The Whole New World: Beyond the Pandemic (and the Laptop)
Here we are, eighteen months after COVID-19 changed our lives. It is amazing to think of how we used to do things and how grocery shopping, social events and our daily lives are SO much different. We’ve learned about new ways of working and living. At the same time, we have shifted our paradigms about what it means to be at work or play and in community. Our world is full of distance, encumbered by precautions and riddled with uncertainty.
Adapting To Our Technology
Who would have predicted that it would be so difficult to locate and buy webcams and microphones? Could we have anticipated the electronics component shortage that increased demand for mobile technology? How did Zoom, Teams and Google become so ubiquitous and in their own unique way all present one consistent challenge: “You’re on mute”?
Technology has not changed much, except that we use devices in different ways depending on the environment. Home offices require tech upgrades since until now, these locations have been our lowest priority. Speed and performance are at a premium, especially if things are not set up quite right. Often the smallest issues get in the way of the biggest job requirements we face. It is the way we humans use and value technology that’s changed.
We have adapted our business processes and clients have adjusted expectations to accommodate a new set of norms.
- The dog barks in the middle of our meeting.
- It is more difficult to balance the demands of home with the process and outcomes of work.
- We must be more tolerant of each other and shift the paradigms of typical work environments to produce effective work outcomes.
- The pattern and cadence of our lives change as we ebb between peak performance and low energy.
- Work is no longer performed during “normal business hours”; instead, we do what we need to do – when we need to do it – in response to whatever challenge.
Optimistically speaking, it feels like we are emerging from the pandemic and transitioning to a new way of doing things. Indeed, it is a whole new world of opportunity requiring personal change management that takes us beyond the virus and on to what many believe will be a time of prosperity. Technology will be in middle of it all, utilized by people for new and innovative approaches to solving today’s problems.
The Formula for Success
Mobility + Access + Security = Success
When it comes to technology, there is a formula to successful deployment and usage in the post-pandemic world. While quite specific to each individual or organization, the combination of these elements will yield productivity, employee satisfaction and improve bottom line results. Spend some time thinking through how these elements play out for your setting or situation, as these nine tips are key to successfully managing your organization’s technology and employee’s relation.
Strategizing For Mobility
- Pay close attention to the handoffs and integrations between devices. The advent of Google, Microsoft, and Zoom collaboration emphasizes connection between people and relies less on the device that serves up that conversation.
- Deploy software with multi-use in mind. Core software deployments require attention to each setup and consistent management of versions, software updates and integration across platforms.
- Protect the physical device from future damage or loss. Insure against accidental damage with service packs that guarantee service levels and turnaround times in case of repair or replacement.
4. Securely connect home and office. Implementing Virtual Private Network (VPN) configurations are priority one when implementing a work from home strategy.
5. Adapt access and acceptable use policies. There is a new set of behaviors when accessing company owned data. Communicate new policies and expectations from the outset.
6. Consider cloud desktop services. The cloud provides consistent desktop interface and access to data across any Internet connected device.
Implementing Security Measures
7. Increase antivirus and malware protection. Managed Security insures against important data loss and protects your employees, clients, and community’s personal information. A monitored approach that recognizes and anticipates threats is a must.
8. Educate on phishing and other similar scams. Fraud and cybersecurity risks have increased and become more sophisticated. These phishing and malware attacks require more emphasis on education and personal vigilance.
9. Ensure your access and mobility strategies are aligned. Define your access and sharing requirements while educating on policy, behaviors, and use of data – especially while working in remote locations.
While primarily focused on technology, the combination of mobility, access and security apply to the people and process aspects of life and business as well. Be intentional in implementing these practices and they will yield a higher quality outcome and more business success in general. It seems that the best innovation may come in times of crisis. Now is the opportunity to leverage technology in a user centered way – the way that is right for you and your business. That will set the stage for a whole new world of economic and personal prosperity.
Interested in learning more about cybersecurity and how to protect your business? Check out the Grand Rapids Chamber’s Cybersecurity Town Hall here.
TeamLogic IT is a national provider of technology services and solutions for businesses of all kinds. Unlike many managed service providers (MSPs), we focus on business and technology. We understand that not all organizations are alike and work hard at delivering solutions tailored to your unique business goals and challenges.