Sending a company’s “normal” workforce to the home office in whole or in stages is one thing. As soon as it comes to the IT team, the issue looks different: They are the secret heroes who keep operations digitally running despite the crisis. But is that why it’s so easy to switch to the home office? Are they not needed on-site? And don’t you need the infrastructure available in the established office to provide sufficient support for all employees? Because IT experts can also benefit from the advantages of the home office and work more efficiently – if they are allowed to introduce the right technical conditions.
From collaboration tools to security aspects, they can ideally support their colleagues’ work and organize the IT team remotely themselves. Michael Procopio, Product Marketing Manager at Micro Focus, gives three tips on how remote IT teams can effectively support the rest of the workforce even after the lockdown.
Communication And Collaboration: The Right Tools Are Needed
Communication and interpersonal interactions are essential and valuable assets. Not only to meet the needs of social gatherings but also for successful collaboration. For effective IT collaboration, the employees concerned must agree on how they should distribute their priorities and workloads. That means: For IT teams with different locations, a space must be created to exchange ideas on acute problems. Instant messaging tools such as Slack offer separate channels to which only linked accounts have access or read and write access.
Employees usually ask other colleagues in the office with them for help with IT problems or even speak to the IT experts directly. However, if the colleagues are currently in the home office, a short consultation can be problematic. But IT staff can still be reached via group chat tools.
The additional use of ChatOps can reduce the workload here: This means the ability of IT operations tools to communicate with employees via the instant messenger platform. A chatbot receives commands and requests from the group chat, forwards them to the IT-Ops system, gets an answer, and sends it back to the corresponding group chat. This enables simple process automation.
Automate As Many Processes As Possible
A recent study by Enterprise Management Associates found that IT ops teams use an average of 23 tools simultaneously. This high number of different platforms and applications and the subsequent change between different contexts risk losing focus on the essentials. The implementation of integrated solutions, controlled from a central platform, helps the IT team concentrate on the most important things.
Integrated solutions make it easy to automate various IT processes and tasks, which has many advantages for the IT department: In addition to noticeable cost savings, it also reduces the potential for errors where the human eye always misses something. The process execution is significantly accelerated and even enables the automatic implementation of a rollback in an emergency. With the help of artificial intelligence in AIOps , system weaknesses can be identified and remedied more quickly, and a root cause analysis can be carried out.
Even after the lockdown, cybercriminals will continue to try their luck with social engineering, phishing, and malware attacks. Video conferencing and collaboration tools’ increased popularity gives them even more exposure. Therefore, the IT security aspect must be comprehensively covered so that security-related events do not overload the IT teams. Security training helps employees identify suspicious e-mails and attachments independently, even in the home office. Identity and access management tools can be used to distribute usage privileges and identify threats and potentially dangerous activities in good time.
Conclusion: Business Continuity For The Potential Emergency
Like any crisis, the current one will soon calm down, and companies will return to the “old normal” or even adapt their corporate culture to the “new normal.” Regardless of how companies decide for the future: Sudden, unforeseen emergencies can occur at any time. A combination of the experiences gained during the pandemic and creating a business continuity plan  helps companies prepare thoroughly for the next crisis – even if the entire IT team is working from home.
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