Twitter and Google, a couple of rather influential technology leaders, have made it official: Anybody on their staffs who'd like to work from home permanently can do so—at least through 2021.
Is this the path of other businesses in other sectors for the future? What exactly has the COVID-19 pandemic done to our business norms? What will work look like when the pandemic slowly but eventually begins to slow down?
Several industry-leading experts collected their thoughts about what they believe things will look like when the bulk of the virus has passed. These people provide products and services to the world’s Fortune 500s and are currently guiding their companies through this global crisis with success. Some of them guided their companies through the last global recession just as successfully.
Yoav Landman, Co-founder and CTO of JFrog:
“As people have moved to a remote work model due to COVID-19, organizations have been forced to quickly enable their entire workforce to work remotely. Essentially, every company has now become a distributed development organization, and as a result, employees need access to the software and tools necessary to continue doing their job, regardless of their location. DevOps teams have an obligation to ensure software, tools, and systems remain up-to-date and secure so that business continuity is not compromised. This obligation includes being able to jump in at any time to ensure systems are working 24/7, as any downtime means no one is able to be productive. COVID-19 has shown that an effective DevOps approach is now more important than ever. Even after the urgent crises of COVID-19 have passed, people will place more of a focus (including budgets, hiring, management) toward DevOps to support cloud-based systems with high-availability and low maintenance so their business can continue to function at any time, no matter the circumstance.”
Chris Huff, Chief Strategy Officer of Kofax:
“So many unknowns still exist about the human, societal and economic impact of COVID-19. But everyone relies on our global institutions and enterprises to support daily life, and we all have a stake in their ability to withstand the operational pressure they’re facing. As the data suggests, organizations have implemented myriad new automation technologies that enable them to be agile and responsive to changing business conditions. Organizations and their employees can and should look at those technology investments in place and see how their tools can be extended to meet the emerging challenges presented by COVID-19.”
Ray Grainger, Co-founder and CEO of Mavenlink:
“In a post-pandemic world, the services industry will emerge with the ability to deliver services remotely, leveling the playing field. As the economy recovers, rapidly changing demand signals for critical skills will require businesses to have a trusted network of employees, contractors and other firms from which they can fulfill demand. Technology will therefore need to play an increasingly prominent role in their ability to respond with just-in-time identification and deployment of resources, many of which they lack in their own organizations.”
Roger Neel, Co-founder and CTO of Mavenlink:
“Project management is expected to change in a post pandemic world. We're currently in the midst of a huge challenge for most organizations. Even for those that are set up to have an entirely remote, distributed workforce are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of this pandemic crisis. For better or worse, this period of uncertainty and major change is likely to make a lasting impact on the way different companies interact with one another and the ways in which organizations operate. With distributed teams, things like a lack of communication, security concerns, training and onboarding challenges, and burnout are more pronounced. As remote work becomes more of a new normal, we'll see these challenges rise up the priority ladder for organizations trying to grow and move forward in this new paradigm. How companies manage these challenges today will be very telling for their prospects tomorrow.”
George Gallegos, CEO of Jitterbit:
“The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the digital transformation that is already underway in many industries and will have a lasting effect on the way companies conduct business in the long term. Replacing the physical office with an interconnected remote ecosystem will force many businesses to find new ways to handle key processes that used to be done manually. Enterprises will look to rebuild these processes as part of a digitally connected system that reduces the burden on line-of-business workers and IT teams, who will be in high demand to manage the massive shift to remote work. The new processes that companies put in place will serve as a foundation for digital transformation going forward.”
Tom Barton, CEO of Diamanti:
“Uncertainty in the economy will likely impact enterprise budgets, and understandably, many organizations are looking for ways to minimize costs and reduce their technology investments, which includes cutting software licensing and subscription costs, and reducing total cost of ownership. Many CIOs are likely reevaluating investments in new and modern technologies. However, modernization is not a luxury in any market, and in most challenging markets, testing and deploying new IT and software infrastructure has turned out to be a great way to reduce costs, improve the performance of your critical applications and processes and drive greater reliability, scalability and security. Modernization can also be an accelerator for when markets bounce back, setting companies up for future success.”
Frederic Laziou, CEO of Tacton:
"Consumer goods companies have long relied on B2B-commerce, aka, smart commerce, enjoying its ease of use for driving sales and meeting consumer expectations for immediate feedback and self-service. But B2B-commerce technologies have advanced to the point where they are much more than scrolling through thumbnail product pictures and choosing shipment dates. Even the most complex B2B industries, such as high variance manufacturing, can now also take advantage of a seamless, transparent, B2B-commerce purchases. Augmented reality, 3D visualization, and integration technologies have transformed complex, manual purchasing and engineering processes into easy online interactions that require zero face-to-face meetings. COVID-19 is forcing B2B companies to quickly adapt and move sales online, and I predict that even after COVID loosens its grip on businesses, industrial leaders will continue to leverage B2B-commerce for a large portion of their sales for its ability to keep prospects and customers engaged and happy, and sell products quickly and accurately."