In today’s new digital workspace technologies and networks have become more robust. There is no doubt that organizations are benefiting from the increased digitization of the workplace. As computing power available in consumer hardware continues to increase employees become more comfortable working on their devices. Technology supporting a digitally integrated workforce gets stronger and more robust every year, enabling enterprises to keep a very disperse team on the same page logistically and moving towards the same goals. This in turn is helping organizations improve and maintain business continuity but also achieve enormous success through increased productivity, cost savings, a more mobile and agile workforce.
Technology the Enabler
Technology advancements enabled remote work, but now remote worker’s demands are driving technology forward. Teleconferencing and Telework technology have advanced to the point where some businesses thrive with completely remote teams. Teams across time zones and countries can work remotely while staying connected to their teams virtually via Skype, VoIP, email, and cloud-stored files.
Some of the best technologies that organizations can use to maintain business continuity:
Cloud Computing– The biggest advantage is besides being scalable you don’t need to spend money on infrastructure needs.
Business Apps– Once you’re up and running on the cloud, you can further improve collaboration with cloud-based business apps, such as those related to project management and communication
Mobile Tools– Organizations can make it easier for their employees to use mobile devices by providing them with a VPN remote access.
Unified Communication– Tools like Google Suite, Slack and Skype are some of the best communication platforms for live idea sharing and collaborating.
Project Management Tools– When employees are dispersed across different locations, project management tools allow them to communicate and collaborate synchronously.
Video Conferencing– Videoconferencing has become one of the most helpful technologies for both in-house and remote employees. Smart video conferencing cameras allow remote workers to feel as if they’re in the meeting room with their in-office colleagues.
Remote Work and Business Continuity amid the threat of a pandemic
A recent header on fortune.com read “The Coronavirus Is Crushing Business”. We’re being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment and, so far, it hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations to implement. This is the time to protect your business and minimize the impact both from an operational and revenue perspective. Remote work has significantly increased. But its growing popularity is remaking how we work, the tools we use to work, how we communicate at work
This new digital workplace also creates its own challenges, including security, developing a new kind of digital etiquette to expectations for employees.
Here are some off the shelve software we recommend that would not only take care of your major security concerns but also contribute towards streamlining your organizational needs for better productivity and success :
- Using Azure AD Conditional Access and Microsoft Intune app protection policies together helps manage and secure corporate data in approved apps on these personal devices, so employees can remain productive.
- Remote Desktop Tools such as “Remote Desktop Manager”, “ZOHO Assist”, “Team Viewer” provides good security of data and information as you have a team which looks after the server against the security breach
- Encryption software such as “AxCrypt”, “CryptoExpert”,”CertainSafe (completely cloud based) can protect company data by barring access from any unauthorized users of those devices.
- Firewalls, Antivirus Software and Anti-Malware software such as “Norton”, “McAfee”, “Spybot” provide an extra level of security.
What Is in Store for SME
Small and Medium businesses need to have an effective continuity plan especially during the current strict implementations of social distancing. For many small business, this means losing the customers who keep them afloat. This would most definitely require some time and investment towards technology.
- One of the best strategies they can use is to “Go-Online”. With many small business retailers having websites offering their products online, your favorite items can be delivered right to your door. You can start an online store using WooCommerce. It’s the most popular ecommerce platform in the world. You can also use WordPress + WooCommerce to sell gift cards for your products and services
- For small and medium size businesses, building a remote work force makes perfect sense. With remote teams, communication is like oxygen. Reliable team software like Slack or Microsoft teams is much recommended.
- In these tough times you must stay in constant communication with your customers. The easiest way to send bulk email is by using an email marketing service like Constant Contact or SendinBlue.
- Switching to online would definitely require you to have a live chat software. Also if you are a small team and don’t have the workforce to manage live chat you can also look at using com.
What the Future Brings
Remote work is already attractive to employees who need greater flexibility .As remote work becomes more common, its effects are going to increase. By 2030, the demand for remote work will increase by 30% due to Generation Z fully entering the workforce. The mandatory use of remote work for business continuity should signal to all organizations that it’s time to revisit their remote working policies and redesign them for wider application as business as usual.
You just don’t need the right tech but the right culture as well for your business to succeed. There is no doubt that digital technology is aiding business continuity during this pandemic. Companies across the globe are adapting digitization.