Securing the future: Defining and implementing a Remote Work Strategy (RWS)

Businesses and employees who work remotely are more successful and have a more positive sense of well being.
Implementing a Remote Work Strategy doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s essential to ensure a smooth transition. Answer the 4 “W’s” to define your organization’s strategy. ASC is a fully remote workforce and has sound methods to develop these strategies.

Summary:
*Businesses and employees who work remotely are more successful and have a more positive sense of well being.
* Implementing a Remote Work Strategy doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s essential to ensure a smooth transition.
* Answer the 4 “W’s” to define your organization’s strategy.
* ASC is a fully remote workplace and has sound methods to develop these strategies.

The past few weeks have ushered in a seismic shift to the traditional office work environment. Remote work allocations are more popular every year but were still met with some resistance by “traditional” employers. Those days are past: remote work is here to stay. While the prospect may seem daunting, there’s reason to celebrate.

A special analysis of U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data holds promising news for the future of work. 85% of businesses state that flexibility has increased productivityin their company. Allowing for more flexible work arrangements and schedules increases employee morale, according to 90% of employees.

77% say allowing employees to work remotely may lead to lower operating costs. By every measure, the statistics show having flexibility is better for everyone.

It’s not easy to equip employees with the tools they need for remote work. Every business and IT leader needs a Remote Workforce Strategy to ensure an easy transition without too much disruption.

If you don’t have a remote workforce strategy (RWS) in place, you are already behind.

Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working offsite. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4% of the population. (infographic from Flexjobs)

Components of a successful RWS:

Developing a solid strategy is like investigative journalism. Answer the 4 “W’s”:

Who:

Which of your employees can perform remote work? With the right safeguards in place, anyone who uses a computer to conduct most of their work can do so anywhere. It’s essential to keep business security and data protection in mind while making personnel decisions.

What:

Which components of your business functions can maintain productivity and quality? There are hundreds (if not thousands!) of SaaS and other tech solutions to allow HR, sales, marketing, finance, and customer service to conduct business offsite.

Why:

Consider the underlying business risks as well as opportunities as you construct your RWS. Not only is remote work better for employee morale and productivity, but it also allows you to expand your talent pool.
Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, says: “Talent shortages are fueling the growth of workplace flexibility right now. Not only is it one of the most sought-after benefits among job seekers today but flexible workplaces expand the talent pool. This strategy allows employers to hire the best and the brightest from around the world.”

When: When should you deploy remote work? Yesterday.

Upwork’s “Future Workforce Report” predicts that

73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028

and with our current climate, that number is likely to increase.
The key here is to start small, think big, and scale fast! Done is better than perfect—once you have a strategy deployed you can track, tweak, and update it.

How:

The eco-system of applications, networks, and other digital systems must be reliable, secure, and play well together. With so many available options for various functions, it can be overwhelming to decide which software solutions to use. It’s important for the executive suite to connect and integrates IT strategy and business goals.

You don’t have to do it alone.

We know first-hand how complicated and intimidating it can be to embark on such a huge operational challenge. Advancement Strategy uses our proprietary methodology to define our clients’ RWS so that every employee can get to work as quickly as possible. We perfected our process within our company—ASC has operated under our RWS since Day 1. Our remote office ensures we can hire top talent from around the globe, and that our employees stay healthy, productive, and engaged.
Ease internal anxiety and ensure success for your business by engaging a consultant to develop a sound Remote Work Strategy. Our expert team not only designs RWS but will install everything you need to get going.

Contact Us!

 

 

 

A Business Continuity Strategy is your CIO secret weapon in an increasingly dangerous world.

Outbreaks, disasters, and crisis – oh my!

Corporations spend millions of dollars securing their infrastructure and guarding against cyber-attacks—but what about a potential pandemic? Viral outbreaks, weather, and civil unrest are all factors that erode commerce and operations. As the Coronavirus spreads, the business implications of disrupted global commerce are significant. Without a plan in place, businesses could take longer to recover, or shut down completely!

Threats and disruptions lose revenue, increase cost, and tank profitability. It’s not enough to rely on insurance—it doesn’t cover all the costs OR customers who flock to the competition. CIOs and other leaders can avoid disaster and save the day with a well-thought-out business continuity strategy.

What’s the secret weapon to staying afloat during a crisis? A solid Business Continuity Plan (BCP). According to Investopedia, BCP/ Business Continuity Management is “the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company.” The plan protects personnel and assets to resume operations after a disaster. Key stakeholders and personnel give their input to create and test the BCP in advance.

How to create a Business Continuity Plan

There are many components of a solid BCP. Disaster Recovery and Business Impact Analysis are both important pieces of the puzzle. DRPs focus on restoring infrastructure and operations. BIA looks at the processes of your organization and prioritizes them in regards to cost.
After assessing the BIA, it’s time to complete the plan. Identify the scope of the plan and the key business areas: sales? Supply? HR? Pinpoint your company’s most important processes and note how they connect with the business areas.

Honestly assess how much downtime is acceptable for each of these functions. After gathering this information, your team can now create a plan and procedure to resume and maintain operations.

Test early, test often

There’s always pressing work to do, and so even the most thoughtful BCP can get shoved in a drawer years after its creation. In today’s world, your team should review, test and update the company’s BCM strategy at least once a year. Leaders and managers should review the plan and discuss potential changes with their teams. This way all personnel is aware of the process and can share any input or concerns.

Testing your BCP and DR in a controlled environment is the best way to make sure it works. It’s better to make changes ahead of time as opposed to improvising during an incident. Be sure to push the limits of your tests, and try to break the plan. Planning for the worst ensures the most effective results.

When disaster seems like a remote possibility, it’s tempting to be laissez-faire about the BCP’s importance. “Every organization should be monitoring changes and threats on a global basis,” says Quentin Cantlo, COO of Advancement Strategy. “Having a proper BCM leadership structure in place is a great start to developing the continuity management strategy for your enterprise.”

Plenty of companies and consultants provide disaster recovery solutions for corporate infrastructure. You can rely on the IT team to get the technology up and running, but profits and success rely on holistic processes. But how will you handle the rest of your business functions?

These days, the dark web isn’t the only way to spread a virus. If your business requires the development, audit or testing of a BCM or Disaster Recovery strategy, contact us. We have years of planning and executing BCMs with global corporations, and will steer your team to safety.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 misconceptions CEOs have of CIOs

  • The top IT leader does not need to report to the CEO – As technology has advanced and more people use it everyday and the public has become more familiar with outsourcing, business leaders and stock exchanges have begun to take IT leaders for granted. Sometimes this manifests as the Senior IT leaders having lower ranking titles or reporting to other parts of the organization.
  • CIOs are expendable and easily replaced every 2 years (current average tenure is 18-24 months) – Building on the prior point, the tenure for CIOs has declined and when an event occurs such as a cost overrun or a security breach, often the CIO
  • CIO is a cost more than an asset – The CIO and his or her respective assets are often viewed as a cost to the business. Sometimes this is based on the perception that IT would simply be cheaper if it is all outsourced.
  • The CIO is not needed to define and implement a cloud or cloud migration strategy-This is a common oversimplification and short-sighted view that people have. Usually this results in long-term overspending or inadequate applications or services.

The IT function is tactical rather than strategic – Many organizations forget that it is well documented that the most successful, leading companies are those that most effectively use technology.  Those that value their technology leaders are also able to implement their business strategies by leveraging the latest technologies and innovations.