Collaborative Post

Technology Tools to Leverage During COVID-19

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During a time of chaos for everyone, it’s essential to maintain some semblance of order. Doing so requires the assistance of technology. Information technology (IT) professionals are working overtime to help their clients and organizations persist through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creating a technological infrastructure for businesses and individuals alike doesn’t have to require extensive work and grueling labor, though. Many of these tools are readily available and just require a subscription via a software as a service (SaaS) model or simple installation and maintenance. Which tools should you leverage during the COVID-19 crisis? Start with these categories.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Project Management

For businesses, transparency and coordination are the building blocks of getting through the pandemic in one piece. You may have already been using a project-management system to keep track of various initiatives and their progress, but this becomes all the more important when many employees are working remotely and need to collaborate from different locations.

Project management tools like Trello, Wrike, Monday, Asana, and many others help you and your colleagues stay on top of projects, due dates, timelines, budget, and more.

File Sharing

Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and Google Drive are just some of the digital cloud tools that allow you to share files remotely. These systems also, allow you to collaborate with your colleagues, even from remote locations. You can ensure that multiple team members have access to the same documents, make and view comments in real-time, and keep everyone apprised of important efforts.

Communication

Face-to-face communication isn’t just necessary for facilitating teamwork — it’s also important for maintaining your sanity. COVID-19 means people aren’t able to communicate and socialize with one another in person as they used to, and this can often lead to feelings of isolation.

Remote check-ins on video-conferencing tools like Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Skype can help you maintain some sense of normalcy and allow you to communicate effectively, as well as feel more connected to coworkers and peers.

Client Relationship Management Systems

This is a must for any business dealing with clients or customers — which is practically any business in the world — at any time. A CRM like Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot, and many others will give you a centralized system for maintaining consumer information, a means for contacting and reaching out to customers to build or restore connections and communication, and a way to increase sales.

Ultimately, the idea is that a CRM helps you nurture the relationship between customer and business — even when times are tough.

Marketing

Your marketing and promotion efforts can’t fall by the wayside just because we’re all going through turbulent times. In fact, they’re more pivotal than ever before. During a period when many consumers are assessing which brands they trust and which they may not be able to keep supporting, you want to ensure that you fall into the former category.

There are many platforms businesses use to build brand awareness — social media channels, MailChimp, and Google AdWords, to name a few — and now is a good time to assess which channels are working and which ones require more upkeep. It’s important to keep working toward growth, even when sales may not be as strong now as they once were.

Learning

We don’t know exactly what will happen after the pandemic. Already, many workers have suffered from layoffs, furloughs, or pay cuts. While some businesses might make comebacks one the economy has become stronger and people begin returning to the office, many won’t. Individuals must be prepared for different scenarios. One way to do so is to equip yourself with new skills, no matter what your area of expertise or industry.

There are plenty of free courses across a wide range of fields available through libraries like Coursera and edX to help you prepare for a post-pandemic world. If you’re a business leader, consider giving your employees subscriptions to paid libraries like LinkedIn Learning and others to help them with their professional development.

Security

When employees are using personal devices to access an organization’s networks and systems, your business is all the more vulnerable to an attack. It only takes one misstep for one user to compromise your entire network. Given the number of employees who are now working remotely, your organization is all the more at risk.

Now is the time to ramp up your cybersecurity. Some of the simple cybersecurity measures and systems businesses can install for remote devices and users include:

  • Two-factor authentication systems
  • Virtual private networks (VPN)
  • Firewalls
  • Required password changes on a regular basis

We’re living in a time of chaos. While it’s true that the COVID-19 pandemic presents many challenges to people and businesses all over the world, technology makes these difficulties more navigable.