Agility and sustainability to drive growth

22 Apr 2021

Agility and sustainability to drive growth

First published in Hedgeweek

The past year highlighted the importance of tenacity alongside the agility to absorb shocks and respond rapidly to new ways of working.

In addition, the drive to build sustainability into a business has also come to the fore.

“It takes strong resilience and resourcefulness to sustain great performance in challenging times, and to keep going when the outlook is not very positive. I think the people at RFA have shown this,” reflects George Ralph, Global Managing Director and CRO of RFA.

The firm’s client assigned IT managers and remote support engineers faced the greatest challenge in the early part of 2020. “Our determination to deliver a white glove service to clients led to our teams going above and beyond. We helped clients secure home Wi-Fi networks, set up continuous training sessions for collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint and ensured endpoints were set up with multi factor authentication through to zero trust configurations (for those who didn’t already have this in place). When you multiply these services by the 800 plus RFA clients worldwide, you get an idea of how large the undertaking was at the beginning of the pandemic for IT firms who didn’t already have this in place – We are just thankful that our focus has always been on endpoint security and analysis and a core focus on client mobile agility has been key,” Ralph outlines.

Looking forward, Ralph sees this period of change as an opportunity to keep building RFA’s future. A critical element of this involves developing the firm’s ESG policy.

He comments: “I see 2020 as a great leveller in terms of how we might transact business moving forward. We have unlocked personal and professional innovation within our business, and I see this as the potential to address ESG in a more structured way.

“Developing our ESG strategy further will help us to continue to build resilience as individuals and as teams, as well as secure commercial success. Our employees and clients are expecting something different from us and I aim to deliver. Our ESG credibility is starting to impact how we are viewed and the business we do.”

When discussing the challenge of digital transformation, Ralph says: “Collaboration and data will shape the digitisation journey for some time to come. A firm would begin their digitisation journey by looking at all the manual processes within their business.

We work with RFA clients and non clients to do this. We look at the teams and departments involved in the process and their roles within it. We then complete a Proof of Concept. This allows a firm to understand what we can achieve and also monitor the outputs of the newly digitised process over a period of time, making sure the automation is absolutely correct.”

RFA is also considering how to change experiences and digital operations internally for its staff, since this then impacts the end user experience for its clients. Ralph provides an example: “We have integrated Teams and Slack plus other collaboration tools to create new workflows for our service engineers. This meant we could automate previously manual processes around client issue management.

It also allowed us to be more efficient, therefore improve client response times and experience.”

According to Ralph the appetite for embracing digitisation will evolve as more professionals get involved in their data journey: “They will discover more anomalies in their patterns of behaviour as a business, in the way they operate and also in the functions of the business. This will lead to an increased desire for digitisation in an effort to improve visibility and performance.”

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