As the U.S. braces for the coronavirus to spread, businesses have moved to both protect employee health and avoid disruption of their operations by taking steps to support staff to work from home. Though the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. remains low compared to other parts of the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned last week that the virus is likely to spread further in the coming months. 

Remote work has surged in China as a result of restrictions set forth by health officials. In a conference call last week, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, advised U.S. Companies to start making similar preparations. 

However, businesses that have not invested in developing and onboarding the tools for broad remote-work strategy and enablement,may be at risk for serious disruptions in operations and bottom-line drops that are made worse by the slumping stock market. So, what can IT teams do quickly to adapt?

IT Teams Need to Act Now
If businesses have yet to commit to a remote strategy and invest in enablement and adoption, it’s not too late to do so, but it will have to be done seamlessly and in a lot less time than originally planned. To make matters worse, a 2017 survey by Poly found that 62% of respondents didn’t believe the video conferencing tools they had in place were adequate and wanted their employers to provide better technology that’s both easy to use and help them stay connected. So even if businesses have made some effort to roll out video conferencing, employees aren’t using it effectively because of gaps in adequacy.  

Considering the problems associated with timing and adoption and utilization, IT teams are best suited to work with integrators that can offer them a strategy that’s scalable, delivering fast deployments and helping employees adopt and utilize any new or existing platforms that are available to them.

IT Needs to Consider AVaaS
The speed in which businesses will have to adapt also makes a compelling case to consider AVaaS options, for both short-term and long-term benefits.

In the short term, AVaaS allows companies to invest in AV design, deployment, integration, adoption and support at a significantly lower upfront cost; it’s the easiest way for IT teams to gain budget approval and deploy much faster than the traditional method of upfront capital expenditure.

In the long-term, AVaaS offers SRG’s (solutions replacement guarantees) that allow for upgrades or the ability to migrate to new tech if the solutions no longer fit within the organization; if decision-makers are hesitant to act quickly, they’ll at least have flexibility to change later on if the business needs adjust in the absence of a threat like Coronavirus.

Where to Go From Here?
The prospect of cancelled events and the need to keep workers productive provides the right time for companies to revisit collaboration tools and work-from-home policies, but more than anything it prioritizes the health of employees and mitigates the spread of the virus.

In response, many companies in the video conference industry are doing everything they can to support those affected by the outbreak. For example – video conferencing software provider Zoom scheduled several on-demand resources and tutorials to help new adopters learn how to use the platform in China. Networking hardware and software company Cisco has also expanded capabilities of their free Webex offering, allowing unlimited usage, support for up to 100 participants and toll dial-in. We can likely expect more offerings from providers as officials restrict areas, making it even easier to act quickly and reduce the chances of disruption.

For IT teams looking to quickly roll out remote work environments or get insight into what AV companies are offering while restrictions are enacted, IVCi is providing additional staffing to accommodate project deployment inquiries to ease the impact. Contact us here.  

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