We’re a year into the pandemic now and our world looks quite a bit different than it did at the start of 2020. As hope is on the horizon for a return to some of the things we’re used to doing, like having backyard BBQs with friends or seeing a ballgame in person, most people realize that things may not go back in time but become a “new normal.”
For example, employees working from home has become a standard during the last year. Many companies in Sturgeon Bay and the rest of the world had no choice but to enable remote workers to keep their businesses going.
But all those remote workers aren’t going to come back to the office full-time. It turns out that both employers and employees found some benefits in telecommuting, like cost savings and increased productivity.
There are several important technology lessons we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that can be utilized to make the new post-pandemic normal even better.
Cloud Communication is Vital to Well-Performing Companies
Cloud communications platforms saw a surge of popularity during the pandemic. With people working from different locations and the inability to meet with clients in person, virtual ways of connecting have become vital.
Between November 2019 and October 2020, the communication hub Microsoft Teams saw a 475% increase in users, from 20 million to 115 million.
Companies can eliminate the isolation that is inherent with a work-from-home situation as well as connect meaningfully with customers if they have the right cloud communication tools to do it.
Lesson: Invest in a good unified communications platform, because virtual connections are still going to be important post-pandemic.
Business Continuity Planning is For All Sized Businesses
Business continuity planning isn’t just something done by large enterprise corporations, it’s basically disaster preparedness for your company, which is pertinent no matter how large or small it is.
The companies that had the highest costs and most downtime when the pandemic first began, where those that were unprepared. Companies that had been putting cloud systems in place (just in case) years before and had contingency plans for remote working, fared much better with lower costs and less downtime.
Lesson: Having a business continuity game plan should be a high priority, no matter what size business you have. It will pay off when the next work-stopping event happens.
It’s Time to Optimize Your Cloud Use
When the stay-at-home orders first started hitting, companies rushed to put cloud systems in place so employees could work from home. But many of them didn’t have a strategy and just cobbled together different cloud apps. Remote employees also started using apps on their own (shadow IT), which led to more problems.
Cloud waste accounts for about 1/3 of all cloud spending. This comes in the form of things like duplication of app features and having individual employee SaaS accounts instead of a master business account for certain tools.
It’s time to optimize and streamline cloud use to remove waste and make it as efficient as possible going forward. This means looking at all-in-one platforms like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, and choosing apps that can integrate for automation.
Lesson: Just using cloud tools isn’t good enough, companies need to have a full cloud environment strategy.
Remote Security Needs Attention
Cybercrime has gone through the roof during the pandemic, this is in large part due to hackers taking advantage of unsecure remote teams. There are several different security considerations when employees work off-site.
Companies need to rethink their cybersecurity to include security for remote teams, such as:
- Virtual private network (VPN)
- Endpoint management
- Managed services & updates for WFH staff devices
- Cloud access security
Lesson: A cybersecurity plan going forward needs to incorporate employees that work outside the office either from home or while mobile.
We Still Need In-Person Interactions
As great as Zoom and other video tools have been in keeping us all connected to friends, family, colleagues, and customers during this time, it’s not a full replacement for in-person interactions.
People still crave the contact of others in the same space. It can also make for more effective and impactful team building and client interactions.
It’s important for companies that have relied on video and cloud communications solely for the past year to find a balance between the two once in-person activities are safe again.
Lesson: Two great things can be combined to make a company even better. The trick is finding the right balance between virtual and IRL (in real life).
Get Your Technology Prepared for the Future
Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area business incorporate lessons learned from the pandemic into your technology workflows and help you stay resilient for whatever the future may bring.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.