By now, we must have all read how hard-pressed organisations, reeling from COVID-19 and searching for any solution to keep going, have enthusiastically embraced tech-based homeworking. The pandemic is sparing no-one, be it charity or other non-profit body. The same goes for high street name or multinational.
Unfortunately, in the dash to implement the use of such remote work principles, there's a downside. It's all about survival, of course, but at any cost? We are trying to pull off what amounts to a delicate balancing act aimed at reversing dwindling revenue streams and wherever possible retaining employees.
Technology has come to the fore during COVID-19, across all types and sizes of organisations, although not always positively. I am just off the phone from one charitable cause who hit a snag with the heavily marketed Zoom video-conference offering. It's market worth has now topped an eyewatering $100bn, fuelled by the pandemic, but has had recurring problems regarding outages. Latest reports reveal that Zoom is adapting its global product to be more safer to use, and more like competitor Microsoft Teams.
An organisation's ongoing strategy and governance each tie in with online privacy and confidentiality. The clever tech folks at Scotland's leading indigenous IT solutions firm, Exception, have been putting me right as regards to the way ahead in terms of these two vital areas affecting almost every one of us. The significant rise in homeworking has made having an effective and safe digital workplace more important than ever in terms of increased efficiencies and staff productivity. Exception's teams have both witnessed and helped with what they describe as the 'Herculean efforts' of customers to increase virtual private network (VPN) capacity, roll out new devices, and ramp up usage of Cloud services. All this, whilst helping colleagues shift to what amounts to a new way of working.
For some, it is being achieved by executing well-planned and well-rehearsed business continuity plans. For others, it has necessitated a significant pivot away from their previous norm, venturing into unchartered waters of technology and practices unfamiliar to both IT team member and the wider organisation.
However, questions have arisen over strategy and governance of such new working operations. You'll probably recognise some of your own organisation from above. Ask yourself the following: What sacrifices were made to set up new systems and processes so rapidly? Has your organisation had the time to undertake the necessary due diligence, ensuring operations are secure and sustainable for the long-term? For some, the answer will be 'Yes', for others, there may be doubts and a lingering uncertainty. When it comes to the latter, it's absolutely vital that they review and evolve their operations as required.
Whatever your starting point is in the context of COVID-19, all organisations should closely check for any tech gaps urgently needing to be plugged – to ensure you're both pandemic and future proof.