors from Europe, the USA, Asia, and Africa, with the second covering 800 businesses of all sectors and sizes in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy. This was further supplemented with qualitative interviews.

Future Ready Businesses were identified by using a regression model to show what behaviours and attitudes were most closely linked with confidence in future financial performance and being well prepared for what the future holds. Twelve criteria were identified, which make up six characteristics:

  • Has a positive attitude to change. They embrace change and are excited by the future.
  • Is open to new technology. They acknowledge the power of technology to solve business challenges.
  • Takes clear steps towards business transformation. They have a roadmap in place for how technology can transform their business.
  • Sets a detailed strategy. They have a wider business strategy for the future that is documented, specific, funded and measured.
  • Keeps up-to-date with relevant trends & uncertainties. They have clearly identified the forces shaping their business & refers to key thought leaders to help.
  • Is adaptable. They can react quickly to new trends or challenges and is quicker to market than its competitors.      

About Vodafone

Vodafone is a leading technology communications company keeping society connected and building a digital future for everyone. 

Vodafone is focused on two scaled and differentiated regional platforms in Europe and Africa.  We operate mobile and fixed networks in 22 countries and partner with mobile networks in 48 more.  As at 31 March 2020 we had over 300m mobile customers, more than 27m fixed broadband customers and over 22m TV customers.

We connect for a better future.  We are optimistic about how technology and connectivity can enhance the future and improve people’s lives. Through our business, we aim to build a digital society that enhances socio-economic progress, embraces everyone and does not come at the cost of our planet. That is why we have committed to improve one billion lives and halve our environmental impact by 2025.

For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.


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