The Reimagined Role of Technology in the Time of COVID

Jay Mehra Co-founder + CTO
July 11, 2020

We are now into month five of being a ‘work from home’ world, something that managers and HR departments alike probably never thought possible before COVID-19. Business teams have adapted, ensuring connectivity to drive performance and re-building office culture via happy hours and virtual meet-ups. As business leaders, we are in varying stages of readiness and response but what is for certain is that we’re all moving at one speed – fast(er).

This catapult into virtual working has laid bare for businesses just how effective their technology landscape is – or isn’t. Instead of systems planning being one of many business needs leaders are weighing, the need to upgrade technology is now more clearly an existential imperative. It is a seismic shift, and hopefully it also now serves as a catalyst to put technology at the forefront of business strategy.

Transformation by COVID

For asset finance companies that still maintain high-touch, manual processes, this experience has likely been more difficult to navigate. They have no doubt been reinventing processes to be able to work as distributed teams but may not have the ability to leverage technology to accelerate or bring efficiency to these changes. What if they still require paper documents to be executed for origination? Will they now be amenable to e-signature to accelerate time to funding? As a more complete solution, they may now be considering a customer-facing portal to more fully automate the management of not only the initial sale, but the entire customer lifecycle.

In today’s market, the first instinct may be to throttle capital expenditures - but now is an optimal time to reevaluate your systems and migrate off legacy products that are holding you back.

Investing in a core technology platform will allow you to consolidate all your disparate systems and be better positioned for business agility. Are you still maintaining separate front and back end systems? Do you have a high vendor dependency to get changes made? That’s legacy thinking. You can bring efficiency to your operations and reduce cost by implementing a more modern solution, and you can also be better positioned to adapt to the changing landscape of business – newer models like pay-per-use.

At Odessa, we have invested in transforming the Odessa Platform to adapt ahead of the industry, enabling us to now be the preferred technology solution for managing pay-per-use models. It’s certainly even more attractive now with COVID-19 impacting business confidence, but it’s also the natural economic evolution we’re seeing anyway. Partnering to onboard this functionality now is a strategic decision to be a disruptor, not the disrupted.

The one constant as we navigate the impact of COVID-19 – is change. There is real, material economic impact that necessitates swift action to be able to navigate these unprecedented circumstances successfully. We are in regular conversation with our customers, lessors who are impacted, about how they need to evolve quickly to better serve their customers through crisis. This means adapting to handle negative interest rates, facilitating the suspension of late fees, and managing restructures as a response to deferred payments. As their technology partner with the Odessa Platform, we enable our customers with the agility to adapt their processes and workflow to meet the needs of this ‘new normal’ so they can deliver value.

While none of us are Nostradamus, there does seem to be a collective understanding that the face of work will look different tomorrow than it did yesterday. As a business leader, that’s a difficult thing to grapple with – but it’s also an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to reimagine how we work and what role technology plays in our brand story and value proposition.

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