6 Things We Learned from COVID About People & Technology
There are many things we know today that we were completely in the dark about roughly 12 months ago. Reading about a pandemic that happened over a century ago in some other country is far different than living through a global pandemic yourself.
The world has had to adapt rapidly, and technology has been a huge part of that. Certain businesses have had to completely revamp their IT management and the ways they interact with and serve customers.
Public health and how technology plays a part in it has also been a driver for change. For example, telehealth went from barely being used to something multiple healthcare agencies have been implementing. In November 2020, it was announced that telehealth services had been delivered to over 3.2 million Australians since the start of the pandemic.
It’s important to understand the lessons learned by the pandemic because they inform business technology strategies and cybersecurity going forward.
Here are several things we’ve leaned about people and technology over the last year.
The Cloud is Indispensable to Business Continuity
When lockdowns happened and companies across Sydney, Australia, and the world had to close their physical offices, the critical nature of cloud computing became crystal clear.
The cloud wasn’t just something to improve efficiency and mobility, it was the only way to keep businesses running without being able to use a physical building.
Companies sent employees home to work and moved workloads to the cloud in record numbers. Retail and food establishments began connecting with customers online to sell gift cards and implement delivery.
The companies that fared the best were those that had already been prepared for the unexpected and had solid business continuity plans in place.
Companies Can Save a Lot of Money with Remote Employees
Many businesses never considered allowing employees to work remotely from home prior to the pandemic. Then once the COVID lockdowns hit, they had no choice but to make remote teams work.
During this time, they discovered several things when they began implementing a remote workforce:
- They save money on operational costs
- Employees save money
- Employees have better moral
- Teams are more productive when working from home
- Employee turnover rate goes down
- Employees take fewer sick/personal days
Companies save approximately AU$13,900 for each half-time remote employee.
Any time cost savings without giving up operational efficiency is involved, companies are going to stand up and take notice. That’s why many companies are keeping remote teams in place even once the pandemic has passed.
There Has Been a Cyber Pandemic Along with the Global Pandemic
While many companies suffered and scrambled to keep their businesses going in the wake of the crisis, cybercriminals had a heyday and launched a shocking number of attacks.
From Zoom bombing to a rise in ransomware volume and cost, cybersecurity became (and still is) a major problem for many organisations. It’s estimated that there have been approximately 4,000 cyberattacks per day since the pandemic began.
Companies have learned that cybersecurity strategies need to change to protect remote teams and match the increase in online threats.
Technology Can Solve Urgent Problems
We’ve learned that if there is an urgent problem, technology can be deployed to help solve it or at least mitigate the impacts.
Video conferencing has become the savior of sanity and personal connections for many as all types of gatherings, from committee meetings to virtual weddings, have gone online, connecting via video call.
Contactless technology has also been big, with companies needing to come up with new and innovative ways to provide their products and services in as safe a way as possible.
Technology has also been deployed for rapid temperature testing for COVID safety protocols and to do things like contact tracing more effectively.
The Cloud Isn’t Secure by Default
The rush to the cloud has resulted in a rise in security incidents due to misconfiguration, which means not applying adequate security measures. Companies often sign up for a platform like Microsoft 365 and just assume all the default security settings should be fine.
But SaaS providers must balance ease of use with security when defaulting settings, so there are many settings for improved security that can (and often should) be put into place with a customised security configuration.
Not Everything is Better Online
Having the internet, video conferencing, and cloud technology has allowed the world to stay somewhat in operation during lockdowns and still today as the pandemic lingers. But… we’ve also found out that not everything is better online, and we still need those personal IRL (in real life) connections.
Online learning has been a challenge for many children because it can’t quite replicate the experience of being in a school with their friends and teachers. Things like going to sporting events and out to the movies has also been something that can’t quite be replicated by watching your TV at home.
While technology has definitely made the pandemic more bearable than those that happened centuries ago (pre-technology), it’s also illustrated that the power of personal interactions can’t be replicated virtually.
Need Help With Remote Team or Cloud Security?
GKM2 can help your Sydney area business ensure you have the safeguards in place to secure your cloud infrastructure and remote workforce.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.