A few weeks back, we posted a blog entry on Workspace Entropy – the natural tendency for disorder in the workplace sparked by both macro and micro forces. We now have a major macro event – COVID-19. The fear and uncertainty around COVID-19 is testing the ultimate capabilities of businesses to continue productivity in the event of continued spread. Unfortunately, the extent of improper planning for business continuity has become increasingly clear. We’ve been in discussions with businesses of all sizes and across all verticals, all of whom have shared their emergency planning scenarios around the worst case – that everyone must work from home. The demand is significant and technology is playing a critical role in reshaping continuity plans. Before you make knee-jerk decisions, there are options to alleviate costly expenditures and relieve the pressure of time-sensitive and required decision making.
Fortunately, in times of uncertainty such as this, not everyone is out to profit. For example, many large organizations are providing their technology solutions at heavily discounted pricing or, amazingly, free of charge to help alleviate the risk and mobilize your workforce to remain productive if physical accessibility becomes a challenge. This includes Microsoft offering a free six-month trial of Teams; Google offering free access to Google Hangouts (for G Suite customers); and Cisco WebEx, to name a few. The list of services, typically requiring investment, are now being provided for a complimentary period to help business sustain productivity during the COVID-19 outbreak.
There are options that businesses can pursue to mitigate partial risk. However, if your company is dependent on other services that can not be satisfied through Teams, Hangouts, WebEx (and other), you may need to invest. If you require hardware, such as laptops, supply is not meeting demand, and maintaining demand will be a challenge as manufacturing gaps in China remain present (also caused by COVID-19). For remote accessibility, such as through Citrix technology, there are options to also consider, including traditional perpetual licenses, termed perpetual licenses (yearly), Cloud subscriptions, as well as service provider licenses that can provide ultimate flexibility on a monthly consumption basis. Lastly, Microsoft Azure can quickly provide the capabilities to burst immediate capacity to satisfy demands of remote work through Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop, especially if hardware demands cannot be met.
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of all your options – there are many and we expect more technology companies to follow suit, offering discounts and flexible options to meet the challenging needs of businesses during these times. We are also not looking to abuse the fear and drive profits for Third Octet. We genuinely want to help by offering our capabilities to assist in your requirements to sustain workforce productivity in a remote capacity.