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With Covid restrictions set to ease in the coming weeks, there are concerns that some companies may fail to take onboard the lessons learned about the importance of technology in enabling businesses to be “future ready” with an ability to adapt and reconfigure business processes in an agile and flexible way in the face of major, business-changing incidents, according to global software solutions provider Sofico.

Andy Page, head of marketing at Sofico Services UK, said recent experiences had highlighted the role of technology as many companies moved to a crisis management mode: “The Covid pandemic has accentuated the need for businesses to have the ability to reinforce resilience in the face of disruption and be future ready for the next crisis to emerge. The use of the latest technology allows them to adapt quickly and flexibly to change – not be constrained by legacy systems that are one-dimensional and rigid in their approach.”

One of the major issues of the pandemic for lenders has been coping with large swings in business levels with customers, faced by serious cashflow problems, delaying new funding through factors beyond their control, such as national lockdowns.

“Encouragingly, the UK economy has recovered well and, off the back of strong historic consumptive demand, the signs are good for recovery. Rescaling to this new demand will be key and our cloud-native technologies can easily provide scalability of applications,” said Page.

Page said that the latest technology could also play a major role in improving a business’s ability to adapt to future crises whilst enabling new agilities in working processes through the digitizing of work flows, automation of manual operations into straight-through digital ones and delivering true transformation of their customers’ experience.

Business transformation

However, many businesses are still operating with legacy systems that are deeply siloed and do not allow quick reconfiguration to respond to external factors like the Covid pandemic, Page explained.

In contrast, Page maintained businesses need to foster a positive attitude to change, be open to new technology, able to communicate clear steps towards business transformation within a flexible strategy and ensure that they are securely connected to their customers so they can be proactive to market movements.

“Sofico is seeing major structural changes in automotive and asset financing globally, with traditional retail financing moving to more complex leasing and purchase models, often with bundled services. Our customers are telling us that they are experiencing increasing pressure to reinvent themselves and stay relevant in the new digital world.

“We see most new customers coming to Sofico with a collection of legacy siloed applications, so our first recommendation is to move to one unified application platform, which we believe provides a single source of truth and a solid foundation to deliver on business goals,” he said.

Sofico’s cloud-native Miles Enterprise Solution, used by some of the world’s largest captive, bank-backed and independent financiers, is based on latest generation technologies which are adaptable, scalable and allow for changes to be made that accommodate fluctuations in demand and the need for the quick delivery of services.

“A good example of the flexibility within Miles is its ability to easily modify in-life contracts to accommodate unexpected payment holiday requests brought about by the pandemic squeezing customer cashflows – Miles can even make this type of service available via customer self-service portals,” said Page.

High-performance databases create the ability to interrogate large data sets in real time and open up new opportunities for data analytics for Miles to discover patterns, provide insights and make actionable recommendations, he argued.

“A growth area we see is in new multi-modal mobility solutions, such as ride sharing and car subscriptions, and to meet this we have developed new usage-based contracts for user-choosers moving regularly between vehicles or transport types.

“The rapid growth of EV vehicles is another area that requires new innovative supporting offers. And we are constantly innovating Miles to meet these needs, for example to enable the offering of connected services through vehicle telematics and charging networks.

However, without adaptable, scalable, agile cloud-native systems such innovations just would not be possible. Miles enables our customers to be future ready,” he said.