It seems easy at first. People convene Zoom meetings from their living rooms and share documents on Microsoft Teams. But companies soon find out that keeping remote workers happy and productive is more like navigating a maze. Then, a solution starts looking like a remote possibility.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can spin up a host of powerful technologies supporting your remote workers — typically in 30 days or less — that can streamline workflows, automate repetitive tasks and generally make life easier for people accustomed to working together in the same office.
At DMI, we get client calls daily asking for guidance on remote work technologies. Companies often have a confusing mishmash of collaboration tools, data center architectures and application portfolios. Many depend on connectivity tools like VPN that aren’t designed for scale. Others impose an abundance of tasks on workers that could be readily automated.
And, of course, everybody wants fixes as soon as possible. Here’s how we help clients find solutions in tight time frames.
Optimize Collaboration Tools
If your people are using Microsoft Teams for family meetings and club get-togethers, that’s telling you something: Maybe they don’t need Zoom, WebEx, Slack or any of a dozen other productivity tools that Teams can handle. Or, maybe you’re not a Microsoft shop, so you need to find the optimum blend of tools for chatting, videoconferencing, file sharing and so on.
The more departments and silos you have, the more imperative it becomes to bring order and sanity to your collaboration-tool portfolio. Whatever your situation, you need to assess which applications to keep and which ones to let go. And then you need to create standard workflows so that everybody does essentially the same things the same way to get their work done.
Leverage Cloud Platforms
If you’re hosting most applications in on-premises data centers, then you’re at a natural disadvantage when time is of the essence. With cloud software platforms, your service provider maintains all the infrastructure and keeps the software updated. Cloud architecture makes it easy and fast to spin up all sorts of software in short time frames because there’s very little to install.
Perhaps the greatest challenge with cloud platforms is integration — finding the right match for your business from the vast variety of cloud apps and folding it into your current technology stack. You also have to make sure the cloud platform’s cost structure matches your budget. Cloud services charge for the processing and bandwidth you consume, and that can add up quickly for big companies with large remote staffs.
Build Low/No-Code Apps
Every company needs software unique to their workforce and business environment. It used to take months or even years to build these kinds of applications, but the rise of low/no-code applications has squeezed these time frames down to weeks.
Low/no-code technologies let companies give their remote workers access to mobile apps for specific tasks on their smartphone or tablet rather than a laptop or home PC. This adds even more mobility to a remote workforce. Moreover, these apps can automate manual tasks like data entry and validation, freeing workers for more important assignments.
In theory, anybody with a computer can build a low/no-code app. Schoolteachers have built them for their classes, for instance. But companies need seasoned developers to weave low/no-code components into intuitive, easy-to-use applications that their workers will enjoy using.
A Partner for Accelerating Remote Work
DMI’s Accelerated Solutions practice specializes in delivering high-performance technologies in short time frames. These experts include two Microsoft MVPs who have advanced training and experience across the full spectrum of Microsoft technologies. They’ve succeeded in enough projects in multiple industries to know how to avoid the trial-and-error that bogs things down.
We also use time-tested Agile methodologies that iterate quickly and deliver speedy time to value. Moreover, our proprietary Agile Performance Index (APIX) provides a unique ability to assess the progress and success of Agile development. Finally, our experts in system architecture, user experience design and business strategy provide the end-to-end expertise that tight timelines require.
The best work-from-home solution should help remote employees enjoy their work without having to jump through a bunch of digital hoops imposed by the IT department. Our user-centered development philosophy can help your company do that.
— Matt Jimison, vice president, accelerated solutions
— Corey Roth, director, accelerated solutions
— Brandon McGhan, director, accelerated solutions