Contingency Planning: A Growing Company’s Blueprint for Business Disruption Readiness


Rapid and violent disruption to supply chains, trade partnerships, technology stacks, and global markets is plunging midsize companies into a period of high unpredictability. While no one ever wishes for a surprising shock to their operations, businesses that plan for them and execute effectively ultimately win.

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At any moment, finance leaders are always facing the possibility of a significant business disruption that will test the limits of their contingency plans, as a flood of questions swirl around their brain:

  • Did we miss an emerging opportunity or risk in our scenario analysis?
  • Are our what-if contingency planning processes tainted with hidden bias?
  • Are we using the right internal and external data during our assessments?

During such times of uncertainty, finance leaders must find ways to help ensure the company is positioned to weather any crisis with strength, resilience, and confidence. How? According to Shari Lava, research director of Small and Medium Business at IDC, during the Webinar “Winning in the 2020s: Six Trends Every Midsize Business Needs to Know,” close monitoring of events and what-if analysis integrated with forecasting models are trending to become the best practices.

Empowering effective change with the right experiences

Contingency planning for midsize businesses is a double-edged sword. In many ways, growing companies are sized just right to shift operations and address emerging needs faster than their larger competitors. However, they often do not have the resources to cushion the blow of even the smallest misstep and delay along the way.

How can finance leaders help ensure the future viability of their company – even if the worst-possible case happens? By delivering the insights necessary for creating contingency plans that address three pillars of digital business model transformation: sales, finance, and the supply chain.

Fixing each pillar alone does not overcome disruption. Yet when all three elements support and enrich each other, finance leaders can encourage changes that mirror the needs and shifts of the real world. Efforts may include the innovation of a new business model, process, product, service, or customer experience. But most critical of all, finance leaders can help ensure that the company’s response to disruption progresses as quickly as possible.

This approach to contingency planning requires a level of insight and visibility enabled by the analysis of different types of data from various sources. With Intelligent ERP, finance leaders of midsize companies can turn this ideal state into a reality. In fact, IDC predicts that 75% of enterprise applications, implemented by midsize companies, will be powered by such an intelligent core by 2022.*

The use of Intelligent ERP gives finance organizations an exhaustive view across different scenarios – including potential risks, related compliance requirements, and overall costs – that can help them make accurate decisions quickly. Furthermore, when the time comes to execute the contingency plan, the businesses can act instantly and deliver outcomes strategically.

Responding to disruption with fact-based, predictive-driven action

For finance leaders of midsize companies, the traditional role of running the business and executing operational tasks with a day-to-day or week-to-week view is no longer enough. Uncertainty and disruption are always looming on the horizon, and finance organizations must have the right plans in place to mitigate minor bumps, worst-case scenarios, and everything in between – exactly when the moment strikes.

By creating a contingency plan built with fact-based, predictive analytics, finance leaders can encourage the kind of action that protects the company from significant harm. And possibly, after all is said and done, the business transforms into a genuinely better and more-effective operation.

Discover how midsize companies are creating and enforcing contingency plans to get ahead of disruption successfully. Listen to an excerpt of our Webinar, “Winning in the 2020s: Six Trends Every Midsize Business Needs to Know,” with Timo Elliott, global innovation evangelist from SAP and guest speaker Shari Lava, research director of Small and Medium Business at IDC.

Part 3 of the series, “Top Trends Impacting Midsize Businesses in the 2020s

*Source: “The Roaring 2020s: Six Trends Impacting Companies in the Next Decade,” IDC, sponsored by SAP, 2020.