By Rahul Sharma, MD-India, LogMeIn
After adapting fast to operate during the pandemic in 2020, it’s time for enterprises to look ahead and gear up for another potentially challenging year. As organizations continue to recover from the crisis, the focus is now on leveraging the digital migration for increasing overall business output and efficiency along with a widespread adoption of remote and hybrid working models. From ensuring optimal employee experiences to focusing on cyber security, here are a few upcoming trends that will shape organizations’ business strategy in 2021.
A holistic experience for all
Drastic changes in the global work culture like adopting a digital-first approach and remote working pushed organizations to reinvent their work culture and service strategy in a matter of days. Surviving in the pandemic-hit market required businesses to deal with two major issues. Firstly, providing the safest and best possible customer experience and, secondly, paying equal importance to their employees’ mental and physical well-being, as well as giving them the best remote working tools to continiue to be able to work from anywhere.
This approach of balancing and prioritizing both employee and customer experience is expected to continue in 2021. The 2020 HR Sentiment Survey conducted by Future Workplace showed similar results where employee experience was ranked as the top priority by 50% leaders because, clearly, satisfied employees help make satisfied customers.
Automation of routine tasks
The year 2020 witnessed major digital disruption across all industries. Business continuity depended directly on how organizations could harness digital technology to ensure collaboration, communication and drive productivity in employees. By leveraging the cutting-edge artificial intelligence, robot process automation, and machine learning to automate repetitive business tasks and handle standard queries, enterprises can drastically increase operational efficiency, improve business processes, and deliver superior experiences. Applicable across all business platforms, these cloud-based tools help the human resource save time, enabling them to focus on more value-driven and complex tasks.
Management of security threats
The sudden digital shift and implementation of work-from-home culture created a lot of security concerns regarding sensitive personal and enterprise data. Cybercriminals deployed large-scale cyber-attacks to take advantage of the digital migration. To protect themselves against data breaches and potential threats, organizations will need to deploy stronger and more sophisticated security measures relying on robust identity protocols to defend their network, data, and resources. About 78% of global IT security teams are already in the process of implementing a zero-trust security model to deal with emerging and existing security threats. Business leaders will also prioritize employee sensitization about cyber security and the threat landscape to mitigate the threat-risk to their organizations.
Focusing on collaboration and communication
Tech companies, armed with solutions for seamless connectivity and collaboration, have helped organizations to access the technology needed to work from home during the pandemic. These tools have helped people to connect with one another on video calls and conferences, quickly and conveniently.
More importantly, this digital enablement is supported by robust security measures, such as TLS encryption in transit and at rest. Doing so has given users complete control over their meeting experience, enabling them to collaborate seamlessly and securely in 2020 despite the challenges. Given their benefits, we can expect these collaboration tools to find greater adoption in the coming year, empowering business users across the globe to easily manage, schedule, or join meetings on any device, from anywhere.
Decentralization of workforce
Since the practice of work-from-home started gaining momentum in 2020, the concept of a decentralized workforce has also taken root. With concerns regarding workplace location, distance and commute slowly becoming obsolete due to the digital shift, organizations will have a much larger, diversified and talented workforce at their disposal. Working professionals will have better job opportunities and options to take up the work aligned with their interests and sensibilities, in the organization of their choice. Although it’s true that not every type of work can be done digitally, sectors like Information Technology, digital marketing etc. will consist of large, geo-distributed teams working together with help from strong digital collaboration tools and technologies bridging the physical gap between them.
Work-from-home is creating a paradigm shift like never before. Every day, more and more people are planning to relocate because their organizations have either temporarily or permanently adopted a remote working model and no longer require their physical presence. Remote work is no longer a matter of privilege; it has become a necessity amidst the ongoing global crisis. According to a PwC survey of 669 CEOs, around 78% stated that remote work is here to stay for the long-term. Another survey by FlexJobs showed that for 27% of the workers, work from home is so crucial that they would be willing to take pay cut of 10% to 20% for it.
Finally, to seamlessly implement the remote working model, businesses need to identify gaps in their operational and management processes, and endeavour to bridge them in sync with the emerging trends and existing industry best practices. By doing so, businesses can well-equip themselves to navigate the rocky waters of 2021 and beyond.