The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced a large portion of our workforce to adapt to working from home, and for many businesses, this may become the “new normal.” Adapting to this transition has not been without challenge for most, but adopting the right technology will allow you to not only survive but to thrive and prosper going forward.
As businesses scrambled to triage their highest priority concerns and maintain operations as their employees began working from home, many reacted by purchasing a mix of off-the-shelf “solutions” that functioned as stop-gaps. Now that working from home may be the new normal for many businesses, it’s time to develop a comprehensive technology plan to grow and keep up the momentum towards a sustainable long-term technical plan that supports both current and future operations.
The top five technology considerations in the new normal include:
(1) Access to Critical Information
A critical requirement for remote employees is to maintain access to the information needed to do their jobs. Access to information means access to all the disparate data systems used by your business, such as customer relationship management (CRM), point-of-sale (POS), file sharing, and others. Employees also need to access the information from anywhere (home), on any device (personal computers or mobile devices and tablets), and anytime.
Suggested Solution - Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is a cloud-based computing service that integrates data sources in an agile and fully customizable environment. Through data centers, users can view information from various systems while administrators can control access at a granular level to ensure data compliance and security. With endless options to host, store, and access information, Microsoft Azure is a powerful product to empower your employees in a work-from-home or remote operating environment.
(2) Collaborating in Real-Time
How does a company foster teamwork in the new normal? With employees working remotely and independently, many companies are struggling to bring their teams together. Most are accustomed to virtual meetings and online chat software, but the problem isn't communicating with a team; it’s working as a team. Video meetings and cloud-based storage is just one aspect enabling teamwork in a virtual environment. To truly accomplish collaboration, you need to bring your people AND your systems and processes together.
Suggested Solution - Microsoft Teams
A cloud-based intranet with applications such as Microsoft Teams allows your employees to not only communicate in real-time - via messaging and video chats - but also access and share the same data and manipulate the data together as a team, in real-time. With Microsoft Teams, employees can work together and have a meeting at the same time. It’s brilliant, simple, and effective.
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Companies now have more tools to establish innovative technology ecosystems. They change their operations and systems to guarantee the best experience for their customers in an agile and effective way. The same isn’t often true, however, for their employees. Often, businesses use disparate systems with unique logins, user interfaces, and steep learning curves. Making these separate systems work together in a user-friendly way, without an IT staff on hand, is critical in the new normal.
Suggested Solution - Custom .NET Development
The Microsoft .NET Framework allows software to be run natively on multiple platforms, including Linus and macOS. Custom .NET development allows your business applications, websites, services, and more to be accessed and used seamlessly on any machine or environment.
With employees working from home, often on personal computers, security and data compliance are significant concerns. In a traditional setting, employers can implement security measures, such as anti-virus software and firewalls, to protect their sensitive information. Security becomes much more challenging at home and requires a more efficient and automated system to ensure low latency and security in a distributed connection scenario.
Suggested Solution - Integrated Cloud-Based Suite
The biggest issue with data security isn’t the transmission or storage of data; it’s access to the data. By implementing an integrated cloud-based suite of services, all your IT managers need to do is control access. Conditional access is easy with Microsoft Azure Active Directory, which provides single sign-on and multi-factor authentication to control access to all the data and systems used in your organization - whether in the office or at home.
(5) Employee Productivity
Employee productivity tools provide insights on how employees can make the most efficient use of their time. It includes time and activity tracking data and overlays it with operations data to present a comprehensive view of your remote employee productivity. The critical concept to understand about employee productivity technology is that predictive analytics will help you identify what your employees should be doing, not merely what they are doing with their time.
Suggested Solution: MODM from Grind Analytics
MODM is our comprehensive business intelligence solution that integrates your disconnected data sources to analyze your data in one centralized location. MODM connects automatically to over 120 data sources and runs proprietary machine-learning algorithms to uncover insights. It displays them in charts, graphs, maps, and data visualization tools to provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in your data.
Grind Analytics provides ready-made business intelligence solutions that can be implemented quickly and efficiently to realize opportunities in the "new normal."
We also can create custom software solutions designed specifically for your specific industry or business.
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