How COVID-19 is Changing Technology
This month we're talking Return to Office planning and preparation from a technology and employee perspective. We've covered pre-return IT checklist items and employee planning tips. Today we look at the long-term implications that this Covid-19 experience will have on technology at firms across the globe.
1. Deeper Evaluation of Enabling Remote Workforces for the Long TermEmployees are quickly becoming more comfortable working remote, especially as firms utilize more collaboration tools to increase productivity. As such, we expect firms to:
- Review remote access technology to ensure it is designed for redundancy and long-term remote work usage.
- Update and explore new technologies to make remote workers more productive and successful.
- Evaluate the long-term impact of offering continued remote work options. Items to consider include potential cost savings (i.e. lower real estate costs), employee benefit/retention, expanded talent pool and more.
2. Use of Collaboration Tools & Training Will IncreaseMicrosoft Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive are three tools that can transform operations and enhance collaboration. During this period we have seen more firms embrace these tools based on the ability to maintain security while streamlining communications. Recommendations here include:
- Take the time to train employees on using the tools.
- Ensure the appropriate security layers are implemented and employees are trained on communicating securely.
3. Adoption of the Cloud GrowsCloud is becoming the norm and this situation reinforced the reasons why. Firms operating on a managed cloud platform were able to smoothly transition their employees to a fully-remote environment and scale resources as needed. Looking ahead, businesses should:
- Evaluate how your technology infrastructure fared over the transition to fully remote.
- Established a cloud migration strategy if you're not there yet.
- Review how your IT partner or internal IT department supported your firm and use lessons learned to plan for the future.
4. Business Continuity Plan Testing ExpandsSince the start of 2020, businesses have learned many valuable lessons regarding their business continuity plans, or lack thereof. Now is the time to review and revise your plan to prepare for the future.
- Review testing procedures and expand to ensure every employee is comfortable and has the tools necessary to work remote. Include tests where entire departments are remote for few days or a week to truly test the plan.
- Ensure the plan includes pandemic scenarios and key learnings over COVID-19 response.
- Include technology requirement planning for vacation/second homes of senior executives, including bandwidth.