If there’s anything that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it would be that most organizations tend to be quite unprepared in the face of a major disaster. Strong business processes have always been effective in driving organizational goals, as they coordinate the systems, behavior of people and information to produce outcomes in support of a business strategy.
More often than not, businesses process better outcomes when part of a nimble, digital infrastructure. For some years now, companies have already been undertaking digital transformation, in fact it is no longer a novelty. However, many still do not consider the mobility of their staff as a central part of that transformation.
Mobility of employees is interlinked with their overall experience and therefore a crucial aspect. Over the years we have seen situations such as natural disasters, disease alerts, etc. put companies’ normal operations in check. The problem is that those companies that did not choose to transform voluntarily prior, had to do so in order to continue operating and to protect their employees. This led to such organizations making an attempt to succeed in a crisis for which they were not prepared.
As organizations now move from addressing ‘crisis situation’ to ‘extended work from home’ – focus will have to shift to architecture led decision to address the ‘new normal’. Shortcuts adopted during the crisis phase of extending VPNs and shipping office PCs home will have to get replaced by long term Digital Workplace strategies and well-defined BYOD policies.
The difference between companies that are committed to mobility and have been transformed in a planned way is abysmal in relation to those that have had to do it in a forced way. Forced transformation is certainly not an ideal scenario. It involves higher risks starting with having to choose an emergency technology provider, or also choosing to send employees to work from home without having the appropriate technology in place to do so.
This can lead to possible data loss, lack of critical information that is necessary to work, limited access to key applications, access to data from insecure networks without protection mechanisms, among others. And, of course, the most concerning of all would be the decrease in productivity. In this context, what is the potential for success of the teleworking model? Because it really is possible that it does not work at all, does not meet expectations or is negative for the organization.
The planned technological transformation, meanwhile, gives companies two key tools to be able to make the best decisions in common scenarios but also in those that are unforeseen: FLEXIBILITY and CONTROL. Flexibility to deliver data and applications no matter where employees are or what device they are using (yes, also non-corporate devices).
Control, to know where the information is, guarantee security measures, know who accesses what, enable new accesses and restrict others, and much more. But above all, it has a future-proof approach seeking to be functional in the long term. A collaborative approach is required to digitally transform any organization, small or large. Leveraging tools that can offer digitally-enabled business opportunities and help in bringing together online platforms are key to having a well-planned digital transformation in place.
Digital transformation, as essential as it has become, may seem hard at the get-go. Redefining a working model from scratch and adapting all new transformational changes can be a challenging task for traditional businesses. Before fully adopting a “digital scenario”, most companies will require to try with some particular projects. But do you think you are ready to react to an unforeseen situation?
How long could your employees work from elsewhere without letting the productivity decline? One day? One week? How about a month? If answering these questions raises new questions, you still have time to plan your transformation. Digital transformation, that might have seemed as an option prior to the pandemic, has become a necessity for any business today. And this is not just to tackle the complex scenarios that may arise in the future, but also as a vital resource to drive business and empower employees in the future.
Source: Economic Times CIO