27 Mar Covid-19 – the catalyst to the digital and remote revolution
Covid-19 has dominated our headlines and conversations over the last few weeks. It has impacted business, our health system, economy and family lives. What is hard to report on, and really can only be seen in anecdotal evidence, is the impressive resilience and adaptation of countless organisations facing this unprecedented challenge. I believe that organisations can emerge from this crisis from a position of strength. The speed at which organisations moved toward deploying digital platforms to communicate with and engage both employees and clients forced a huge shift in how business is now conducted. This transformation means that, over a very short period of time, many organisations have implemented digital solutions, gained new skills, put alternative processes in place and are now able to work remotely more effectively than ever before.
A New Hope…
There is a clear sense that organisations are prepared to face the business challenges created by COVID-19 head-on. Many organisations are determined to maintain a business as usual approach to protect their people and the economy. This has taken a number of forms with some organisations diversifying such as the family-owned engineering company who are now producing ventilators or producers of alcoholic beverages now producing hand sanitiser. We have witnessed the change in the delivery of many services with cooking classes, yoga sessions, compliance training and much more all delivering their learning online. This transition is not only possible, but has been achieved speedily and with great results.
A Cloud with a Silver Lining
With the shift to Software as a Service (SAAS) and Data as a Service (DAAS) solutions, affordable and scalable infrastructure solutions have been available to keep business active at this time. However, some business are new to this way of life. Like all new things, there may be growing pains, but such solutions are helping to keep the metaphorical doors open and will be beneficial in the long term. These solutions have brought the workplace to where people open their laptops, which no longer needs to be linked to their desk in the office. Thankfully, these SAAS business have been well prepared for high-throughput and through clever business planning offer high-availability for us and our customers.
Shoulder to Shoulder
With little or no notice, many small to medium enterprises needed to pivot, and suddenly found that they are now operating a remote / ‘work from home’ workforce that has enabled them to keep going. Zoom and Skype, and other platforms have seen a surge in subscriptions as organisations embrace online tools. Implementation of tools, like instant messaging chat such as Slack have kept teams in communication and collaborating as if working shoulder to shoulder. This may be new to some businesses, and although daunting or unfamiliar, they are developing the digital skills now, that will enable them to employ a larger remote workforce in the future. This has the added impact of potentially reducing the burden on recruitment processes, employees and the environment in a post Covid-19 world.
Learning & Upskilling Online
The need for training and learning, has not diminished. In fact, the contrary is true. With many staff being pulled into new roles, perhaps in areas where they have little experience, organisations need to react quickly and have the ability to deliver a wide range of training and upskilling for their staff. During this crisis, eLearning and online training solutions have enabled organisations the opportunity to deliver this vital training without having to be physically present. Many of our clients and partners have looked to use rapid eLearning solutions to train staff on essential skills or induct large numbers of new people in what has become our new reality during this crisis. We have also supported organisations in the rollout of catalogues of online courses, providing a wide range of learning materials to suit their diverse staff learning requirements.
The Mentos in the Cola Digital Explosion
Harking back to the old science experiment, we the unexpecting Mentos mint, secure and stable individually, have been dropped into a dark and unexpected situation. But we have a choice. We can choose to either dissolve and disappear like the mint or we can choose to embrace this change, adapt and harness the energy our staff are bringing at this time. No doubt it will be messy, but we can brace ourselves, arm ourselves with the tools and new skills to burst forward like the effervescent flow of fizz and make our mark on the ceiling above!
“This Isn’t a Phase!”
We must know that digital, remote, online are no longer buzzwords, perks or trends. This is our new norm, and they are now essential tools for the survival and growth of all businesses from the SME up. This world-wide pandemic has forced the hand of organisations and industries to change. Digital transformation is not around the corner, it is here, offering us a helping hand.
The coming months may be tough, they may be challenging and uncertainty still prevails. We have seen that organisations will fight for survival, nay success. Let us all, push forward together in a unified approach against a common evil. While we as individuals wait patiently for the production of a vaccine or anti-viral treatments, we as organisations arm ourselves with the skills and digital resources to come out fighting on the other side. Let’s support each other and pull through together.