This post is also available in: German
The corona virus pandemic has not only completely changed the day-to-day lives of Germans, but also the working world. Those who can and whose employer allows it are working from home. Since lockdown was put into place, companies have gone through three different phases: panic (day 1 to 10), optimization (day 11 to 30), and strategy (day 30+).
The initial focus of the corona panic stage was transferring employees to a remote working situation to minimize contact with others. Due to a lack of hardware, in some cases, it was possible to work from a private family computer, even without a BYOD strategy. This scenario may have been a good solution for a couple of days in order to keep the business running. In terms of security and the GDPR, however, this is not a viable long-term solution. That is why companies need to begin shifting to the optimization phase now.
Digital workspace management specialist Matrix42 supports these efforts with two essential tools that they are making available free of cost during the corona pandemic.
- The remote working quick-start set offers simple management of mobile devices, including malware protection and secure access to the standard IT working environment from the cloud. This solution, which includes remote installation, is cost-free for three months and comes without automatic contract renewal. For further information, visit https://www.matrix42.com/de/matrix42-home-office-schnell-starter-set/
- MyEgoSecure is an all-in-one comprehensive package, which includes anti-virus protection, application control, encryption, and Green IT. This solution can be used for free until 31 December 2020. For further information, visit https://www.matrix42.com/de/myegosecure-sicher-arbeiten-von-zuhause-waehrend-corona/
Besides Workspace Management and Workspace Security, standardized tools that foster employee and team collaboration should be implemented during the optimization phase. Teams and Slack are great examples of this.
The strategic phase as of day 30 of the corona crisis
Now that business activities have stabilized somewhat, sufficient security has been provided, and the employees have come to terms with working from home, the current task is to provide them with the best possible support in their new working environment. In order to improve the employee experience, a digital workplace strategy needs to be developed.
For example, self-service portals and chatbots can reduce the IT department’s workload. Simple and frequently asked questions can be directly answered using these tools. For more complex subjects, there is the possibility of automated forwarding to the service desk.
An overview of costs during corona
The corona crisis has led to a considerable loss in profits at most companies. On the one hand, it is important to save on costs, but on the other hand, there is an urgent need to invest in IT resources. Orchestration tools allow companies to keep an overview of costs and allow them to use existing resources efficiently.
In terms of cloud services, for example, the simple provisioning of cloud workloads often leads to an uncontrolled “swelling.” Transparency is required in order to keep an eye on all cloud services and IT costs and to optimize cloud expenditures and license costs. Therefore, an optimized cloud license management system that optimizes both SaaS applications and cloud workloads on Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS in terms of costs is highly recommended – and not only during the current crisis. Manage-ment must know which contracts and licenses are available and where and how they are used. The options for optimization, renewal, and termination should be easy to use and available at the touch of a button.
Since corona rules, the preparation of employees is key
The following six-step plan helps companies to transfer their employees to working from home in a secure and productive manner during the corona crisis. Besides technical topics, internal communication also plays an essential role. That’s why it is recommended to inform all employees early on and to communicate all other steps quickly and transparently. The personal contact information of all employees should be updated, which can best be done through close co-operation between the IT and HR departments.
1. Ensure transparency in the infrastructure
The following questions need to be answered: As a company, do we have sufficient access points so that all employees are able to work from home during the corona crisis? How do employees connect to the network? Bandwidth, availability of telephones on-premises, sufficient server capacity, and adequate hardware are crucial for a company’s productivity.
2. Make organizational preparations
Making collaboration tools like Yammer and Teams available is recommended in order to be best prepared for an emergency as the corona crisis. These allow colleagues to help each other via the channel if they are experiencing issues. Which means that they do not put a strain on support. Another important point to bear in mind is migrating the telephone system – in a best-case scenario to the cloud. This allows telephones to be redirected to workstations at home. Establishing a special task force may also be helpful.
3. Check applications that are vital to the company
An analysis of which business applications have to be made available is necessary. So that all employees are able to continue working productively. For example – will the accountant also be able to access SAP from home?
4. Maintain an overview of security
The attack vectors multiply as soon as employees begin working remotely due to the corona crisis. This is not just because some employees will probably (have to) work on their private devices. In an ideal situation, virtual desktops are set up so that all end devices can be secured relatively easily and automatically.
5. Make sure your employees have the support they need
If you’re asking yourself how employees who are working from home can be provided with an efficient Service Desk, then this is where enterprise service management solutions can come in handy. The question of how the company handles cases in which an incident occurs because of employees working on private devices also needs to be clarified. A pragmatic approach in which employee productivity takes center stage is recommended here.
6. Take advantage of monitoring
Last but not least, we recommend continuously tracking and reporting departmental issues and the productivity of employees working from home. Corresponding measures can thus be derived on this basis.