Currently, organizations around the world are strategizing ways to return their workforces to being back in-office and other places of work, as the world begins to re-open post-pandemic. Guidelines and protocols issued by federal, state, and local agencies will be key drivers of what the new normal looks like in a corporate setting. From staggered groups of employees allowed in the office each day, to thermal screenings and the end of communal or high-touch areas, businesses will need to have flexible return to work plans in place that allow for social distancing and reduce the risk spreading COVID-19.
The new reality is that workplace environments will be anything but “normal.” Organizations will operate with reduced in-office staff, manage both remote and in-office team members and combat economic slowdown by reducing spending and optimizing resources. Technology is essential to accommodating this new post-COVID business environment. While overall budgets will decrease, technology spending will increase.
Here are four technology solutions that will help enterprises navigate and operate in a new reality:
1. Automation Solutions
Business process automation has become a strategic enabler of business agility for present-day organizations, from helping to speed up business processes and reduce errors, to eliminating repetitive work. Specifically, robotic process automation (RPA) has quickly become an essential tool that an increasing number of CIOs are utilizing across their organizations. Through RPA, mid- to large-sized enterprises can configure a “robot” to deal with various interrelated processes, to unify and streamline day-to-day work internally. The right RPA tools can not only save reduce staffing costs and human error, but also streamline communication, improve management and retain customers.
As social distancing and a global remote workforce are the new normal during these unprecedented times, it’s helpful to boost collaboration and productive engagement across an organization’s remote teams through chatbots. Chatbots help reduce the load on the technical support team and cut operational costs. Furthermore, they offer a progressive avenue for marketing and sales departments to streamline customer and client communications, ultimately improving sales and customer services. In a time of a pandemic, combined with the increasing number of remote workers, the adoption and implementation of chatbots will only continue to grow.
3. Communication and Collaboration Platforms
Communication and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Basecamp, and others help bridge the gap between physical presence and remote collaboration. With the new social distancing guidelines and protocols, a combination of virtual and in-person work environments will be essential to ensuring business continuity across an enterprise. Whether an employee is in-office or remote, a robust communication and collaboration platform ensures they can take and access their work anywhere. It enables employees to give optimal output, while also minimizing the physical disruptions caused by COVID-19.
4. Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
Hybrid cloud infrastructures have changed the way enterprises store, access and exchange data. In the wake of the global pandemic, it will tremendously alter the landscape of corporate environments. Hybrid cloud is a computing environment that uses a combination of private cloud and public cloud services. Organizations can achieve the perfect equilibrium between private and public clouds by leveraging both platforms to run critical workloads. This architecture provides businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options when working with a reduced workforce.
As a result of the business impacts that COVID-19 has had on the business world, a new wave of technological innovation is sweeping across the industry to help transform various aspects of business. As organizations look to combat an economic depression, they will need to implement technology solutions to “get the job done” with the limited staff they have on hand. Therefore, tools and platforms that allow employees to perform tasks without any high-level coding or professional development skills will be high in demand. Automation solutions, chatbots, communication platforms, and hybrid cloud infrastructures will provide the businesses of tomorrow the ability and flexibility to operate successfully and competitively in a post-pandemic “new normal.”
Ajay Kaul is a visionary leader and a trendsetter. As managing partner of AgreeYa Solutions, he has been instrumental in leading the company through solid growth and international expansion for the past 20 years. Kaul has three decades of experience in building powerful and innovative solutions for businesses across various industries and verticals. His expertise and knowledge expand across enterprise sales management, marketing and strategy, global delivery, and mergers and acquisitions.