As the business world reacts to the new normal brought forth by COVID-19, as well as the resulting impact on virtually all industries, leaders have a variety of important factors to consider upon re-opening workplaces in the months to come. From sanitation procedures, to medical checks and thermal screenings, to office schedules and layouts promoting social distancing, guidelines issued by local and state governments will greatly influence how businesses function in the post-pandemic world.
Such protocols will have an inevitable effect on the way business is done, with greater numbers of remote workers, reduced in-office staff and calls for more practical and efficient utilization of technological resources. Indisputably, technology will be more relevant than ever to the modern business world, shaping everything from how budgets are determined to how workers interact with each other and customers. Here are some of the key suggestions for technological solutions that should be adopted now to ensure businesses achieve optimal post-pandemic success.
Embrace remote-focused business solutions
Organizations that actively use or have stepped up their adoption of communication and collaboration platforms have seen the ways this technology connects their workforce. Whether working with team members that are in-office or working from home, platforms such as Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Skype and countless others, have helped ease the transition from working in everyday, close-proximity to remote or socially-distanced landscapes. With the capacity to allow work to be carried out largely per business as usual across locations, these solutions allow for the health of the business to coincide with the health of the workforce – thus limiting the potential liability or economic loss during this unprecedented time while simultaneously providing a collaborative network that can be used in the future.
Adopt automation solutions to streamline processes
Widely championed prior to the COVID-19 crisis, business process automation is a technology solution that has proven results. Whether used to reduce human error, streamline repetitive work and data entry, or make business processes as efficient and impactful to customers as possible, robotic process automation (RPA) is now even more of an essential tool in the modern workplace. In uncertain or constantly changing times, unifying workstreams, both in terms of day-to-day productivity as well as quarterly projections, is essential to retaining customers. Similarly, the current use of chatbots by enterprise leaders helps to lessen the strain placed on technical support and IT teams across industries. With a remote workforce that is now larger than any other time before, the implementation of these solutions assists in not only streamlining customer and client communications, but also in minimizing operational costs in order to keep overall budgets in mind. Such automation solutions, though used by businesses in varying degrees for years, will only continue to increase in popularity.
Implement hybrid cloud infrastructure to promote connectivity
Businesses that further invest in hybrid cloud infrastructures will have a competitive advantage when it comes to the way that their data is accessed, stored and exchanged. Enterprises across all industries have profoundly felt the impacts of the shift to remote and socially distanced workforces, and organizations that already have sound effective hybrid cloud infrastructures in place have benefited from these strategic choices. Combining private and public cloud services—a hybrid cloud infrastructure provides businesses with a well-balanced equilibrium by using both platforms to run critical and complex workload processes. This architecture helps to fill some of the gaps brought on by protocols that limit the number of workers, access concerns or overall collaboration between business teams in an enterprise.
Technology and the call for new and results-focused innovation is a pivotal area of focus for business organizations looking to not only survive the impacts of COVID-19, but also thrive through and beyond this tumultuous period. With the goal of sustaining business functions while ensuring customer satisfaction, enterprises will need to utilize technology in new ways—despite reduced workforces—to continue on to sustained success.