Technologists can help smooth the transition to remote work

IT pros are perfect for remote work, and the enterprise needs cloud architects, project managers, and experienced support desk professionals to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

How businesses can bolster connectivity for telecommuters during the coronavirus pandemic
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Technology professionals are most likely to ask for the option to telework and the most likely to have job responsibilities to allow remote work. That combination means that developers, database administrators, and other IT pros have more experience working remotely than some of their colleagues.  

Paul Farnsworth, chief technology officer at DHI Group, said in a press release that IT pros have nearly perfected working remotely. DHI is the parent company of IT job site Dice.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

"Technologists are cleverly and skillfully balancing the need to stay connected with their teammates to sort out interdependencies while also building in personal flow time to problem-solve and code," he said in a press release.

In addition to helping with the culture shift, technologists can help companies develop solutions for conditions created by the coronavirus, such as access to real-time public health information, full-time remote work and education, new cybersecurity issues, and a fresh wave of e-commerce transformations.

Supporting the transition to remote work 

Now that 44 states have some form of stay-at-home order, businesses are dealing with the reality of remote work. This means companies need IT professionals who understand the challenge of moving from an office setting to a home setting. This includes support for employees setting up home office equipment, solving hardware/software equipment problems, and installing, configuring and maintaining communications equipment. According to Dice, companies should look to hire these roles:

  • Support desk staff with experience in end-user services
  • Cloud architects
  • Product and project managers with experience in managing remote teams
  • System administrators

"It's also imperative to ensure your customer service and help desk teams are staffed for a higher volume of customer inquiries," Farnsworth said.

Strengthening cybersecurity 

Criminals are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to launch a new wave of attacks on businesses and consumers. A new report from IBM X-Force reveals that since the outbreak went global in February, coronavirus-themed spam has increased by 4,300%. The bad actors are employing a variety of tactics to catch people, according to IBM X-Force.

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Check Point noted a surge in domains using the name of coronavirus or COVID-19. Since the start of January when reports of the first outbreaks surfaced, more than 16,000 new coronavirus-related domains have been registered.

Small- and medium-sized businesses should pay attention to this new risk and strengthen cybersecurity defenses. Security professionals who are familiar with the specific challenges of remote work can employ the right tools to prevent the cybercrime related to the coronavirus, Farnsworth said. 

"Additionally, finance and human resources teams who are not as familiar with working remotely need to take extra care--a change in environment and process can be exploited with clever spearphishing," he said.

Also see

The latest cancellations: How the coronavirus is disrupting tech conferences worldwide

(TechRepublic)
The tech pro's guide to video conferencing (TechRepublic download)
Coronavirus domain names are the latest hacker trick (TechRepublic)
COVID-19 demonstrates the need for disaster recovery and business continuity plans (TechRepublic Premium)
As coronavirus spreads, here's what's been canceled or closed (CBS News)
Coronavirus: Effective strategies and tools for remote work during a pandemic (ZDNet)
How to track the coronavirus: Dashboard delivers real-time view of the deadly virus (ZDNet)
Coronavirus and COVID-19: All your questions answered (CNET)
Coronavirus: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

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