Remote Work is Enabled, Now What?

Remote Work is Enabled, Now What?

You did it, you enabled an entire remote workforce virtually overnight. Now what?

Microsoft Teams is one of the many technologies that helped organizations rapidly shift to remote collaboration. We are finding some great success stories out there when it comes to this recent, rapid, and largely unplanned digital transformation, and many cases are powered by Microsoft Teams, with COVID-19 as an honorable mention, of course. As we talk with customers, we're finding that many are already thinking of ways to further enable their users to be as productive as possible. And thanks to Microsoft Teams, many are identifying new and creative ways to collaborate.

I'm sure you are all working hard to establish new best practices to ensure that your swift roll-out of Microsoft Teams is properly governed, secured, and can best support business goals as we move to a new-normal of increased remote collaboration. As you take a breath and think through your next steps, here are a few things to consider:

  • Providing Awareness & Training: While Microsoft Teams has intuitive basic features such as meeting and chat functions, some of the best capabilities to help productivity and enable modern collaboration are achieved through targeted change adoption programs such as awareness campaigns, creating change champions to lead by example, and providing access to training resources such as BrainStorm QuickHelp.™ For organizations that are interested in QuickHelp,™ Intellinet is partnering with BrainStorm to offer three-month proof of concept access at no cost.

  • Ensuring Security & Compliance: Microsoft Teams leverages the security features of Microsoft 365. Unfortunately, a lot of you did not have the luxury of performing a comprehensive regulatory compliance review with the business during these recent events. Over the next few months, it will be critical to revisit your specific regulatory and compliance requirements and evaluate what, if any, configurations you may need to make to your tenant. If you have regulatory requirements, such as HIPPA, PII, or GDPR, consider using Azure Information Protection (AIP) for detecting and labeling any sensitive information. Especially if you have enabled external users (guest access).

  • Evaluating Costs & Redundant Platforms: Having to move so quickly, many organizations didn't have time to properly compare features or platforms and are now left with some redundancy and overlap. Even if you have evaluated your application portfolio in the past, it is worth another look since Microsoft has released dozens of new features that make it more compelling to fully move from products such as WebEx, Zoom, and others.

  • Rethinking Core Processes & Establishing Business Use Cases: With Microsoft Teams in place and new workforce demands, you have a tremendous opportunity to rethink business processes - ones that are inefficient, inconsistent, and challenging, and make them standardized, streamlined, and collaborative. Some uses cases to evaluate could be new product development, employee onboarding/offboarding, Town Hall meetings, shop floor/job site safety, and others. We like to think of Teams as the technology delivery system for the future, and strongly believe it is a great platform to integrate with your LOB systems, expose AI to your users (computer vision via a bot for example), and innovate to get better.

While these considerations are illustrated in the context of Microsoft Teams, they can and should really be applied to any of the new technologies you may have recently implemented. Now is a great time to ensure you are taking advantage of the opportunities this situation may have brought to your organization. As Andy Warhol said, "They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

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