On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Within weeks states began to shut down schools, businesses temporarily closed their doors, and workers quarantined at home in an effort to contain the spread of the disease. People were wearing masks, practicing social distancing, having their groceries delivered, and the transition from going to work every day to working from home was well under way.
Whatever your personal beliefs regarding the prevalence, severity, cause or seriousness of the situation, there is no denying that the pandemic has had a profound impact on society in general and business practices in particular.
Has your business been disrupted in some way by the events surrounding COVID-19? Of course it has.
10 ways COVID-19 has impacted businesses across the U.S.:
- Employees are working from home instead of coming to the office, either full time or part time.
- Offices have shut down, changed space, or reduced square footage.
- In-person meetings, conferences, and conventions have been cancelled or held virtually via online conferencing tools.
- Many workers have resigned due to dissatisfaction with their old job, inability to have continued work-at-home flexibility, concerns about health and safety in the workplace, unwillingness to comply with mask or vaccine mandates, the desire to take a “life break”, and more.
- Employers have experienced unprecedented difficulty in finding job candidates and filling available jobs.
- Supply chain issues have constricted the flow of goods around the globe. Shortages, outages, and back-orders are increasingly common.
- Inflation is on the rise and price increases abound across the boards from raw materials to food products.
- Consumer buying habits have changed drastically as people avoid in-person shopping and elect to do more business online.
- Customer relations, sales activities, business travel, in person dining, entertainment, and customer contact have all been disrupted by COVID transmission concerns.
- Manufacturing and warehousing environments have been impacted by virus outbreaks, shutdowns, and vaccine mandate efforts.
How will your business respond to the challenge?
These days change, and responding to change, is the name of the game. The good news is, although it is extremely challenging, responding to change is what American business does best. In the effort to move through and beyond the impact of the pandemic there will be winners and losers. Some will not be able to adapt and will be left behind or wither away. Others will prosper like never before as they discover new opportunities and improved ways of operating that might never have been revealed without the challenge of the pandemic.
What’s the best way to make sure your organization emerges from the pandemic stronger and more vibrant than every before? Having the right IT partner will be key.
10 ways your IT partner can be critical to surviving (and thriving) during COVID-19:
- Not relying on the “same old same old”. Change will be inevitable. Your IT partner needs to be able to help you lead change instead or just reacting to the problems it causes.
- Acting with critical analysis and expert advice. Responding nimbly to your needs. Being able to provide the dependable technology consulting you need.
- Adapting your infrastructure to accommodate remote workers and to ensure communication, connectivity, and network security.
- Adapting your facility (existing or new) to the technical demands of a different work force flow.
- Adapting your systems to a greater reliance on Cloud solutions and the physical, economic, and security benefits the Cloud can provide.
- Making sure your cybersecurity systems are working as hard as they can to protect your changing network environment.
- Streamlining the care and feeding of your technology systems. Doing away with constant, costly on-site audits and monthly diagnostics meetings and relying more on remote monitoring and continual systems management.
- Navigating microchip shortages, high demand, and low supply to help you procure the right equipment for your needs at the best prices.
- Increasing the flexibility, timeliness, and security of new employee onboarding procedures.
- Helping you incorporate the tools you need to facilitate online video conferences, remote meetings, and communications with a widespread workforce.