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Evolving the Way We Work During a Crisis

March 25, 2020

Automation and artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, real-time collaboration, 5G, privacy concerns, web-scale data, cybercrime: These are just some of the technology-driven developments shaping the way many of us work.

The unprecedented global challenges we are facing today--at least for the immediate future due to the COVID-19 health crisis--are accelerating this evolution of work. Innovation is often driven out of crisis and can lead to permanent change in the way businesses function. 

Humans are naturally drawn to collaboration, preferring to engage and work with our friends and colleagues on common objectives, be they work or personal. The always-on requirements of societal necessity are further emphasizing the need, where possible, to rapidly adopt technology to maximize individual, community, national, and economic well-being. Technology can become the bridge that enables collaborative work and the feeling of connectedness. Where employees are fortunate enough to be able to work from home, what are the best tools and practices to stay connected with coworkers—and the communities they serve—while supporting productive work?

G2 is an online B2B technology marketplace, visited by buyers and users of technology looking to solve their business challenges and achieve the outcomes most important to them: their colleagues’ shared success. Our Research team invests much of our time in maintaining and updating our taxonomy--the framework that we categorize all products added to our platform--that helps buyers identify and evaluate technology which may address those challenges.

We also put pen to paper on digital transformation trends and topics we see emerging from our data, and day-to-day interaction with the technology markets we track. Recognizing the current period of uncertainty, our team has placed an emphasis on providing practical, actionable insight to support B2B technology buyers as they race to support their colleagues and customers.

The cloud and confident connectivity

The enterprise IT technology stack is broad in the technologies employed, and its interconnectivity complex. The rise of cloud computing has expanded both the art of the possible, and potential reach of enterprise systems—but unfortunately it remains the minority share of business systems. Bringing access to the tools people are accustomed to using in the office may be considerably more difficult than enabling a new account via a SaaS solution. Provisioning new accounts on SaaS solutions is typically far easier (and quicker) than delivering secure, remote access to legacy tools some people are accustomed to using in the office. Challenges such as access to reliable hardware and consistent internet connectivity will require attention.

Access must be possible, but also secure. In many cases, existing enterprise tool sets will help solve this problem--bringing for example, multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access popular office productivity solutions such as G Suite or Office 365 delivered via a browser interface. Paired with collaborative solutions such as instant messaging and video conferencing, many of the day-to-day, usually office-bound activities can be addressed. But what of the enterprise applications tasked with managing the finances and interfacing with banks, or supply chain and manufacturing partners? Zero trust networking, passwordless authentication, and machine learning-powered anomaly detection are just some of the technologies which will need consideration in granting trusted people access to both the right technology and the right data to do their work.

Supporting buyers and users of B2B software

Our regular series of columns on industry-wide topics such as cybersecurity and privacy, through sales and marketing enablement to industry-specific research analysis in health care and nonprofit, for example, highlights what—we hope—are relevant and valuable information for buyers and users of software. We understand that the unprecedented current situation is creating both near- and, quite possibly, longer-term challenges for organizations the world over, and are responding by focusing our recent work on where we hope can help our community of users.

This is the first in a series of research and analysis designed to empower our audience with timely and relevant information. From our Applications, Technology, and Verticals & Services Research teams, we focus on:

Securing remote working, while reinforcing privacy.

Aaron Walker provides his tips for addressing the challenge of securing a newly remote workforce; highlighting the need to manage the many endpoints used to access networks and software, and securing those networks with the latest cybersecurity tools and techniques. 

Read now: How to Strengthen Remote Workforce Security During Crises

Merry Marwig dives into the importance of identity management and how it can be used in a zero trust security model—providing those charged with the responsibility of ensuring appropriate access with the tools to manage adoption and use. 

Read now: How to Authenticate Remote Workers in a Zero Trust Security Model

Providing remote working options that work for organizations’ unique requirements.

Adam Crivello provides his views on the emergence of rapid application development tools available to organizations; and how low- and no-code platforms are bringing new options to enable remote working to those without substantial development resources. 

Read now: Build Custom Solutions with RAD Software for Remote Work Issues

Matthew Miller discusses the unique needs of those in the field of data science, often reliant on substantial compute, storage and network resources—and how data science and machine learning platforms delivered by the cloud can enable more remote options. 

Read now: How COVID-19 is Impacting Data Professionals

Empowering collaborative remote work with better visibility and planning.

Gabriel Gheorghiu examines the relationship between project management and work management; extending the reach of tools that help plan and manage workloads not just across an organization, but with partners too while spanning the gap between on-premises and in the cloud. 

Read now: Project Management in the Age of Remote Work

Michael Gigante provides his insights into the complex work of managing industrial design across locations; tackling the challenges of collaborative working in CAD and BIM and the supporting software that enables connected teams. 

Read now: Adapting Architectural Design Processes for Remote Work

Helping the education, health care, nonprofit, and travel industries face an unprecedented challenge.

Shaun Bishop provides insights into the software tools to help educational institutions reach their students with remote learning software—exploring the challenges faced by those without access to appropriate technology, and suggesting free software that may help. 

Read now: The Remote Learning Tools Educators Need Most
Jasmine Lee considers the rise of telemedicine and how it can help people access medical services amid difficult times; looking into the technologies available, and their benefits. 

Read now: Telemedicine's Critical Role in the COVID-19 Crisis
Patrick Szakiel provides insight into the impact on financial services institutions and the need to leverage unique capabilities offered through the use of fintech tools. Rapid adoption of fintech is necessary to shore up infrastructure and meet the needs of a mobile and remote consumer and business customer base, especially throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. 

Read now: The Importance of FinTech in a Remote World
Dominick Duda provides perspective and guidance for those in the nonprofit sector, one where remote working is a major challenge that requires our support. He offers guidance on some of the fundraising software freely available to nonprofit organizations to manage in these challenging times, both to manage work and their fundraising activities. 

Read now: Nonprofits in the Time of COVID-19
Nathan Calabrese takes a considered look at the effect on the travel industry, and the importance of the software used to manage the current, exceptional disruption; leading with ways in which travel organizations can use software to help both passengers and employees keep informed and safe. 

Read now: Travel Tech's Response to the Coronavirus Crisis

G2 is here to help

As we continue this series, we remain committed to providing timely and constructive content to our audience. Future topics will include how marketing professionals can effectively communicate in the current environment, and a closer look at the collaborative technologies that help coworkers and teams stay in touch.

Our analysts consider best practices for remote work across industries, and its  impact on the market.    Explore Now →

Note: Tom Pringle, VP of technology research at G2, also contributed to this piece.

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