During the pandemic, Australian businesses accelerated digital transformation initiatives to adapt to remote working.
Businesses needed to quickly implement solutions that would enable secure digital collaboration and remote access.
This ensured operations could continue with minimal disruption to employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
As Australia continues its effective management of COVID-19 and people return to offices, flexible working will be a permanent feature of modern work as employees prefer the hybrid approach.
Australians prefer hybrid working.
According to a study by Slack, 1 in 2 workers would quit their jobs if employers provided no hybrid work offerings and forced full-time office work on them.
Over the last 15 months, hybrid working has been successfully adopted by organisations across the globe. At OpenText, we were able to quickly and effectively transition to remote working while ensuring productivity among employees remained high.
We have since supported many organisations across the world in their transition to remote work including ATCO Australia.
Australian businesses that accelerated digitisation have made great strides to modernise and operate effectively in the new equilibrium. But this represents just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential future technology innovation.
In the fourth industrial revolution, more companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in 5G to gain a competitive advantage.
How do we ensure continuity moving forward?
Cloud is critical to hybrid working.
As previously mentioned, OpenText is supporting ATCO Australia’s digital transformation as it continues to manage its 6,000 remote workers.
By investing in cloud technologies, employees are able to continue accessing and working with mission-critical information, from their home or elsewhere. ATCO Australia’s investment means it can support the wants and needs of employees.
A PwC survey found 3 in 4 Australians’ ideal work environment is hybrid working. ATCO Australia is equipped for the future, giving employees with what they want.
Manage people and technology risks.
Although remote working pushed Australian organisations to increase their digital investments, there are a number of risks for organisations that must be managed.
The lines between work and personal life have blurred. Individuals found themselves working harder and longer without the in-office social interaction.
The PwC survey found only 1 in 4 staff were encouraged to take short breaks daily, and 21% said employers allowed them to incorporate wellbeing initiatives.
Employees prioritising wellbeing is imperative. I encourage all business leaders to introduce initiatives that allow employees the time to focus on themselves.
“Mental health days” or CSR programs provide the opportunity for staff to give back to the community. This is something we have done a lot, with great success.
This also plays into organisations’ best interests, as not only are happy and refreshed employees more productive, they’re less prone to making mistakes.
With networks now completely borderless, there are more vulnerabilities for CISOs, CSOs and cybersecurity directors to be cognizant of.
Phishing is on the rise. It takes one person to click on a malicious link for an entire network to be infected. This can take down entire companies and even supply chains.
Businesses must ensure that employees are operating at optimum capacity. Companies need to double down on cyber security investments and cyber-awareness training.
Individuals need to remain vigilant in scrutinising all links they receive in emails before clicking through, but this must be underpinned by cybersecurity technology such as email filtering, anti-malware protection, strong password policies, and end-user training.
Organisations will increase their cyber resilience, which is increasingly important with over half of Australian organisations saying they fell victim to a cyber attack last year, according to Sophos‘ Future of Cybersecurity in APJ report.
We’ve come a long way since March 2020, but to maintain innovation and competitive advantage, organisations need to continue to view technology as a key enabler in supporting modern work as it evolves and continues to be redefined.
Albert Nel is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Transformation Selling, Enterprise Software, Partner and Alliances Management, Go-to-market Strategy, and Sales Management.