The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the business environment. It’s promising to have permanent impacts on how companies interact with customers. It’s also causing them to reimagine how they set up their operations.
Statistics are already showing that businesses are reevaluating where employees work. 77% of businesses said they expect the number of employees working from home to increase after the pandemic.
Another big area of transition is in cloud solutions. The pandemic took the cloud from productive and flexible to essential. This caused many businesses in the Chesapeake area to scramble. They had to quickly put cloud solutions in place as stay-at-home orders were being issued.
57% of businesses said their cloud use increased due to the pandemic.
It’s evident now that the post-COVID business environment is going to look a bit different. Companies that can adapt will have the best chance of not only keeping up but gaining a competitive edge.
How to Adapt Technology to the Impacts of the Pandemic
What do you need to do to adapt your technology infrastructure to the new version of normal?
Here are several things to consider to stay competitive, efficient, and secure.
Remote Security for At-Home Workers
Businesses that never considered full-time remote workers, had little choice during lockdowns. Many have seen that with the right technology, remote workers are more productive. Additionally, the cost to them is less due to fewer operational costs.
But, security for remote workers can be an issue. This is an area that companies need to address. Otherwise company data can become vulnerable due to security problems with remote staff.
Some ways to do this are:
- Protect all remote employee devices with managed IT services
- Use a business VPN to encrypt data transmissions
- Use an endpoint device manager (like Microsoft Intune) to keep all devices updated
Improve Your Cloud Strategy
Business disruptions due to the pandemic, did not leave much time for strategizing. Companies put cloud apps into place quickly as an “emergency measure.” This allowed employees to work from home and keep operations going.
Now that things have shifted from emergency mode to adjustment mode, it’s time to streamline. Look at all the cloud applications you use and work with an IT consultant to optimize a cloud strategy.
This can include migrating to platforms like Microsoft 365 that include several tools. It’s also important to ensure no one is using shadow IT (unapproved apps).
Upgrade Your Phone System to VoIP
For businesses still using a landline phone system, the pandemic shutdowns were a wakeup call. They made it very clear that the future of communications are in the cloud.
Cloud-based VoIP phone systems offer the same crystal-clear quality. By bringing your phone system online they make it available from anywhere and any device.
VoIP can ensure consistent caller experience, no matter where employees are working. Businesses often enjoy many more options for significant savings over analog PBX systems.
Rethinking Your Retail or Office Layout
Social distancing has become an important keyword of 2020. Efforts to contain a still present virus require social distancing. This means more space between workstations, customer-facing technology, and other IT.
This may be a perfect time to upgrade your office network and rethink your layout. You can improve efficiency while also spacing devices to adhere to safety practices.
Solidify Your Use of Video
Video conferencing use has exploded during the pandemic. People rely on video to stay connected. It’s caused a reimagining of everything from meetings to classrooms. And is going to continue to play a big part in everyday business operations.
Test out different video platforms to see which are the easiest, most secure, and offer the best value. Then look at other ways to incorporate video meetings. This can be to facilitate customer and staff interactions and reduce travel costs.
Put in Place a Team Communication Hub
Team communication hubs have become more than a messaging program. Tools like Microsoft Teams act as a central virtual office. Creating a place where employees can connect, and departments can assign tasks.
Keeping everyone connected between remote working and office environments has become critical. It’s now a component of well-performing companies.
Look for platforms that allow you to:
- Create both public and private channels
- Have status messages
- Integrate other third-party applications
- Keep all communications in a single place
Get Help Updating Your Technology to the New Normal
Our technology experts at ZZ Servers can help your Norfolk area business adapt your technology. Both to meet the challenges of today and prepare for the future.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 800-796-3574 or reach out online.