The secret to business agility

Men running against a bar graph to illustrate the countdown to hard brexit

Steven French, executive vice president of Hitachi Solutions Europe, and George Efthimiou, the company’s business development director, consider the views on Brexit shared by our panel of business leaders – and explain how British companies can prepare themselves in 2017

Steve French of Hitachi Solutions considers a hard brexitWith both potentially volatile times and new opportunities ahead for British business, following the decision to leave the EU, it is crucial, says Steven French, executive vice president of Hitachi Solutions Europe, for companies to stay agile to retain their global competitiveness.

“No one likes uncertainty at the best of times but now, as our interviewees suggest, it’s more important than ever for companies to prepare themselves so they are able to adapt to whatever Brexit delivers,” he tells Director. “People are right to be concerned, because if changes occur that alter what you need to be doing as a business, that’s very disruptive and often hard to do at the drop of a hat.”

French’s advice is clear: Britain’s directors should start thinking about the implications and opportunities a ‘hard Brexit’ could have on business, and how to boost their agility and resilience. If UK directors are not thinking about how they are going to implement organisational change, which will naturally occur as a result of Brexit, they are likely to face considerable challenges in the future.

“The consequences of Brexit need to be thought about now,” he says. “The challenge, of course, is not knowing what you’re trying to anticipate, but business leaders should consider how they may need to adapt their processes and systems.”

How Hitachi Solutions can help

Essentials for Professional Services, from Hitachi Solutions, is an optimised project and resource management solution that gives deep insight into the way a business operates. It is designed to automate processes, identify areas for cost improvement, and enable companies to respond to change with ease.

The solution, explains George Efthimiou, Hitachi Solutions’ business development director, is flexible and will allow businesses to adapt to the environment around them. Crucially, he says, it enables companies to remain agile, which will be vital in 2017.

“The discussion was really interesting and I felt four main themes emerged: don’t panic, cash is king, do what you do but keep doing it better, and lastly, focus on your people. This is how our Essentials for Professional Services can help. It’s a people-based solution, meaning it’s all about fitting the right people to the right job at the right time,” he explains. “In times of uncertainty, such as the UK faces following the Brexit decision, most organisations will look at how to streamline their business, work out where  the money is being spent, improve their processes and try to determine how many individuals they actually need to achieve their objectives – all of which our solution addresses.”

The Essentials for Professional Services solution is a pre-configured software solution, based on Microsoft Dynamics, that can be adapted to a company’s needs. The standardisation of the product, says Efthimiou, means it can be up and running within just a few months, rather than taking a year or two to deploy.

It is ideal, he adds, for professional services businesses, such as accountancy or law firms, which are looking to streamline their operations. “The system basically works out how much is being spent internally and where – enabling companies to make savings.”

“As a professional services firm ourselves, Hitachi Solutions understands the importance of being able to adapt during volatile times,” says French. “We know that working smart and remaining agile in 2017 is going to be critical – and our professional services solution can help UK businesses prepare themselves for the challenges that lie ahead.”

Four business benefits of Essentials for Professional Services

“It’s a people-based solution, meaning it’s all about fitting the right people to the right job at the right time,” says George Efthimiou

Focus on your people

Find and retain the right people, then fast-track them to secure the next level of leadership in your business. Ensure the right people are utilised for the right opportunity.

Drive operational effectiveness

By automating processes and controlling costs with a single company-wide solution.

Plan through uncertainty

Through a flexible and adaptable business tool that enables a comprehensive, real-time picture of the business. Analytics and flexible processes enable professional services businesses to monitor and respond to change with speed and ease.

Ensure positive cash contribution and profitability

By ensuring quotes are realistic and by placing the right people to do the right jobs at the right time

To read the Hitachi Solutions and Microsoft Countdown to Brexit roundtable click here

For more information on Hitachi Solutions’ Essentials for Professional Services, visit


Or call 0844 693 1538

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Director commercial and sales

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