Many organisations globally have over the months struggled to survive. From multi-national enterprises to startups, it has simply not been business as usual.
Lockdown regulations have however positioned technology as an even more critical utility in businesses as has ever been. These uncertain times provide an invaluable opportunity to accelerate and learn new ways of doing things.
“Today, it is all about the key message of Inspiring and growing business in partnership with one another,” says Alain Betrand Aka, the System Engineer Lead at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa. Adding, “Everyone is in this situation together, and the only way to harness the new normal is by technology partners, vendors, suppliers, and customers to combine forces and leverage their respective expertise in more innovative ways.”
Given how pervasive and complex technology has become, Alain notes that IT management solutions providers like SolarWinds have enabled organisations to effortlessly link their extensive partner network across Cisco, Veritas, and NetApp offerings in a more integrated fashion irrespective of the industry vertical of clients making this a more straightforward proposition.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has radically transformed long-term forecasts, strategic planning, and even operational efficiencies. Fortunately, having access to technology that can link to all aspects of the business environment facilitates a more agile environment that is easier to manage,” adds Alain.
While not immune to such black swan events as the one we are currently experiencing, technology does help mitigate some of the risks associated with remote working, operating digitally, and transforming distribution methods.
Leveraging technology can create an enabling environment where cross-architecture vendor solutions can be combined to conduct business more efficiently, and digitally-led, given the complexities of the current landscape. Technology should provide a deeper insight view to staying ahead of future incidents.
People will likely continue working remotely for some time to come and even business meetings will predominantly remain digital for a foreseeable future. How best the business can harness this potential is dependant on its willingness to embrace change?
The pandemic can be considered a catalyst for organisations across the continent to re-evaluate how they embrace software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing, remote access, cybersecurity, backup, and video conferencing to name just a few technologies.
Fundamental to this is linking the strengths of every vendor value proposition and delivering an enhanced way to use technology to build on this concept of the new normal.
Even though the concept of operating remotely might give rise to valid security concerns around the safety of data and infrastructure, technology can assist in providing solutions that securely help monitor and manage the business footprint across the internet.
“Safety and security remain foundational concerns around any technology implementation,” he intimates. “With every device leaving the relative safety of the company network environment, these concerns only increase.”
Adding to this is the complexity of the regulatory environment and the uncertainty around what the future will hold in a post-lockdown world. However, by implementing remote management solutions, management is in a position to not only reduce the attack surface but also be able to monitor in real-time all entry points into the network.
Cybersecurity is hard at the best of times. Employees do not always follow the right protocol or adhere to carefully developed policies. In most instances, this is due as much to ignorance as it is to the uncertainty around what constitutes best practice. It becomes therefore even more challenging with most of the workforce operating remotely. Home networks are prone to attack as it provides an easier route into corporate systems.
Organisations must, therefore, embrace monitoring solutions in a more pro-active way to ensure that wherever their employees are working from, there is a level of oversight.
It is vital for companies to continually educate and train their employees as technology on its own can only go so far.
“Training must include cybersecurity best practices and how to best use the digital tools of the new normal to deliver effectively. We have entered a brave new world that will be radically different from the one left behind a few months ago and now is the time to embrace it fully,” concludes Alain.