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Lessons from the Pandemic

"Before the Pandemic." Not too long ago, those words belonged squarely in a science fiction movie, yet we now hear them used on a daily basis. We now have a defined timeline of “before” and “during” and are (slowly) heading into “after”. As we embrace 2021, we wanted to share a few lessons we've learned as we help clients, new and old, during the pandemic. 

Before: Business as Usual

Our businesses “before” were busy, active—dare we say normal? It’s safe to say most companies carried out their business normal without even thinking about a potential pandemic, with the consequences that they were not as ready to pivot as they could have been.

During… the New Normal

As businesses scrambled to quickly establish a work from home routine it started to sink in that there was no quick fix—this pandemic was big, bad, bold and was bringing about significant changes that were here to stay for a good while. Face masks, social distancing and plexiglass partitions became the much talked about “new normal”. Zoom calls became a regular means of communication between coworkers. Spring turned into summer; the numbers continued to rise, and realization hit hard that life and work were going to get harder before they got better. 

Our “during” time became an opportunity for many organizations to embrace new technology, accelerating digital transformation and developing an agile workforce, all critical factors to keeping our local economy going and helping employees and their families make it financially not just now but also in the future. 

ABE offered solid steps for business continuity, enabling many organizations to transition to safely work from home through secure WFH solutions including secure workstations, enterprise VPN, and remote communication through mobile softphone apps such as UC-ONE.

Let’s admit it—even before the pandemic, many organizations faced IT challenges but put off making significant changes, whether due to budget, personnel or even time. A hard lesson we’ve learned is that we no longer have the option of waiting—the coronavirus is pushing us to quickly adapt new methods to survive as a business and IT is being tested in unprecedented ways.

In mid-summer ABE began offering FDA-approved thermal temperature scanning kiosks, helping organizations continue operations by screening employees and customers for high temperatures, a common sign of the coronavirus. 

After…What’s Next?

As we head into 2021, we’ll continue to experience much uncertainty—we know we have a long way to go before the pandemic will be behind us. Many organizations were forced to put off essential IT updates due to the pandemic. Now is the time to get back on track. It’s critical, for cybersecurity and functionality, that organizations stay up to date on technology and collaboration tools. These tools will continue to provide value into the future.

Once we have overcome the pandemic, it will be important to put in place strategies for greater staying power and to create guidelines that better prepare your organizations for future disruptions. Have you invested in all of the tools and technology – and people partnerships – needed to respond to abrupt changes to your business? 

  • Server: Is yours secure, safe from attack during off-campus use? Do you have reliable, ongoing backup of your website and documents? Do you have a proper Firewall?
  • VPN: Have you already set up an enterprise VPN for off-campus use? This will continue to have importance.
  • WFH workstations: Even if you have already transitioned back to working from the office, do you have secure workstations ready for rapid deployment in case of need?
  • Softphone technology for efficient communication remotely and through mobile phones
  • Live tech support: Do you have access to live tech support, from a local company that values your business and community partner with you for your business continuity?

Just as before and now, during the pandemic, the team at ABE will be ready after this extremely challenging situation is over for whatever comes next. We want to ensure that you will be, too. Whether you need equipment or just a consultation, we’re here when you need us. Email stayconnected@abecarolina.,com or call Brenda, 828.210.4330.