Getting the Most Out of Your Current IT Infrastructure in a “Stay at Home” World
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how we live and work. For many businesses it has meant sending employees home to work and tightening their belt for an uncertain economic climate.
Technology has been a driver of growth for many business owners during the last several years. It can also provide the resiliency needed to continue operations and keep employees productive in these difficult times.
Some of the positive ways that smart use of technology has fueled growth for small and medium businesses and large corporations alike have been the ability to streamline operations, increase capabilities, and reduce costs.
Companies that take full advantage of technology see benefits such as:
- 5X more revenue growth in B2B businesses as compared to their peers
- 10%-20% cost reduction by improving efficiency
- 10%-15% revenue growth by improving customer experience
When it comes to protecting your business during stalled economic times, those same factors that make technology an economic driver also help to shield it.
Keep Your Team Productive from Anywhere with Smart Digital Strategies
Disruptions are a part of business, and the coronavirus pandemic has been a particularly severe one. But technology provides a safety net that we didn’t have two decades ago.
Imagine if everyone had to send their employees home before the invention of cloud computing – working from home would’ve been nearly impossible.
The technology infrastructure that most companies have in place now includes at least some cloud-based applications that can be accessed from anywhere. This has made it possible for them to pivot and adjust operations to enable a remote workforce and keep operations going without increasing costs.
Here are three ways to get the most out of your current IT infrastructure to keep your team productive through this crisis as well as any future unexpected events.
1. Use Daily Video Meetings to Stay Connected
With a quick move from being at the office every day to working from home full time can come feelings of isolation and confusion about what to do.
A flash survey of companies after the pandemic began showed that 40% of them had a problem with what they called “stranded employees.” These were employees that felt disconnected from their coworkers and managers after the company moved to a remote workforce.
You can avoid that feeling of isolation and ensure your team knows what their objectives are for the day by setting up a daily morning video meeting of 15 to 30 minutes to touch base on the day’s objectives.
Technologies like Zoom, Skype, and Cisco Webex make it easy to set up full team conferences. Remember to put security measures in place to avoid the phenomenon of “Zoom bombing,” which include things like:
- Password protecting your meeting
- Require permission before screensharing
- Lock the meeting after all participants have logged in
2. Maintain IT Infrastructure & Support Remotely
Maintaining your current technology infrastructure gives you the competitive edge when it comes to day-to-day operations. Studies have shown that each unmanaged computer costs businesses approximately $5,000 a year.
Security breaches are also more common when devices aren’t being kept up to date with things like security patches and continuous threat monitoring.
When employees are no longer working in a single office, they may be lacking some of the IT support you had in place. That lack of help when they need it can be a drain on productivity.
If your team of 30 employees struggles with IT issues for just 25 minutes a day each while working from home and your average salary is $20 per hour, that would be a productivity loss of $1,250 every week.
Having a remote support plan in place can help you reduce your risk of a hard drive crash, data breach, and productivity losses for employees working offsite. A trusted IT partner can handle many IT issues by secure remote login, while also monitoring systems for threats or any other problems.
3. Connect Your Apps to a Team Collaboration Platform
It’s common for companies to be using different types of cloud software in different areas of their operations. The accounting department may use an online accounting program, while the customer support team uses a cloud-based CRM program.
When everyone is separated, you want to bring as many of your communications together as possible, which is what a team collaboration platform does.
Platforms like Microsoft Teams allow you to give departments their own chat channels for file sharing and collaboration, but they also connect your entire company as a whole. They’re set up to be a virtual office.
MS Teams allows you to connect multiple third-party apps to the platform so it can act as a central work hub from which everyone can keep up with their projects and tasks. The collaboration features include things like status messages, so you know when a remote coworker is on the phone and when they’re available.
Apps like these are invaluable when it comes to reducing miscommunications and fostering a feeling of teamwork when everyone is working from different locations.
Create a Resilient Technology Infrastructure
At Cleartech Group, we enable our customer’s business success by making technology effective and easy to use. We can help you optimize your IT whether your employees are in the office or working remotely.
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary IT consultation. Call us at 978-466-1938 or reach out online.