Post-COVID-19 business: planning requires more (not less) investments in technology
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in fact looks like a "doomsday" scenario. But it will not happen. Social isolation, quarantine, the drop in medical equipment, the daily increase in deaths worldwide due to the new virus - all these factors will transform (and improve) in months or weeks. In turn, the effects on the economy can last from months to years.
In fact, there are many uncertainties about the outcome of the current crisis. The number one priority is survival. The purpose of survival is to succeed in the future. In order to have a successful future, however, your business needs to plan for my vpn address.
Next, check out the steps you and your company should take to prepare for the post-pandemic world!
1. Increase IT investments now
Yes, we know that this tip seems very contradictory in the current scenario. But consider the impact of all current trends.
The biggest and most immediate trend, of course, is cost containment. A PwC survey showed that about 62% of organizations are taking cost-containment measures related to the coronavirus crisis.
However, in general, this containment of expenses has been affected by the substitution of the physical for the virtual - video chats instead of business trips, meetings and conferences.
A large number of employees now work from home, which is a semi-permanent move. It is unlikely that face-to-face work in companies will be maintained at the same rate after the end of the crisis. It is worth remembering that this transition to the home office means less spending on fixed workstations and more investment in IT infrastructure for remote work.
Transition to the home office and the virtual
To survive, retail migrates to online. Customer service has become virtual. With social isolation, interactions between employees, customers and partners can only occur via technology. With the rise of remote work, new habits are forming - and they must remain in the post-pandemic world, which will be a different world.
In this sense, the high expenses with face-to-face interactions (travel, meetings, etc.) will fall sharply, while the (relatively lower) costs of electronic interactions will rise. This will cause a change in IT-related expenses.
There are, of course, multiple trends in security threats, which point to the need for more investment in data protection tools. After all, a global recession is driving cybercrime.
All the fear associated with the coronavirus has already been exploited through data theft, social engineering and phishing attacks. In fact, it is cheaper to invest in the appropriate security infrastructure than to bear the cost of possible data breaches and leaks.
In the current context, many will want to cut all types of costs without thinking - but this is a recipe for disaster. To reduce expenses, it is essential to invest in lower cost alternatives. Cutting all spending without planning is likely to result in catastrophic failures and cyber-attacks.
2. Focus on retention and even hiring IT talent
Security and IT departments already suffered from a talent / skill shortage before the pandemic. They will suffer this shortage during the pandemic. And they will continue to suffer after the pandemic.
Building solid and talented teams is an arduous, time-consuming process that has a return on investment only in the long run. Now is not the time to put that effort aside!
3. Plan the business for a permanent increase in remote work
Everyone is talking about the home office phenomenon, especially when it comes to the psychological adjustments necessary for this transition. On the other hand, little is said about another emerging problem: companies are facing unprecedented challenges in their communication infrastructure.
Even the U.S. Air Force reported that it has exceeded its maximum VPN (virtual private network) capacity, which is 72,000 users.
To give you an idea, Microsoft's conference app gained more than 12 million daily users in a single week. The Slack app has been experiencing similar growth. And while the famous Zoom is the big star of the current remote work movement, other similar applications are also standing out.
The transition to the home office model indicates that its employees are now, more than ever, relying on broadband services, which have recorded usage records.
In this context, it is very likely that your employees will lose connectivity (or suffer with a very slow connection): many broadband services are failing to meet the high demand. So it is interesting to start planning a distribution of mobile hotspots or other alternative ways to keep the team connected during remote work.
Overnight, the pandemic radically increased remote access and the use of video conferences. But these systems are not yet adequately secured or prepared.
It is also true that thousands of companies around the world have been taken by surprise when it comes to a solid policy that sets the rules for remote work. This must be resolved immediately.
Ensure that your policy is up to date for the current situation, taking into account important factors such as expectations of productivity / response time, hours of work, equipment, technical support, security, confidentiality and others.
In this sense, it is important to continue to build and develop your remote work policy during and after the crisis.
Keep in mind that many remote employees in your company will not have the skills, inclinations, personality or habits needed to work successfully in the home office. It is likely that you will have to offer online training at this time of adaptation.
Finally, it is very important to consider that IT talent will be working from home - and this change is likely to be permanent for many of them. This will require special adjustments in infrastructure, hardware, software and training.
4. Develop centralized communication
In a crisis (and a post-crisis future in which employees will be more dispersed), the need for centralized communication is greater than ever.
First, set up a team to lead the communication, which must be daily. This team must meet regularly, define a process to involve management and transmit information to everyone with clarity and transparency - as quickly as possible.
Alongside this effort, it is important that businesses also communicate frequently and effectively with customers, partners, stakeholders and others involved in the organization.
Don't forget: communication is the most important element of leadership. During and after the crisis, a return to successful operations will demand that leadership. After the storm passes, everyone will be looking for true leaders who convey firmness and security, contextualize the events in a larger scenario and make everyone look in the same direction together.
With skill and a little luck, your organization will go through this difficult period. Success and growth after the pandemic will largely depend on the decisions leaders make now. Stay calm, think long term and guide your company through the crisis - and towards a successful future!