- 1. The future will require supporting new models of work:
Companies have aggressively rolled out mobility capabilities during the pandemic, as well as new remote collaboration tools. Companies also doubled their cloud adoption rate. Going forward, organizations must continue to plan for an uncertain future, rethinking how and where people work. “The new rule is 60-20-20,” says Tim Femister, Vice President, Digital Infrastructure, ConvergeOne. That means 60% of employees may be hybrid, while 20% work entirely from home and another 20% are in the office full time.
Keep in mind, however, that not every employee has the ideal work-from-home setting. A call center agent, for instance, may work from the kitchen table in a one-bedroom apartment with poor Internet bandwidth, says Kathy Sobus, who leads customer experience strategy at ConvergeOne. Businesses must equip employees with the right keyboards, monitors and broadband setups and add more flexibility to boost productivity. This may mean mandated time off to avoid burnout, staggering remote work hours into smaller chunks throughout the day or adding gamifying tools to motivate and keep employees engaged.
- 2. An influx of customer inquiries requires new approaches to offloading work:
About half of ConvergeOne’s customers have deployed artificial intelligence and virtual assistants, and the success has been mixed. Those who have benefited from self-service tools allow people to get information quickly without complicated decision trees and website searches and they meet customers where they are. Customers say it’s important to not divert all workload to one channel over another but to evenly distribute those inquiries to meet customers where they are. The key is to allow customers to self-serve whenever possible.
- 3. Security will become even more important:
Ransomware attacks have exploded with the switch to work-from-home. As many as 94% of ransomware attacks come through phishing emails, and because most companies pay the ransom to reclaim data, it’s become a $20 billion illegal industry. In addition, as much as 70% of social engineering is coming through contact centers, in which thieves fish for information, gain access and change passwords. Businesses should train employees on these threats monthly and boost education via company blog posts and intranet pop-ups. Biometric authentication, such as facial recognition or thumbprint recognition, could also help remote call center agents protect sensitive data.
- 4. It’s still possible to beat the cyber thieves with disaster recovery mechanisms:
Cyber vaults can expand your backup landscape and cyber recovery solutions provide step-by-step recovery, reimaging, data analytics and more. Yet just 1% of companies have cyber recovery solutions in place. ConvergeOne customers rely on such tools as Cisco AMP +Umbrella, Arctic Wolf, AlertLogic, Rapid7 and Cisco SecureX, which provides a dashboard for all your security products and forensic data. “The more inputs an organization has, the better they’ll be able to handle a breach,” says Chris Ripkey, ConvergeOne’s senior director of cybersecurity. “We also created a new reference architecture for cyber security recovery which helps prevent a wider attack.”