Over the last few months, many homebound Australians have been taking stock. For some, that’s meant clearing out the closet of fashions best left in the ‘90s. For others, it’s involved tackling the overdue kitchen reorganisation (and if you discovered canned food as old as the fashions, you’re not alone). In the early days of the pandemic, those in IT leadership were too busy setting up work from home solutions, or supporting new services, to join in the collective pause. Now that the first challenges have been survived, it is worth taking time to reflect on how best to embrace the opportunities that exist.
Returning to the old normal would be rather like turning up to a Webex meeting in that ‘90s sweater vest, a move that would leave you looking old-fashioned and dated. Besides, after investing your budget in remote access and collaboration tools, why leave them to gather dust? We’ve seen all kinds of organisation in industries as diverse as freight, education and banking reimagine the way they deliver services to their customers. And while the industry disruptors like Airbnb and Uber aren’t immune to the impacts of COVID-19, you can guarantee that if you don’t innovate to meet the changing appetites of your customers, someone else will.
How are others getting it right? While their paths vary, data is inevitably at the centre of every success. Those emerging strongest are taking the guesswork out of their decision-making, and relying on a more scientific method. Watch Peter Heydon’s webinar, featuring real-world customer examples of using data, analytics and AI to drive transformation, for inspiration on tapping into changing business opportunities.
A Gartner study in late March showed that 74 percent of CFOs and business finance leaders envision at least five percent of their workforce working full-time from home in the immediate future. A greater number anticipate a reduction in office days for the majority of staff, skewing towards a mixed approach. After adapting to remote working, many users are enjoying increased family time and reduced commuting demands, which also has benefits for employers. Happy workers are more productive, fewer vehicles reduces pollution, and it goes without saying that business leaders are realising the financial benefits of a remote workforce.
Of course, all of this depends largely on your chosen collaboration tools. No longer just a ‘nice to have’, collaboration software is now your weapon of choice to create a healthy workplace culture while enabling increased productivity. Given that, in many cases, these tools were chosen and enacted rapidly, it’s now wise to step back to assess. Are you getting the best use from the tools you have? Do you have the best value licences for your needs? Are there education gaps to be filled, and does the collaboration tool do the job you intended?
In his webinar, Collaboration Tools: Your Weapon of Choice in the COVID-19 era, National Practice Manager (Microsoft) Scott Gosling takes a closer look at the pitfalls and successes of collaboration, and how to boost productivity across your newly diverse workforce.
As with any technology, collaboration is not a one-size-fits-all situation. In her webinar, Cisco Distinguished Architect Vanessa Sulikowski focuses on emulating the full workplace experience from anywhere, so that teams from office, home and across the world can work productively together. She explores the important link that your collaboration tools have with your ability to compete. Register to watch now. Haven’t tried Webex yet? Get a free trial.
Capitalising on collaboration tools is dependent on workplace design, and social media has been saturated with the good, the bad, and the downright hilarious. From sharing space with children and pets – who could forget weather reporter Jeff Lyons’ cat Betty joining him on air? – to balancing laptops on ironing boards for the best camera angle in video conferences, we’ve seen it all. Still, there are some essentials for those wanting to make remote working a long-term practice, and organisations must consider workplace health and safety, as well as productivity requirements. Logitech’s whitepaper exploring “5 Workplace Trends in 2020 and Beyond: Virtual Places and Dynamic Spaces”, is a handy guide to some of the key considerations when equipping users to get the best from their working from home experience.
The right equipment also has a security implication. As workers dusted off old computers to suddenly transition to working from home, cybercriminals got to work. Ageing devices, often without the latest software updates, opened up a large window of opportunity, so it is little surprise that governments and tech companies are warning of an increase in cyber-attacks. With phishing in particular on the increase, now is a good time to review security, and to educate users on some of the red flags they should watch for.
Save the Date!
Don’t miss the webinar from Solution Architect Chris Harvey on Wednesday 17th June on Lessons Learned from Microsoft Security Workshops – register now.
The challenges of 2020 are far from over, and amidst the rapidly changing business landscape, spotting opportunities is not always easy. Our JuiceIT Digital experts are on standby to discuss the toughest issues and answer your questions. Got a tricky analytics conundrum or a collaboration hurdle to overcome? Connect with our team of experts today.
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