The continuing global spread of the coronavirus scourge is seriously putting businesses on the bad spot and it means that without any appreciable effort at terminating the spread, businesses will have to come up with out-of-the-box ideas to stay functional. The major concern everybody is facing is if the level of global advancement in technology has prepared the business world for such mammoth upheaval in the way and manner we conduct our day-to-day businesses.
Technology has to come in to help tame the spread unless we either want to all die off. This will be the case if we lack basic amenities that we need from our companies for our daily living due to closure of businesses or if we have to dare the consequences and go on as if nothing has happened in order to ensure the amenities are there.
There is no need to overemphasize the fact that businesses are in for the very real probability that urging employees to go into the office, is all we need to heighten the risk of spreading coronavirus. This is where all the latest advancements in technology will come to the front burner as the world grapples with coronavirus.
At this point in time and to be able to curtail the spread of coronavirus, the world needs every possible means of seclusion. This also applies to workplaces, we should try everything possible to ensure that people don’t gather unnecessarily as this is a surefire way of contracting the virus.
Fortunately for us, technology has afforded us the opportunity of working from home, and we need to extensively capitalize on that from now. It’s good news to hear that some firms have started to encourage staff to say away from the office to reduce the risk of them coming into contact with infected fellow commuters.
It’s, however, of utmost importance that ample sensitization is embarked upon to bring a turn around among businesses that have possibly been rather selective or even nonchalant about the prospects of remote working. Understandably, such businesses might not have invested in the infrastructure and security tools to support access from outside the office.
William MacDonald, chief strategy officer at StarLeaf, was reported to have said that many organizations have the systems and processes in place to support remote working. This is, however not enough, inasmuch as the coronavirus scourge is still very prevalent, and we have not been able to fashion out a solution for it, virtually every business needs to integrate remote working.
It can’t be a matter of choice. You need a remote working policy in place and this must outline all you expect from employees who will have to work from outside the office.
It may be important that you set out all the details about the requirements involved in your company’s mode of remote work. These may include the amount of time to be put in by an employee and legal rights.
One area that must be highly emphasized is the issue of privacy or security. You must also make available the essential collaboration tools as these will go a long way in ensuring that employees carry bout their assignments to the best of their abilities.
Technological advancements are almost making emails and voice calls redundant especially as they concern remote working. In their place, you should make available video conferencing opportunities as a means of ensuring prompt collaboration and content sharing.
“While the virus itself is topping the news agenda, what will the impact of remote working be on UK businesses,” said Rufus Grig, chief strategy officer at Maintel. This is a clarion call for businesses not only in the UK to wake up to the scourge of coronavirus.
While at it, you must understand that it’s not enough to simply ask your employees to just work from home probably with their laptops or other devices. This will in no way enhance productivity, it must be a concerted effort with every employee on the same page.
You also must take into focus the security impact. Are you prepared for the possible waves of cyberattacks that could be unleashed on you if your employees are not securely connected?
This could be a haven for cybercriminals to wreak untold damages. It’s not a case of if, but rather a case of how soon more companies will ask their workers to work from home.
A lot of managed service providers are already looking at the issue and making sure they can support customers when they inevitably develop a response to coronavirus. If the situation proves too tasking for your IT teams, nothing stops you from turning to freelance support or have the headache taken away by a managed service provider.
Whatever option you deem fit, you must ensure that productivity and to a very large extent, security is not compromised. Utilizing technology to ensure maximum output even in the face of the coronavirus scourge should be the primary responsibility of the CIO which should be done in conjunction with the head of HR.
This will ultimately lead to the implementation of a technology-enabled business continuity plan. You can’t afford to wait, coronavirus is ravaging and unfortunately, there is no known cure for it yet.
Your employees should be able to communicate even while working from home and you can deploy non-corporate messaging services like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp or Skype for this. All your employees should have remote access, you can even go at it through BYOD but security must be in top gear.
Curtailing systems overload
One fallout from this may be a possible systems-overload. Your systems may have been programmed to have restrictions that limit usage as a form of security check.
Since a lot of people will be logging in at the same time, it’s likely that the security gateway may incorrectly assume that the corporate network is under attack from a distributed denial-of-service attack. You can, however, ensure that there are enough user licenses to cope with the extra users logging in remotely.
If you have technical measures in place as expected to prevent corporate data from leaving the corporate network, you need to change access rights to enhance productivity. You may not get it perfect at the onset but there is the room for improvisation as you go along.