The coronavirus made remote operations a reality for companies that hadn’t chosen it. Some had the right technology in place to make smooth transitions to our new normal, while others quickly scrambled to make it work.
Now, as we prepare to enter a third month of shelter-in-place, it’s becoming clear that the temporary fixes many businesses implemented will no longer suffice. We’re starting to see new challenges crop up around companies’ ability to proceed with the larger scale projects they had initially postponed, and we are helping our clients assess what they will need to make working from anywhere doable, both now and for the long haul.
No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
There is truly no one-size-fits-all solution for this. All companies are dealing with unforeseen challenges of working remotely, but they are all dealing with different things. A lot depends on just how much of an organization’s workflow had previously been moved to the cloud.
On one end, we are advising clients that were set up to communicate remotely via email, Teams or Zoom, but that did not have automated clearing house (ACH) or electronic payment options in place on how to pay bills or accept payments remotely. We are helping them understand what software they already own and how it can be turned on or leveraged to a greater extent.
On the other side of the spectrum, we recently helped a healthcare client that is skillful in handling the day-to-day aspects of remote work bring on the right tools, people and technology to proceed with a large-scale, critical transformation project.
Cybersecurity issues are also at the forefront more than ever before. In one unfortunate example, we saw a client get caught up in a ransomware attack when they rushed to distribute laptops (some of which did not have the latest software packages) for employees to use remotely. We are helping them rebuild their books based on backups, while also completing a more in-depth cybersecurity assessment to better prepare them for the future.
Beyond Sink or Swim: Technologies to Consider for the Long Term
Up until now, businesses have been focused on just surviving remotely. But we believe we are starting to enter a new phase where we will need to look at new technologies for the long term. Even if cities and states do begin to open back up, it’s unclear what sort of phasing in will be required back to the traditional office. Remote work, while perhaps not for 100% of employees, is here to stay.
So, we pose this challenge: think of a scenario you are efficient at doing from the office. Now think about virtualizing that same scenario. Does it work? If not, what would you need to do to be just as efficient remotely?
These are the kinds of steps your business will need to consider.