The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way companies do business. Beyond the countless human toll is endless business disruptions – from coffee shop to corporate America.
In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, millions of employees were sent home and the sudden shift to telecommuting took many by surprise. For employees lucky enough to remain unemployed, the way they work and where they work from has changed immensely.
Today, many businesses are pausing to take note of how Covid-19 has impacted their business. They are evaluating their processes and technology to ensure that they will be better prepared for the unexpected in the future – no matter what form it may take.
Industry Changes in the Wake of the Pandemic
While virtually every business has been impacted by Covid-19 in a variety of ways, some industries have been more affected than others.
- Many companies operating in the healthcare sector have returned to the office, as have government workers and those in manufacturing. A number of municipal organizations continue to test their remote work capabilities, building on what they already have while developing additional capabilities.
- The legal industry has seen increases in remote workers, with capabilities for virtual meetings, electronic signatures and other Covid-19 accommodations.
- Real estate is another industry that is highly conducive to remote operations and telecommuting. Real estate industries have replaced their traditional open houses with virtual property tours, and would-be homeowners are browsing, and even buying, from the comfort of their couches.
- The hybrid model continues to gain traction, with employees working in shifts. A typical worker might work Monday and Tuesday at home then return to the office for the remainder of the week.
Trending IT Solutions and Services
The shift from the traditional office cubicle model to a new way of working has created enormous challenges and exciting new opportunities for businesses everywhere. Since the beginning of the pandemic and the resulting lock down, IT infrastructure has been a major stumbling block, but businesses are adapting in new and interesting ways.
In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, a number of IT trends have already emerged, while others are still in their infancy:
- Growth in Remote Capabilities – Remote capabilities are in high demand. When workers were sent home in droves, many IT departments were left scrambling. Now that the dust has settled, the need for a more robust remote work infrastructure is clearer than ever.
- Software Conflicts While Working Remotely – Many businesses have encountered issues accessing their primary software program while working remotely. Whether this is due to a weak home wireless network or a software conflict, Ontech can help you troubleshoot the issue and strategize a solution.
- Greater Interest in Cloud Computing – A peak interest in cloud computing goes hand in hand with remote work. Many businesses are moving away from local storage in favor of adopting the increased speed and security of the cloud.
- Increase in Laptop vs. Desktop Sales – Laptop sales are through the roof while desktop sales are falling. As cubicle dwellers become telecommuters, laptop sales have increased at a rapid pace, forcing many computer manufacturers to retool their operations and shift their supply chains.
- More Emphasis on IT Security – Protection from hackers has taken center stage, but businesses are also looking at the level of access their own employees have been given. The concept of least possible access has taken center stage in light of the shift to a largely remote workforce.
- Rising Interest in Managed Security Services – Interest in managed security services has increased as businesses look to secure their internal and remote workforce. Ontech Systems is proud to provide comprehensive managed security services – contact us to request a quote!
- Dramatic Spike in Microsoft Teams Use – Microsoft Teams is huge right now. Virtual meetings are essential for a newly remote workforce and tools like Microsoft Teams have promoted communication and collaboration for a wide spectrum of businesses.
Rising Cyber Security Concerns
The shift toward remote work has not gone unnoticed by cyber criminals – they’ve simply shifted their focus toward telecommuters and at-home workers.
Ransomware in particular has increased significantly as hackers target the weak security of many home Wi-Fi networks.
Why target remote workers?
- Local network security is inherently weaker than corporate networks.
- Newly remote workers may take their laptops on the road, connecting to public Wi-Fi, which is notorious for its lack of security and vulnerability to hackers.
What Does the Future Look Like?
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to make some tough decisions. From laying off loyal workers to postponing long-planned product launches, the short and long-term effects have run the gamut.
Some companies have come to realize they can’t function the way they did before the crisis, forcing them to adopt a new normal, with smart changes designed to improve productivity while lowering their fixed costs.
As you continue to face new challenges and look for new ways to support your remote workforce, you’ll likely have a lot of questions.
We invite you to contact Ontech Systems today by phone at 262-522-8560 or reach out to us online to learn about our remote work support services and how they can help you minimize disruption and maintain productivity no matter what challenges you face in the future.