We’re all familiar with the term ‘industrial revolution’. We all sat through the same history lessons where we were taught how it forever changed Britain’s economy and led us to adopt new ways of working. But revolution didn’t just stop in the 1800s – modern history has in fact witnessed three, and the world is now gripped by a fourth. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is an amalgamation of technology that has blurred the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. The explosion of this revolution is unprecedented, with COVID-19 providing the spark that lit the fuse.
Industry 4.0 was on the horizon long before the pandemic, with many companies anticipating a change, but that didn’t mean that the seemingly overnight upheaval of the working world wasn’t difficult. Working from home increased eight-fold in April 2020, affecting 43.1% of the UK workforce. This sudden change in reality catalysed the need for agile business, with companies forced to keep up. With an average increase of seven years in the rate at which companies have enhanced their digital offerings, COVID-19 tipped industry over the technological edge.
For companies that had already started to accept the 4IR, the sudden arrival of a pandemic was the impetus for opportunity. Innovative businesses built upon substantial foundations and leveraged the change to their advantage. Being adaptable fostered a resilience that made navigating this new reality much easier, meaning some companies didn’t just survive, they thrived.
VISFO was one such company. Our team was quick to adapt, relishing the opportunity to be part of such a pivotal transformation. By utilising new digital offerings, we were able to upskill to meet the new demands of the tech space, arming us with a resilience that allowed us to double our workforce over the past two years.
It is not, however, solely the tech industry that is feeling the impact of the 4IR. All manner of businesses have been forced to swim – or sink. The historically cautious pharmaceutical (pharma) industry has not been able to deny that it is time for change, that there is a need to deliver solutions to critical problems in healthcare at a greater pace than ever before, and the 4IR has presented a unique opportunity to meet increasing demands while remaining at the cutting-edge.
With new ways to access and analyse big data, engage with communities and cross-collaborate, it is time for pharma to think differently, which is where VISFO comes in. With roots firmly grounded in science and medicine, we are perfectly placed to serve the rapidly changing needs of pharma companies. Our team, consisting of everything from software engineers and designers to clinical experts and health economists, work to deliver data-driven insights enabling clients to act smarter, faster and in the modern patient’s best interest.
So how has VISFO adapted and what are some of the crucial factors that have led to our success in navigating the ‘new normal’?
There were two crucial ingredients needed to successfully navigate the transition. First, managing a team that was adjusting to an entirely new way of working required an entirely new type of leadership and, ‘at the heart of that is good communication’ says Tom Henderson, VISFO’s Head of Product. ‘We have daily stand-up meetings and cross-team sprint reviews- to keep everyone informed and encouraged.’ Matt Stoker, one of our Front-End Developers tells us, ‘I still feel like I work with my team every day, we are given everything we need to adapt and improve even though we are no longer physically working together.’
The second ingredient: a willingness to be disruptive. At its core, disruptive thinking is thinking differently, which is at the heart of what we do. Investing in disruptive practices and being comfortable with the outcomes has proven instrumental to leveraging the opportunities of this revolution instead of falling victim to its challenges. Our diverse team can create innovative solutions enabling our clients to find more agile solutions and meet the healthcare needs of patients today.
The next normal
The past few years have created a very rare window of opportunity to reflect and redefine the kind of future we want not only as a business but as a group of individuals. Our vision has always been to make science personal, something the transformational power of the 4IR could make possible. With aims to modernise patient care and reduce health inequality at the core of this human-centric revolution, we are hugely excited to be part of a company who are utilising this progress to improve patient wellbeing.
Individually, we are all enjoying a better work-life balance; less commute time, less stringent working environments and flexible hours. VISFO is determined to keep on moving forward; we have maintained a hybrid model, offering everything from regular on-site meetups to virtual hangouts, creating an inclusive and supportive workplace and delivering projects that really do make science, ever more personal.
If you want to join VISFO and experience this for yourself, we are actively recruiting. For more information, check out the current list of available roles here: