Maintaining continuity in tumultuous times requires flexible business operations and workplace technologies that allow employees to work securely from anywhere.
The Coronavirus is clearly taking a toll on the global economy. Productivity is lagging as companies restrict travel and workers in affected areas remain quarantined. Supply chains are being disrupted as manufacturing in key markets has ground to a halt. Corporate forecasts are being revised downward. Even the 2020 Olympic Games are potentially in jeopardy.
While it’s difficult to predict how severe things will get, one thing is clear: maintaining employee engagement, business continuity, and customer support in times like these requires flexible work models and secures remote workplace technologies.
Leveraging the automation, scale, and ubiquity of the cloud, digital workspace solutions give employees access to the applications and information they need to be informed, collaborate, and get work done from their homes — or wherever they happen to be – in a safe and secure manner.
Savvy organizations that have such digital workspace technologies as a foundation of their business continuity plans have demonstrated the agility, speed and efficiency required to manage resources in the dynamic way that unpredictable business environments demand.
Continue to Learn
Take the University of Sydney, for example. Uncertainty and travel bans related to the Coronavirus meant that the University’s more than 14,000 students would be unable to travel to Australia from China. The University quickly moved to use digital workspace technology to connect faculty and students and maintain classes online.
“The safety and security of our students, staff and community members are paramount. To enable our staff to deliver high-quality education that the University of Sydney is known for, we need to lean on technology that allows us to facilitate the sharing and consumption of knowledge in ways that are safe and secure,” said Jordan Catling, Associate Director, Client Technology, ICT, University of Sydney.
The university is leveraging digital workspace solutions to connect its China-based staff and students to the applications and data they need to continue teaching and learning from the comfort and safety of their residences.
Keep on Keeping on
Other organizations have made digital workspaces a cornerstone of their ongoing business readiness plan: “From a disaster recovery perspective, we’d like our employees to able to work from anywhere,” says Kyle Edgeworth, Deputy CIO, City of Corona, which sits on the Elsinore Fault Zone, 45 miles southwest of Los
Angeles. “In the event of an emergency, we need to be agile. We need access to our systems and our data.”
To enable this, the city, which has been affected by severe wildfires over the past two years and seen citizens evacuated and homes destroyed, is implementing digital workspace solutions as part of a broader, cloud-first strategy to establish a platform for business continuity.
“We want to get to a stage where employees understand that everything they need to carry out their work can be accessed through Citrix,” Edgeworth adds.
Ready for Growth
Having sound flexible work and digital workspace readiness programs is also proving to be a source for growth and competitive advantage. A recent study conducted by the Center for Economics and Business Research with support from Citrix found that 69 percent of people who are currently unemployed or economically inactive would be willing to start working if given the opportunity to work flexibly.
Activating these untapped pools of talent such as work from home parents, workers in rural areas, retirees, and part-time gig workers through digital workspace technologies can improve business and the global economy.
Give the Economy a Jolt
Proof: According to Cebr, if the currently unemployed and economically inactive did rejoin the workforce, it could drive upwards of $2 trillion in economic gains across the US economy and an increase in GDP of 10.2 percent.
Remote work can also reduce the time and costs associated with commuting and, according to the Cebr study, generate savings to the tune of $107 billion a year for employees which they can pump back into their local economies.
Build a sustainable business
There are environmental benefits too. Sustainability is no longer lip service, but a key corporate objective. With increasing frequency, companies are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, and remote working is a cost-effective and simple way to do it. With greater adoption of flexible working practices, companies can operate from smaller offices and reduce the number of commuting hours and vehicles on the roads. And according to a 2018 study by Regus this could cut CO2 emissions by 214 million tons annually.
Few things in business are certain. Except change. And the pace with which it is happening is faster than ever before. Companies that adopt digital workspace solutions to create flexible digital environments that provide employees with everything they need to be and perform at their best, can not only keep business moving, but quickly move ahead.
By Tim Minahan, EVP Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer, Citrix