How have technological developments impacted the way we work during a pandemic?
And what problems and opportunities do they bring?
It’s no secret that technology has been the driving force keeping businesses operating throughout the pandemic, with many going fully digital in 2020. And whilst new technologies existed pre-pandemic, they have now become vital tools in our everyday working lives. But what technologies have we adopted over the past 18 months? What opportunities and problems has the digitization of the workforce brought? And how can we adapt to a new digital workspace?
It may be commonplace now, but if you had asked someone for a Zoom or Teams call in January 2020, chances are they may have frowned. Yet, video calls are now commonplace and essential for the interaction between teams and departments and for business-to-businesses communication.
But the digitization of the workforce has resulted in an increased demand for developing technologies. As Lawyer Monthly reports, many organizations now rely on online cloud technologies for document storage, as well as data sharing systems to ensure remote workers can access files. Trusty Excel spreadsheets, once the mainstay of many businesses, now appear outdated, with modern, online-based CRM systems the more efficient option.
These technological changes have also impacted the recruitment industry. Whilst we here at itecopeople have worked remotely for some time, we had to adapt to our clients as they adopted new models of work. This has also impacted how we recruit, with the whole process now digitized. It’s likely that some employees we recruited early last year are still yet to meet their colleagues face-to-face and may not for some time to come!
And this just concerns technology that’s already available. As TechNET IT discuss, businesses are having to plan their future and devise their business strategies with technologies that don’t yet exist. They give the example of the construction industry, which is planning for the rollout of 5G in advance to boost their productivity in the future. But this brings with it problems that managers and employers will need to consider.
The problems technology brings
Devising a business plan with technology that doesn’t yet exist may sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but it’s something businesses must do if they are to stay ahead, or even just on the curve, despite the risks carried if, for example, the technology operates differently to how they expected.
As both Lawyer Monthly and Information Age discuss, because of this endless innovation, businesses are having to prioritise digital strategy in a way they have never done before, but are also being met with resistance from their own workforce. It’s understandable that employees can be hesitant to change tried and tested methods that have so far brought them success. However, in order to continue being successful, employers will have to be smart with how they approach both new technologies and existing employees.
The opportunities technology brings
Technology isn’t all bad news, however, and businesses have demonstrated over the last 18 months how, with thought and consideration, technology can be beneficial for growth.
Isaac Sacolick, in discussion with Information Age, discusses how digital transformation is “changing the way we’re creating products and services […] we’re enabling new ways for customers to interact with us – how we sell products, how we market them, how we service them, how we compete for new business”. New technologies have the opportunity to make businesses so much more efficient and, consequently, successful, and also create the opportunity for innovation. They also allow employers and managers to cater to the workforce’s growing desire to work remotely, or in a hybrid format.
Adapting to new technologies
To quote Information Age, technological change is “a people problem, not a technology one”. But how can employers encourage employees to adapt to new technologies?
Lawyer Monthly discuss how managers need to go above instructing employees to adapt to change, and instead demonstrate how new technology is of benefit to their position. They argue that if encouraging new technologies is positioned with the result of performance gain, whether that be their productivity, amount of work completed, or volume of sales, for example, the workforce will be more positive about adopting new processes.
In summary, digital transformation is something we all need to embrace and adapt to if we want to guarantee the longevity of an organisation.
The impact on IT departments
As we discussed in our blog in July, remote working is having a huge impact on IT departments. This is also true for the expectation to deliver digital transformation. Constant innovation, coupled with continued remote working and planning technology-based business strategies before the technology has been produced will ensure IT departments are in constant demand for the foreseeable future.
Are you implementing a new digital strategy? What problems or opportunities are you encountering? We’d love to find out. Get in touch to let us know your story.