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Most of us can say that there is a staunch difference between doing business in the office and being a remote worker. In each scenario, individuals may have their own unique methods of getting work done. Whether you manage a team of seasoned remote workers or if your team isn’t quite used to working outside of the office yet, we have solutions that will work for you.

Below, you’ll find Digital Maelstrom’s business predictions for the remainder of 2020, suggestions for businesses managing a remote worker team, learn about services designed to help employees succeed wherever they are, and the ways our company strives to help businesses stay technologically secure.

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2020 Business Predictions

Technology

1. Remote Worker Jobs

Remote work is here to stay. In fact, remote worker positions are going to skyrocket.

Organizations allowing their employees to work from outside the office is seen as a highly regarded perk by many. By granting employees the ability to be a remote worker, businesses are giving them freedom. By working remotely, employees have the flexibility to accomplish their work throughout the day. Additionally, productivity and satisfaction with work-life balance may strengthen. In fact, studies have shown many remote workers earn even more than their counterparts who work in physical locations. Regardless of these statistics, many organizations were not keen on the idea of allowing their team members to work remotely. In 2019, only 44% of businesses allowed remote worker employees. Obviously these numbers have changed in 2020.

Before this year, the ability to work from anywhere was seen as a benefit only several employers would allow. Now, countless organizations must offer work-from-home solutions simply to stay afloat. Individuals are growing accustomed to the positive things they experience by working from home, and so are management teams. We predict that fully remote worker positions are going to be accepted by society and will become commonplace in the future.

2. Cloud Migrations

The final wave of companies Using On-Site Servers Will Migrate to the Cloud.

Cloud computing has been an ongoing conversation for businesses over the last several years. In fact, research shows that ~90% of companies have either migrated to the cloud or plan to do so soon. We predict the organizations which haven’t yet migrated to the cloud will do so by the end of 2020. This year’s influx in remote work has proven that data storage and day-to-day business work best in the cloud. The benefits of cloud computing rather than using on-premise servers are compelling, indeed. Costs are significantly reduced, operations are highly secure, data is easier to access and maintain, and so much more.

Check out our Cloud Migration process.

3. businesses Operating Virtually

Businesses that Can leverage virtual work will perform better than others.

There is now a societal acceptance of virtual services, and that acceptance is here to stay. This year, businesses that were not traditionally viewed as virtual had to transform in order to stay afloat. Restaurants, grocery stores, professional services providers, etc. modified their services from in-person to be predominantly virtual. Initially, this transition was an answer to consumer demand for services amid stay-at-home instructions. We predict that even as these orders are lifted, consumers’ use of these virtual services will remain. In the past, many people heavily associated certain services with an in-person experience. 2020 has taught both businesses and consumers that virtual services may be our new future.

Plainly, innovation is necessary for businesses to survive this pandemic. Organizations must quickly adapt to new technology and remain up-to-date about the shifting world around them.

4. Net Neutrality

Net neutrality will be supported more than ever before.

In the past, many believed net neutrality was impossible because bandwidth would be much too dense to accommodate all users. However, 2020’s increased bandwidth from users predominantly using the internet at home has been effectively handled by Internet providers. Before, most internet providers generally held that caps on consumers’ Internet usage were necessary to manage the load. However, this belief changed in March of 2020 when many Internet providers took these caps away. This event essentially proved that access to unlimited Internet usage has always been possible for users. However, many Internet providers were knowledgeably deciding against granting it to users.

Like many other tech companies, Digital Maelstrom is pro net neutrality. Meaning, we believe Internet service providers should treat all data that travels across its platform fairly. This concept maintains that Internet providers do not discriminate based on user, website, content, platform, app, etc. Net neutrality means keeping Internet use neutral – a concept that society will consider even more valuable now. Given the present circumstances and the collective voice of society, we believe widespread support of net neutrality will heighten. In practice, there may be legislation supporting the objective, along with individuals and groups advocating to protect a neutral Internet. Large, historically pro net neutrality tech players (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Netflix, etc) may also take measures to bolster this support.

5. Internet As a Necessity

The world will no longer view the Internet as a luxury, but as a necessity.

In the remainder of 2020, we predict there will be a surge in businesses making reliable Internet a top priority. It’s no question organizations would have failed long ago in the midst of this pandemic without the internet. Although many employees are currently required to be at home, they must still be able to work. Jobs in this day and age require both dependable and fast Internet access. Businesses need reliable Internet for many reasons: voice over IP (VOIP) services, transferring large files, interacting with clients via virtual capabilities, accessing organizational software, quickly communicating with fellow team members, the list goes on. This demand will only become more prominent as more and more businesses continue to work virtually.

In the future, we predict the U.S. government will enforce regulations that make the Internet more accessible by individuals. Tech companies may also continue to promote the idea of widespread accessible Internet service. Specifically, these entities may build new Internet infrastructure, offer financially viable plans to Internet users, promote related legislation, and more.

6. Business Security Stances

More businesses will treat security as a top priority.

In recent years, notable data breaches and security flaws have resulted in businesses prioritizing security within their internal processes. In 2020, we predict that prioritization is going to become even more prominent than before. Holes in organizational security have made themselves evident. Consumers are taking note of companies who take measures to secure their applications and softwares (and those who don’t). Where organizations value security, individuals value privacy. Organizations dealing with personally identifiable information (PII) must protect their consumers’ data now more than ever.

Historically, individuals heavily remember companies’ responses during times of crises. Consumer trust can increase or decrease in just a few moments during an emergency. How strongly an individual believes a company is genuinely looking out for their interests is a large factor in trust. Many businesses are privy to this, and we predict multitudes will take measures to protect their organization and their people. These measures may be investing in identity management services, revisiting current emergency preparedness plans. They may also complete a comprehensive security audit of organizational infrastructure, and take focused security steps specific to their industry.

7. Widespread Innovation

Innovation will occur and thrive like never before – especially in business

In the past year, we’ve seen groundbreaking innovation springing up all over various industries in response to the pandemic. Many businesses were forced to completely change their processes, and they gracefully stood up to the challenge. Usually, the world only changes a little bit over the course of organic business development cycles. However, as of around March this year, society and businesses have been forced to change substantially in a short amount of time.

For example, Disney’s animated film Onward was only in theaters for a short time before physical theater locations closed. Disney took this setback and saw it as an opportunity. The organization decided to release the film on Disney+ weeks before it was supposed to be on the streaming platform. This decision led to the film generating $39.1 million domestically in revenue its first weekend. Furthermore, Disney+ gained 50 million subscribers within its first five months – a number that far exceeded their expectations. One of Disney’s top focuses is offering top billed content. By offering highly anticipated films right on their streaming platform, consumers are more likely to remain subscribed for these releases.

The earliest a business chooses to innovate and adapt to the current business climate, the sooner their customers will adapt. Companies that are not innovating right now are losing relevance with their consumers. Depending on how often future stay-at-home orders affect society, we may see instances of innovation come in bursts

8. Remote Work Policies

businesses Will Enact policies To Help employees Easily switch between Working Remotely or Onsite

It’s no question that work-from-home policies are a significant talking point for business leaders as of late. Workers have gotten a taste of a world in which working from home is not only allowed, but societally encouraged. Now, the need for organizations to assess their emergency plans and protocol for disaster preparedness is absolutely critical.

Typically, disasters and emergencies lead to preparations for similar events that could occur in the future. After 9/11 happened, many companies seriously reevaluated and reworked their current policies regarding potential disasters. Companies with policies to help employees transition from working onsite or being a remote worker are at a significant advantage. Our prediction is that companies which have held off on instating these policies will create them before 2021.

9. Investing in IT

Businesses will change their approach to investing in IT services

Of the rapid changes occurring within businesses, we believe one of these developments will be companies’ decisions regarding IT spend. Without question, technology is the foundation on which businesses have been conducting their work recently. Because of this, leaders are seeking ways to enhance their technological tools to make processes secure, efficient, and financially viable. We predict many companies will choose to hire contractors to assist internally with the IT and technical operations. Aside from tech talent, companies will opt to invest in services which allow them to have financial flexibility. Purchasing office computers and paying for necessary updates and applications is not feasible if people aren’t working onsite. To solve this, businesses may choose to rent or lease highly efficient computers for their employees. Organizations may determine cloud servers offer more storage and greater capabilities – regardless of where work is conducted.

Next Steps

Did you agree with our predictions? Did you disagree? Have some questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert team members!

Infrastructure Security Assessment

This year has changed countless ways businesses operate: certainly including their infrastructure. Today, many employees are working from the safety of their homes rather than in the office. With this change, many workers are using different network connections and new devices to conduct their work. Rather than signing into the company’s infrastructure from the office, the majority of workers must sign in from different networks. 

Remote work inevitably leads to a fundamental change in business infrastructure. Unfortunately, many bad actors are aware of this, and they know many companies have not effectively secured their infrastructure. As a result, many hackers are constantly seeking entry points into organization’s applications to take advantage of them.

Businesses managing remote worker teams must take new approaches to IT security in order to protect employee and client’ data. With more outsiders coming into company infrastructure, it is more important than ever to lock down your company’s data.

How We Help Remote Worker Teams

Our team will ensure your organization’s infrastructure is equipped to handle the threats related to remote work. Our Infrastructure Security Assessment process is straightforward, in-depth, and guaranteed to bring you peace of mind during this unprecedented time.

This assessment covers the following and more:

  • End-user systems
  • Operating systems
  • Networking structure
  • Security surface
  • Password policies

First, you will meet with our Security team so that we can learn about your company’s unique business practices. We’ll ask questions about your security requirements, and we’ll jointly make a plan for our next steps.

Next, our team members will gather all the necessary information about the current IT infrastructure. Our team will check all facets of your infrastructure to be as comprehensive as possible.

Finally, when we’re done, our team will meet with yours once again to present our findings in a digestible, thorough report. With this report, we will present our discoveries in depth and offer our recommendations.

Identity Management

Sometimes within a growing business, complexity can arise among all the applications, tools, and accounts used by employees. As more workers come on and new clients are signed, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. Remote work makes this a new challenge. Remote worker teams sign onto business applications with an array of devices: personal computers, cell phones, and home WiFi networks. This can make signing in and accessing various business accounts a hassle. Further, the abrupt change in devices and tools workers use to conduct work could lead to unexpected holes in security. One holistic fix to these issues is identity management.

Identity management helps make individuals’ working lives easier all around. By allowing remote worker teams to automatically sign into their accounts, organizations save time and energy. They gain easier, more secure access to an even wider array of applications.

Why Invest in Identity Management?

  • Simplify logging in with Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Secure employees’ business accounts
  • Save time and energy when accessing applications remotely

More Resources

Want to learn more about this service? Visit the Identity Management page on our main site, or reach out to one of our expert advisors.

Cloud Migration of Onsite Servers

Keeping your business data and operations in on-site servers leads to unnecessary expenses, less security, and higher risk. The best solution for these issues is migrating into the cloud. When your company takes the step to move into the cloud, it’s making a huge leap for organizational security. Our Operations team securely moves your IT assets to a third-party cloud provider from the on-premise environment. 

Why Migrate to The Cloud?

Today, there are many reasons why companies are opting to keep their data in the cloud instead of inside physical servers. Consider these in light of a fully-remote company, and they become even more convincing. Here are several reasons why remote companies are moving to the cloud:

  • Save MoneyMany companies which are using onsite servers are on storage plans that charge a set amount each month. Most cloud servers will only make their clients pay for the services they are actually using. By switching to the cloud, organizations typically save thousands by simply paying for only the storage they use.
  • Secure Your Business – Keep your business’ important information and processes safe when you store it in the cloud. Trusted cloud providers have solid safeguards in place to prevent your information from ever being lost or disrupted.
  • Create Redundancy – Using a cloud storage option means you are keeping your data in more than one location. This acts as another essential protector for your company, especially for remote worker teams.

Our Migration Process

  1. Our team analyzes the current and future costs of your organization’s current onsite servers
  2. We give you a report with our findings and expert recommendations for migrating
  3. Your team and ours will craft a cloud migration plan
  4. After the migration plan is agreed upon by each party, we begin the migration from on-site to the cloud!

More Resources

Want to learn more about this service? Visit the Cloud Migration page on our main site, or reach out to one of our expert advisors.

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Planning, and Implementation

Guarding against digital threats is often a top priority for business’ security efforts. To reach this business initiative, disaster recovery planning and business continuity planning are key. By having a solid security foundation from the beginning, companies are much better equipped to handle cyberthreats. In addition to security planning, business continuity planning is a crucial part of an organization’s IT infrastructure. These IT services require solid strategy and protocol – especially for businesses operating virtually. 

Our company recognizes how important it is for companies to conduct business as usual while away from the office. Digital Maelstrom helps businesses identify IT availability issues post-disaster and create reliable solutions for greater resilience against the unexpected.

Our Process

We follow a five-step approach to business continuity and disaster recovery planning for peace of mind that your business can carry on in the face of a disaster:

  1. Define business continuity and disaster planning goals
  2. Identify information assets
  3. Identify threats
  4. Design and implement an effective solution
  5. Maintenance and retrospection

More Resources

Want to learn more about this service? Visit the Business Continuity and Disaster Planning page on our main site, or reach out to one of our expert advisors.

Vendor selection

There are seemingly never-ending options when it comes to vendors who can provide specific services. Whether a company needs paper products, tax services, or a team of software developers – there’s a vendor that will provide. With all of these options, it can be difficult to find one that successfully meets all of your requirements. Moreover, this can be especially true whenever the vendors are providers of expensive, high-level services. In these situations, it makes all the difference to have an experienced vendor selector that understands your needs and expectations. That’s where we can help. Our team of IT consultants are here to find the perfect vendor for your remote worker team. 

Over the years, our team has worked with many IT vendors. With this, we have accumulated valuable experience and insight on what makes a solid candidate. Our Vendor Selection service follows a general model:

Vendor Selection process graphic for remote worker teams
  1. Gather Requirements. First off, your team and ours will (virtually) meet to talk about what you are seeking. We will go over your organizational needs, wants, and the goals you want to achieve with your vendor.
  2. Research and Document Vendor Product Options. Next, our team will conduct in-depth research on vendors and vendor’s products that match your requirements. We will document important information and our reasoning. Of course, this documentation will be readily available to you.
  3. Create Vendor Selection Matrix. At this stage, we will create a custom Vendor Selection Matrix specific to your company. This is a scoring system that assigns a score to each vendor/vendor product we discovered in our research. This gives us a holistic, more objective view of each option – helping us identify the top options.
  4. Present Findings and Selection Recommendation. Finally, our two teams will meet again to go over our findings. We will present a digestible report containing our research, estimations, thought leadership, and other relevant information.
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