The Covid-19 pandemic has forced all businesses to adapt. Whether you’re transitioning to a remote workplace model, or helping your customers move online, technology has likely been both a vital asset and, at time, a difficult frustration.
While the rate of infections is slowing, we’re not out of the woods yet. Most states will not reach peak active infections until September or later, and indefinite, or even permanent, remote work is coming. To help your company successfully navigate a post-COVID world, you should be looking to your tech team to streamline virtual operations and improve your business’ efficiency.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get the most out of your IT team and maximize your technological agility in a post-Covid world.
1. Invest in cybersecurity.
Three-quarters of IT professionals say their job duties have changed significantly since COVID-19. Nearly half have reported being pulled away from their cybersecurity-related duties to help with basic tasks, such as setting up home offices technology for employees.
But the pandemic has brought a wave of new security threats, including a nearly sevenfold increase in phishing attacks. Hackers have also taken advantage of bugs in out-of-date software, as updates have fallen by the wayside during Covid.
Most unsettlingly, only about half of technology professionals and leaders believe their cybersecurity teams are prepared to defend against these attacks. Most also believe that the rapid transition to remote work has increased the risks to data and privacy.
Now that your company has settled into remote work, it’s time to revisit, and invest in, cybersecurity. Carve out time to sit down with your tech team and listen to their concerns. If possible, allocate more money to bolster your company’s cybersecurity capabilities. One of the best ways to support your IT all-stars is to give them the resources they need to do their jobs more effectively.
2. Streamline day-to-day website management work.
The coronavirus forced many customers to shop online to ensure a safer retail experience. Online sales are up 55 percent from last year, and Covid-19 has led millions of in-person shoppers to make more purchases digitally.
While this is great news for your business if you work in e-commerce, accommodating a sudden influx of online shoppers creates new headaches for your tech team.
Fortunately, URL redirection tools like EasyRedir can help steer shoppers to new pages, simplify SSL certificate management, and provide link analytics. Not only does this improve your user experience, it allows your IT team to focus on other aspects of the company needing additional support.
IT teams can ask other departments how their workflows have changed since the pandemic began. For example, marketers may be spending more time optimizing click streams. Procurement people may need help to set up fresh product pages for newly-online inventory. By looking into the new ways departments are spending time, IT can ensure they’re being useful to the whole company.
3. Simplify tools for remote work.
Working from home has created a wave of new technical issues. More than half of employees who shifted to remote work during the pandemic have reported feeling frustrated with technology. Your IT workers are the ones troubleshooting these problems, and they most likely get a new flood of help tickets when they log on every morning.
Companies now require a large suite of tools to conduct business virtually, and two-thirds of workers are toggling between ten different apps per hour. Not only that, but many companies are asking their IT departments to build custom tech solutions to meet their needs.
Now that we’ve settled into a “new normal,” it’s time to simplify our remote-work tech. Whenever possible, invest in web-based SaaS solutions instead of asking your tech team to build a custom tool or install new software.
Web-based tools are big money- and time-savers because they don’t come with high project-development costs, nor do they require installation or upgrades. Work with your tech team to choose solutions that are intuitive and easy-to-use so they won’t spend all their time troubleshooting.
We’re all still adjusting to a post-pandemic world, and managing a remote workforce isn’t easy. As the pandemic drags on, you should be doing everything you can to support your help-desk heroes. Your tech department is your greatest resource when it comes to streamlining operations, protecting your data, and improving the online experience.
Robert is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners. Join 100,000+ global leaders who follow his inspirational weekly newsletter Friday Forward or invite him to speak. Robert is also a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. His new book, Friday Forward: Inspiration and Motivation to End Your Week Stronger Than It Started, is now available for purchase.