‘Tech enabled agile work-style is going to be our future'

Visual Merchandising and Retail Design|May 2020

‘Tech enabled agile work-style is going to be our future'
Harsh Manrao, Director at experience-design firm, figments.inc, shares with VM&RD his insights on what business continuity really means in the context of retail design and experience. Read on…

How would you define business continuity? What does it mean to you? Business continuity simply is a contractual assurance that an organisation extends to its clients conveying that its services will remain un-disrupted in the face of unexpected difficulties. There is a premium that organisations charge to ensure continuity.

For us, at figments, business continuity works at three levels:

1. Pre-empting Risk: Stable team, safe data and robust infra are aspects which can risk our performance. To plan for continuity at the all these levels, we need to assume that things are going to fail. This calls for imagining situations where one or two or all three aspects may be affected. Therefore, sufficient buffers in planning, operations and infrastructure need to be kept to make up for an issue.

2. Proactive Monitoring: With Cloud, VPN, high-performance laptops, work-from-home and collaboration softwares, things have become easier to plan for small organisations. However, one needs to actively check the readiness of the resources from time to time.

3. Risk Mitigation: This is where things become tough. One needs to recognise the right time to implement the mitigation plan. Ideally it should be as close to the event that affects continuity; preferably just before rather than just after.

When a mitigation plan is implemented one has to ensure that the switch-over time is minimal. For example, if a key resource on a project is suddenly no longer going to be available, the organisation has to take swift action.

Has the current situation forced you to take a harder look at business continuity? Does it help you prepare better for the future?

Yes, the current situation has been unprecedented. It certainly has made us look hard at business continuity planning. We believe that this situation is going to be around for a long time. There could be reoccurrence of things of this nature in the future.

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May 2020