Making hay while the sun shines…

This week we have finally, and officially, been allowed out again. With warmer weather in the UK, lower COVID case numbers we seem to have grasped the opportunity and been out in droves. Certainly, the traffic on the road increased markedly. After what has been nearly a year most of us are clearly ready to get going again.

However, across the water in France, case numbers once again seem to be accelerating and the country has just entered a third lockdown. This should give us some pause for thought here too.

The virus is clearly continuing to find new ways to propagate, working around controls and measure we put in place. The Brazil variant is a good case in point here, infecting more young people with some concern it is possible to catch it again, for a second time. It makes me shudder to think, but there is the possibility of a further lockdown here.

We are not there yet, however, in the world of contingency planning, and for my own psychological resilience, it seems like maybe we should prepare ourselves a bit… just in case.

Continuing the theme of being prepared, a good article on digitalisation vs digital transformation this week. Over the last 12 months we have been extremely focused on digital. It has been, after all, a solution that has kept many business processes afloat.

However the article also neatly reminds us that digitalisation is not necessarily digital transformation. We need to ensure any ‘sticking plaster’ solutions are actually integrated into business processes.

This has been a topic for a few conversations recently and as the pandemic grinds on, it sounds like it may be a new important theme that is developing. Worth watching.

So despite the better news this week, we are probably not quite at the end of it all. As always there is still more to do.

And, as much as we would like all this to end with a bang, not to mention a giant party, there is an increasing sense is this will likely end with a very unsatisfying, damp fizzle.

Making hay while the sun shines… but putting some away for future storage, still seems prudent!

Other news stories this week.

Have a good long weekend everyone

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One year on…

This week marked a milestone. One year since the start of lockdown started and a year since these weekly observations started.

Sometimes it is worth looking back… how we seemed to be in complete shock at the time, stuck at home, routines changed, wondering exactly what would happen next.

Today much of the situation feels normalized, more every day, we have largely got used to it… a new normal so to speak.

Of course between then and now we also need to remember all the people who have been impacted.

Many people have become sick, sadly passed away, lost a job, their income, or simply been a relative or a healthcare professional who have had to provide incredible levels of support. Then there are teachers, supermarket workers, postal workers, delivery drivers and everyone who has kept the wheels of society turning.

One of the things we have learnt is how everything is interconnected, how we all need to support each other… hopefully this is something that continues.

Clearly, the pandemic is still far from over. However, with a vaccine, greater confidence understanding treatment and transmission things are looking more optimistic… there is good news.

So a bit different this week, to mark an anniversary…

Everyone stay safe and have a good week.

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Engines ready?

From on

This week seemed a week of reflection. Attending a few of webinars it seems a few of us were in the same mode too.

The spurt of activity post-Christmas seems to have waned, investment-ready, but the button to start is not being pressed.

It is busy busy rather than delivery busy.

Economically it is becoming increasingly evident a pent-up demand for spending and for lending is building. Some consumers are revving their shopping engines, ready to go, just waiting for the brakes to be released.

This of course could somewhat be behind any pause in collections-related investment activity. Financial services businesses could simply be directing funding elsewhere in anticipation of generating growth.

Of course, as discussed last week, we are not out of the woods yet. There is still a substantial proportion of society on furlough and the very real risk of rising unemployment.

This was further highlighted, this week, in the government report on the scheme. It also contained a very illustrative graphic, detailing just how numbers rose, fell and are now on the rise again. What is also worth noting is that this time the numbers are rising at exactly the same time the unemployment rate is increasing too. Something we have not seen to date, so really does seem different this time too.

Lastly, as if to illustrate the point, a study from Ofcom this week showing that 4.7million customers struggled with their Telco bill over the last year too.

Even though lockdowns are starting to relax and things are feeling more optimistic, we need to continue investment and process preparation. Remaining vigilant and focused on spotting is clearly going to remain important.

A couple of other stories this week too

Have a good weekend everyone…

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