The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of work forever. Teams became virtual overnight. Employees embraced collaboration tools and video conferencing technology as part of their new day-to-day. Organisations have moved huge sections of their business online much faster than projected, redefining their operations and strategies to meet evolving customer demands.
As employees return from their summer holidays, for many, the reality of a prolonged or even permanent work-from-home period is increasingly likely. According to research from the BBC, fifty of the biggest UK employers said they have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future. Part of that shift is because the tools and technologies now exist to enable it. We’ve seen that people can be as productive in a remote office reality, without a drop in productivity.
Several companies have already announced plans to shift to a hybrid or completely remote working model after the pandemic. NatWest has predicted a hybrid future where their staff combine working from home with commuting to offices and Twitter recently announced their employees are now allowed to work from home permanently. With remote working, often from home, likely to become the norm for many employees, businesses are having to rapidly update their technology applications and tools to maintain business continuity, encourage collaboration, and maintain their office team culture in a dispersed work environment.
The key for businesses is to stay flexible and agile in the long-term, ready to continually adapt to new business and customer demands. How then can businesses ensure their IT teams are ready to future proof their technology strategy?
Demand for IT
The pressure on technology and the people running IT departments all over the world has never been greater than the past year. With little preparation time, IT teams have faced a brand new set of business and technology priorities and challenges. All eyes are now on technologists to deliver the infrastructure, applications and security required to maintain world-class digital experiences, both internally and externally.
To ensure your business remains agile through the pandemic and beyond, employees from all levels and business areas need to continue with a change mindset. Interestingly, according to the latest Agents of Transformation Report 2020: COVID-19 Special Edition 87 percent of technologists regard the response to COVID-19 as an opportunity for tech professionals to show their value to the business. In fact, 80 percent of technologists report that the response of their IT team to the pandemic has positively changed the perception of IT within their organisation.
The Future Technologist
Technologists have suddenly found themselves spearheading their business’ response to the global pandemic, and, for many, the immediate survival of their businesses is resting on their shoulders.
The technologists of the future are those that take responsibility for their own success and are always improving their skills to continually develop, perform at a higher level and be better connected to the business. They are adept at driving through the necessary structural and cultural changes to create an environment of innovation.
This is evident in the skills that technologists identify as most essential during the COVID-19 pandemic – collaboration, analytical thinking and outcome-driven decision-making. It is these key technologists – the Agents of Transformation – who are critical for their organisations to emerge successfully from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remote Work: Agility and Applications
The impact of COVID-19 on our working lives and organisational structures will be long lasting, far beyond the easing of restrictions on how people work, travel and interact. Companies are recognising the benefits of having greater numbers of people working remotely and adopting more agile approaches to all areas of employee management, from recruitment and onboarding, to internal communications and collaboration between teams.
Digital services and applications are essential in keeping workforces productive at home and therefore it is vitally important that IT departments are able to handle surges in demand and unique pressures on their IT estate. This means having the right tools to monitor and manage the technology stack, from the user experience at the application layer, right through to the network.
What’s clear for all organisations, whether embracing remote working, full time or looking towards a hybrid model, is that IT teams and technologists, armed with the right tools and applications, are critical for businesses to thrive in this new era of work.