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Panel Discussion Roundup: Lessons Learnt in Trying Times - People, Processes & Technology

By Amisha Shah | Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
Firms around the world were forced to adopt a new norm due to the unprecedented spread of a global pandemic. Whilst there is still uncertainty around when we might be able to go back to the way we were operating before, having tried and tested remote working for a prolonged period, now is a good time for the investment sector to reflect on early lessons learnt from adapting to a shifting landscape. 

In a recent panel discussion, senior technology experts from Eze Castle Integration and guest speaker from a global private equity firm together explored lessons learnt from a people, processes, and technology standpoint, in the face of the global Coronavirus pandemic. Today’s blog will roundup key lessons and takeaways from the discussion. You can also watch the replay below to listen in on the full discussion.

People

For employees personally, effectiveness of home broadband connections will have largely dictated the experience of working from home for a prolonged period. To add, finding a new work life balance may have been a challenge for some, whilst others might have preferred the new setup, which enables more time with the family. Investment firms are advised to reflect on how effective they were in supporting their employees during the pandemic. Firms should reflect on effectiveness of morale boosting techniques used, and flexibility offered to support staff through this sudden shift from the status quo, to better prepare for future crisis management.

As a result of the pandemic, some investment professionals and firms will have realised they can work just as effectively in a remote model and might look to reduce office headcount to cut operating costs. This requires close consideration to office and remote setups. More frequent working remote practices require attention to whether adequate equipment and materials available to staff in their home environment. 

Processes

Employees’ home security posture is another element that requires reflection. We have written a separate article on employee home security posture you may like to check out. Additionally, when working from home, investment firms around the world will have adopted different routes to enabling employee access to the corporate network. We’ve explored the different routes taking effectiveness and security into consideration in a recent blog article you can read to delve deeper.

In addition to secure access, the security of remote processes should also be assessed. Processes generally deemed simple and easy such as sign off on projects, getting costs approved and making payments require extra layers of security due to the rise in hacks and scams in the current landscape, and increased firm vulnerability created due to the lack of in person interaction for such processes.

Technology

Fortunately for the business world, this pandemic occurred at a time where technology is highly supportive of the remote working model. Most firms today store their assets and data on the cloud, therefore have been able to continue to go about majority of their daily operations as they would with just a few teething problems. Key collaborations tools enabled by the cloud such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive, have made it easy for employees to remain connected and continue to work on collaborative projects.

Firms using an on-premise infrastructure model will have had more trouble powering remote collaboration for its workforce. This is a good time for such firms to consider migrating to the cloud

Investment firms will have also realised the importance of having a strong Unified Communications -as-a-Service (UCaaS) and reliable voice solution in place, with all internal and external communications shifting to this method only overnight. Audio and video calls have enabled businesses to stay connected internally and with clients and partners externally, through virtual meetings with the right tools in place. Firms are encouraged to assess whether their voice solution was reliable during this time and consider an upgrade if it could have been better at keeping the all important communications flowing.

We hope you found this article informative. Watch the video below for the full discussion and to hear the industry peers share their experiences. 

 
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