So, how are you? If you are anxious, frazzled and spinning way too many plates, you must be working in IT!
I’m guessing, as an IT professional, that at the start of 2020 you had strong, regularly updated Business Continuity plans, and had been being increasing the frequency of your reviews as the news of what we gradually realised was a pandemic grew ever more serious. And then the situation here in the UK accelerated, and most of us moved quickly to remote working where possible. The result? Even the best planned systems and processes have been stressed, but it’s clear that for the most part, IT teams have kept the show on the road. But after this huge societal shock, where does that leave us all?
Here at Ideal, our sales and technical teams have had hundreds of conversations with technical and infrastructure teams recently, and we’ve identified six phases that have helped us identify options for moving forward. These six phases are:
- Continued Mobilisation & Initial Risk Management
- Risk Management
- Business as Usual (BAU)
- Cultural & Economic Impact
Stage one - Mobilisation
You have enabled remote working as the default, accepting a higher degree of corporate risk in favour of business continuity and employee welfare. Organisations can’t cover for every eventuality at this degree of scale, especially as even staff with experience of working from home previously may struggle with the unique social and emotional challenges of this prolonged isolation. Most employees will be far from expert on the use of collaboration tools and may be using unsanctioned devices due to nationwide laptop shortages.
Stage two - Enhanced Mobilisation & Initial Risk Management
Stage two is when the organisation continues to enhance remote worker strategies. Colleagues who have been using unsanctioned devices slowly start to see these replaced with a corporate laptop as they become available, or Virtual Desktop solutions. Organisations develop and formalise their guidance and improve communication channels to employees. Businesses have to adapt quickly to supply chain challenges and the impact of staff being unavailable, through isolation or illness.
Stage three – Enhanced risk management
Organisational focus shifts to place more emphasis on risk management as collaboration becomes embedded, with identification and mitigation of the risks created through remote working. Remote workers begin to expect pre-mobilisation levels of service and support.
Stage four - Normalisation
Remote working has become the new normal, with collaboration and connectivity solutions emerging that are better are aligned to organisational policy.
Stage five - Business as Usual (BAU)
Organisations see staff availability rates get back to normal levels, and start to recruit again to fill vacancies that may have been put on hold. However, the business is now faced with challenges as to how to manage assets deployed outside of the corporate network, as well the practical limitations of inducting staff remotely.
Stage six - A new business paradigm
Organisations begin to adapt to the new cultural and economic realities. Management look to reduce costs in wake of reduced revenue throughout the outbreak and response. At the same time, remote workers will have different expectations with respect to best practice for modern working.
Does our perspective resonate with you? We’d love to share our learnings, both from our own experience of moving to remote working and what customers have shared with us, as we collaborate to solve immediate tactical challenges while evolving strategies to make sure your business is poised to come out stronger and more resilient.