More than six months after the initial lockdown from coronavirus, many companies are still reacting to the effects of working within a remote environment.
The early feeling was that B2C companies that were able to offer online shopping would make it through the pandemic, but the longer-term effects, such as holdups in international manufacturing and logistics, have proven to be more costly than expected.
Furniture companies are on backorder for 3 months or more (source) causing customer service complaints spread across social media platforms.
B2B companies are fielding customer complaints as they struggle to manage employees and services that are no longer fitting into the mold created during the company’s originations.
As we wait to see the full implications of COVID-19 on our economy, there is no doubt that companies need to continue to pivot in order to remain relevant, effective, and profitable. Technology is the key driver to meet all of these goals.
Following are the very basic IT solutions needed to keep your company moving forward. Tech One IT has the capabilities to initiate these systems within your workforce, regardless of whether you are 100% remote, 100% in office, or any mix of both.
1. Cloud storage and file sharing
Most companies are using some sort of file sharing system, but many do not have the workflow documentation to ensure version control, document security, and the ability to grow with the organization.
We are often called upon to implement or build a enterprise grade file sharing tool. “Enterprise grade” ensures better data security, improved control of data, and full integration with the tools, apps, and platforms that your company, and employees use. Given that we are not tied to any one system, we are able to recommend the best system for each organization.
2. Automated workflows
When a company is started, there are only a handful of employees and, as time goes on, a routine unveils and workflows are born. Unfortunately, as the company grows, those workflows become convoluted and inefficient. Citizen developers may build systems to merge workflows using open source software or public platforms such as IFTTT or Zapier. These band-aids may have worked previously, but then COVID hit and the systems are not flexible enough to work from multiple locations.
ServiceNow and Salesforce are two of the leading CRM tools (among many) with the ability to fit multiple industries, the flexibility to stretch and retract whether hiring is heavy or if employees work remotely, and the ease of updating and adjusting to fit the ever-changing needs of a growing enterprise.
Tech One’s IT Solutions team are technology-agnostic so they are able to determine the best option for your organization. Their approach is holistic in order to provide a solution that fits the enterprise’s needs now and in the future, regardless of work locations of today, tomorrow, and any version of remote work.
3. Cloud-based phone/ messaging systems
“As part of its coronavirus crisis response, for example, Bank of America is temporarily converting more than 3,000 employees from across the bank into positions intended to field an onslaught of calls from consumer and small business customers.” (Harvard Business Review)
The basics of business are simple: If clients feel ignored, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
When employees work from home, the process of customer service has to remain seamless. Integrating a cloud-based system to route calls can be complicated, but ensuring wait times are not too extensive, integrating all workflow systems and text-based messaging (from your website for example) is imperative. Researching, selecting, and implementing the platform that works best for you is a long, arduous process. Tech One’s IT Solutions department can manage the process entirely so that you can continue to focus on the work that brings in new clients.
Whether we are considering data breaches or malware on enterprise systems, having employees working from home and connecting to the enterprise from networks that are not managed by your organization is a concern.
Firewalls, antivirus, data security, and anti-malware should be at the forefront of every company’s IT strategy. If your company needed to quickly move into a remote environment without taking all the proper security steps, then data from both you and your customers is vulnerable. Tech One can review your system to identify and fix any vulnerabilities that you may not have considered.
After six months, we can be sure that remote working will be a part of most organizations’ future. Taking the time to consider your company’s strategy or all of the above elements could make the difference between your company’s ability to sink or swim in a post-COVID industry.