The coronavirus pandemic has touched just about every area of human society. In business, developments in technology adoption have been swift in reaction to this global wave of viral illness.
Rise Of The Virtual Receptionist
Receptionists have always been essential members of an office team, and they remain important in the virtual office. Virtual receptionist services offer remote call answering and administrative solutions that perfectly fit businesses that have done away with their main premises during the pandemic.
Video conferencing tools like Zoom were already gaining some traction before the pandemic. If you have been at work during the pandemic, you will have been very hard-pressed not to have made use of a video conferencing tool while doing business. These tools are by no means perfect, but they do enable productive face-to-face meetings to take place despite employees necessarily being in separate places. During the tail-end of the pandemic, the emergence of hybrid working models has been swift. For businesses operating using this kind of model, meetings held in real life can be streamed and interacted with by employees that cannot be present in the office.
Project Management Overhaul
The increased prevalence of remote and hybrid working models has made project management software more essential than ever before. Project management software enables managers to communicate, gather data, set budgets, set deadlines, and develop reports from a central interface. This is immensely useful in the post-pandemic world, as managers no longer need to hold physical meetings with staff in order to complete these tasks.
Cloud As A Necessity
Cloud computing and storage adoption is no longer simply an option for businesses looking to keep their workforce productive and secure. To put it simply, cloud computing and storage enable the movement of server capabilities away from the office. Instead of controlling a network and offering computing power from expensive in-house servers, a business signed up to a cloud network sends and receives all of the data it needs to and from remote servers using encrypted pathways over the internet.
The adoption of cloud computing and storage has allowed businesses to give remote workers full access to all of the data and computing solutions that they would have if they worked in the office. Cloud adoption has the added benefit of being very efficiently scalable. According to Tech Jury, 81 percent of all enterprises operate using some kind of cloud service. In the post-pandemic world of hybrid and remote working as a standard model, cloud services are essential for businesses looking to efficiently decentralize.
Security And Authentication Challenges
With the sharp increase of remote and hybrid business models around the globe, the opportunities for data theft and unauthorized access to sensitive areas of a network have multiplied. Businesses are now having to deal with a number of very challenging variables when it comes to security. If a member of staff is working from home, it is highly likely that their computer will not have adequate security features. The likelihood of unauthorized access or a man-in-the-middle-style attack from an unprotected and decentralized computer is very real indeed.
Companies have to secure their networks with special diligence when staff is accessing sensitive data from outside of the office. One of the ways in which businesses have sought to protect their data during the age of remote working is through the implementation of multi-factor authentication. When an employee needs to access a cloud database or any other part of a network that contains sensitive information, a simple password will not provide adequate security. Passwords can be easily cracked through manipulation or brute force attacks. Multi-factor authentication solutions make unauthorized access much harder. Most multi-factor authentication systems ask employees to provide a password and at least one other form of identifying information. This information can be biometric – like a fingerprint scan or retinal photograph – or it can be hardware-based – such as a special code sent to an authorized mobile phone.
Data sent between employee computers and a cloud network or in-house server needs to be encrypted. Encryption is the process of scrambling data when it is in transit. Only hardware and software that possesses the correct decryption key can successfully unscramble data. Encryption is necessary in order to protect data from man-in-the-middle attacks. Many employees work using public WIFI in cafes. While this might be a comfortable way of getting work done, it also leaves any unencrypted data extremely vulnerable to interception.
Correct training needs to be given to employees to help them maintain data security when working away from the office.