We are all aware of the disruptions Covid-19 has caused. Some companies have had to shut down and furlough their employees. Some organizations were able to keep their business up and running by arranging for their employees to work from home. It sounded simple at the time, but we are learning there is more involved with remote workers than just giving them a laptop and sending them home. This is especially true when it comes to your organization’s IT systems and planning for future remote working conditions. Are your systems up to the challenge?
When employees first started working remotely as a way to practice social distancing, all that was involved was a strong internet connection and a decent computer. Along came Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other programs designed to keep people engaged and interactive. For some, this was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel's back.” For others, the systems they had in place were able to handle these new demands, at least on a short-term basis. However, working remotely may very well become the norm for many businesses which means there will be even greater demands on IT systems as leaders strategize the best ways to keep workers productive, creative, and loyal.
Here are some things you may want to consider as working remotely continues to bring on new demands into the future:
1. Security – do you have systems in place to keep your data and communications secure when employees are remote? Will employees working virtually be supported as they work from any location, not just from home? Will they be able to log in and conduct business?
2. Flexibility – as situations change will your current system handle it?
3. Processes – will new rules, regulations or processes create issues for any of your current systems or procedures?
4. Logistics – if your employees are scattered around town (or around the world) are your logistics systems able to keep up?
Keeping all this in mind, it is important that you start planning for the future today. Without a crystal ball, this can be difficult, but there are steps you can take now. Plan what you think you want your business to look like a few years down the road. Then revisit these plans periodically over the months and years to guarantee they are still reasonable and appropriate. Stay on top of new developments and keep your system components up to date.
If you would like help analyzing your needs and possible solutions, please give us a call.