It took visits from 3 ghosts to get Ebenezer Scrooge to change how he treated people – especially his employee Bob Cratchit. Now, we’re not ghosts – we provide IT services in Bakersfield, California. But we have a similar wake-up call for businesses – and it relates to how you and your employees use technology.
Below are 4 factors that will shape how you operate in 2022. Address each with an IT consultant. Or, ignore them at your own risk.
1. The Great Resignation Continues To Take Its Toll
In today’s world, a “Bob Cratchit” would never tolerate Scrooge’s working conditions. He’d resign and probably become a digital nomad. In August alone, 4.3 million Americans resigned. According to a survey by Limeade, here’s what motivated people to seek and take a new position:
- 40% remote work
- 37% higher compensation
- 31% improved management
- 29% better company reputation
- 26% work-life balance
- 24% flexible schedule
Cratchit didn’t have any of those perks. How many does your company provide?
Win the talent war
Offer better remote-work solutions
IT services help employers catch up to employee demands
2 years of pandemic-induced restrictions altered what we view as important. Layered on top of that are the results of our impromptu work-from-home experiment. Your staff knows modern technologies enable flexible, remote-work opportunities without the frustrations that go with aging systems. Top talent also knows their worth – and denying remote work now will cost you current and future employees.
2. Expect To Have More Digital Nomads for Employees
A few years ago, employees used PTO for their trips to Bali. Now they can hop on a weekend flight and set up their “home office” in an over-the-water villa before Monday morning rolls around.
It’s 9 a.m. Do you know where your employees are?
Features on video calls like blurred backgrounds and noise suppression mask people’s locations. Are they really at home? Are they managing extreme time zone differences and actually working from that villa in Bali? You won’t know unless you ask.
Cybersecurity tip: Flexibility can’t mean a free-for-all
Set policies around where people can work. Your IT services provider can help establish and enforce these rules. If someone will be working from a location that isn’t their home office, have them tell you ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll be adding to a different pandemic for your business: nomadic risks.
3. Nomadic Business Risks Are Your New Pandemic
As implied by the name, your digital nomads aren’t staying put. They’re out there, traveling, enjoying life and adding risks to your environment.
3 cybersecurity headaches caused by globe-trotting employees
1. Working on free WiFi is a “Come on in” sign for hackers
Everyone knows airports and many hotels offer free WiFi – including hackers. Cybercriminals love free WiFi because they can use it to:
- Distribute malware
- View your emails and websites you visit
- Snatch your passwords and user names
2. Increased probability of device theft
Your employee is tired of the hotel room and hops over to the coffee shop to work. They get up to grab another coffee, and someone snatches their open laptop. They leave their mobile device in their Uber. Someone walks off with their carry-on bag at the airport. The opportunities are endless.
3. Unauthorized physical access
Maybe the thief doesn’t steal the laptop while your employee is chatting to the barista. Instead, they get on the computer, forward files to their email, copy down information like passwords, or even upload a virus with a USB key.
IT services with cybersecurity experts set technical controls to protect your business
With the right policies and security measures in place, you’ll be able to exert control over digital workspaces. From a cybersecurity standpoint, it won’t matter if Jose is in Bali instead of Bakersfield. (His ability to manage the time zone difference is another story.)
Contact us today to:
- Use identity and location-based control to block access to your network
- Set up multifactor authentication on your accounts
- Remotely lock devices that are stolen or lost
Go local to be protected globally
Even if your employees are working from anywhere, you still have a footprint in California. You want your managed IT support service provider to have a local presence too. This way, they can respond in-person or resolve issues remotely, depending on the circumstances.
A perfect storm of business threats has formed.
Survive the assault:
Attend the 5 Forces webinar series
4. Ask Your IT Services Provider To Get a Little Meta
Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse isn’t revolutionary. Digital spheres where people interact through virtual reality headsets already exist. The thought is: One day, people will live out experiences, like shopping, in this 3D digital world.
You’re unlikely to go all in on a metaverse anytime soon
That said, the desire for more digital interaction is palpable. You need it to connect remote employees with each other, your clients and key business partners. Here are 3 reasons you should work with your managed IT services provider to improve your digital communication tools.
1. You can’t let productivity drop
Collaboration now rests on your employees’ ability to clearly communicate digitally. Not everyone is a gifted writer. People need more than a chat platform or email to get things done. Today’s unified communication tools, like Microsoft Teams, securely enable work from anywhere. These platforms offer rich experiences for chat, video, phone calls, document editing, app integration and real-time collaboration.
2. Online chat bots give customers speedy responses
Dip your toes in the world of avatars and digital-only interactions with online chatbots. You’ll add a way to interact with customers and quickly answer their basic questions.
3. Webinars and online conferences are here to stay
People returned to in-person meetings in 2021, but no one fully ditched digital tools for events and meetings. You will continue to hold critical calls online. Organizations will hold virtual events or sell digital tickets for in-person conferences.
Have high security standards for all communications
The more information you pass back and forth online, the more opportunities you create for criminals. Cut off access to hackers by asking your cybersecurity consultant to turn on protections like:
- Multifactor authentication
- Automatic blocking of malicious content
- Safe attachments and links
- Conditional access
2022 Will Be Wild – Take a Trusted IT Services Company Along for the Ride
Don’t wait for a wave of mass resignations or a cyberattack caused by a globe-trotting employee to revamp your workplace. Our IT consulting services can help you prepare for the digital nomads, hackers, and whatever 2022 throws your way.