The enforced lockdown due to the Coronavirus has placed a new demand for IT systems and technology like never before. Many businesses have had no choice but to transition themselves from process-driven central offices to goal-driven remote working collectives.
Naturally, this sudden change has businesses asking questions about how they operate, for example:
*Is the business able to work in a fully distributed way without the close bonds of a single location?
*Has the company got the IT maturity to be able to smoothly and effectively transition from centralised to distributed in less than three weeks?
*What new issues have arisen and are now taking priority for staff and management?
*Is there sufficient thought and capacity to cope with the shattered perimeters of distance working?
While the ongoing social and psychological impact is yet to be truly measured and addressed since the start of the large scale migration to home working, the immediate necessity for technology has taken priority so that businesses can stay operational as they come to terms with remote working.
It is not surprising that this current COVID-19 scenario has little planning or rehearsal, and thus the inevitable scramble for laptops indicated that preparations were almost non-existent. The widespread lack of development and training for remote working has created various IT challenges and demands. These new demands have highlighted weaknesses and gaps in many businesses’ IT infrastructure. Typically from our experience, these demands are present due to poorly performing hardware, inflexible software configurations and most critically internet access and speed. CIS are fortunate in that many of our clients utilise the “Remote Virtual Work” technology hosted in our secure UK data centre, the whole purpose of which is to allow flexible and easy to remote access IT systems without compromises.
However, the broader issues do not stop at getting access to your IT systems. Many IT systems and office networks have not thought through the spread of data across a vast geography. Therefore there is a very high chance that cyber security and electronic data protection is also on the back foot. Cyber criminals, however, are using this time of uncertainty to their advantage, increasing their activities to exploit and hold companies to e-ransom.
There are several security systems that CIS provide that would address these types of risks; Multifactor Authentication, Secure Laptop Encryption and Offsite Backup and Replication, to name a few.
As time progresses, employees for many businesses are now settling down and getting used with the ability to function at home effectively. New skills will have been acquired in video conferencing and distributed document sharing. Ultimately, businesses will come to realise that there are better and more efficient ways of working due to the following reasons:
• Fewer interruptions from colleagues
• Less stress and costs of travelling to and from work
• More relaxed home environments with fewer time constraints
Many people are now looking at their homes differently, potentially re-organising furniture, buying a more comfortable chair for their home desks, and generally making their home office/desk akin to their typical preferred working environment. There will no doubt be several questions when this pandemic is subsiding as to whether the newly established working from home is here to stay as a more permanent basis rather than just the odd day here and there.
If the change is here to stay, solutions will need to take into account the loss of human social contact staff typically have with their colleagues. Many people will miss the office ‘water-cooler’ to chat or the breakout room where they would usually catch up at lunchtimes and breaks. The social aspect to work, however fragmented and transitory those relationships are, still hold value and will need to be maintained if businesses want to strengthen their team bond.
In short, while the world adjusts to the new way of working, many businesses will take advantage of this time to rethink their business strategy. Organisations big and small will be looking favourably at improving their IT infrastructure, as we have now seen the importance technology has had while businesses are trying to keep operations running amidst the challenges brought by COVID 19.
Business and IT have already changed forever; many people are now seeing the real advantages that technology can bring to organisations, especially when uncertainty is a significant factor.
Have you experienced IT challenges due to Coronavirus?
If your business is experiencing any IT challenges due to the Coronavirus and sudden the shift to remote working, CIS is conducting FREE one-to-one IT surgeries to help out during this uncertain time.
We have also created some useful surveys which may help you to discover if your business is at risk from external threats or if your business is working optimally while we work remotely.
To Access our FREE help, please visit microsite.cisltd.com Or call CIS on 01367 248 700.