The last six weeks have seen unprecedented happenings across the world. From temporary closures of schools and universities, to a pause in non-essential businesses and travel, every Canadian city and province is adopting numerous safety measures to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic.Depending on the nature of business, you may have already turned to a remote working approach, asking employees to stay home,and prevent the spread of this disease.
However, given the speed at which the current arrangements have been put in place, most small businesses are scrambling to implement essential technologies. Especially, the ones that enable remote connectivity, with minimal impact on the day-to-day operations. Read on to know more about building the right tech stacksfor an efficient and effective remote working environment.
Must-have Tech Stacks for Remote Working during the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond
Before building your tech stacks, list your top priorities. What do you need most in order to drive your teams and run your operations successfully?
- Communication: Building uninterrupted, multi-level and multi-channel connections with staff to share situational updates, boost employee morale, and communicate leadership interventions. This could be in the form of internal chat messengers, emails, or video conferencing.
- Operations or Delivery: Meticulously tracking business operations with versatile project management tools.
- Processing: Smooth management of HR, payroll, taxation, invoicing and accounting related processes, through necessary software and applications.
- Storage and Security: File sharing and storage, access or password management, and setting up Virtual Private Networks (VPN) for additional security for accessing company servers remotely.
- Handholding: Training tools to get employees up to speedon setting up remote working systems, as well as aspects such as sales or customer service effectiveness in a virtual environment.
While planning your tech stack, you may also have to account for responsiveness, collaboration, productivity, technical equipment and support, security and confidentiality, and cost-effectiveness. Here are the top 5 technology tools you may want to focus on to run a SMB remotely:
Web-based video conferencing tools with multi-device compatibility, Zoom and GoTo Meeting have transformed the way businesses workremotely, especially in the current situation. Theseapps allow users to meet and collaborate online, with or without video. They offer useful features, such as virtual meeting rooms, whiteboards and drawing tools, record session capabilities,and options to share or annotate on presenter’s and participants’ screens.Both apps are excellent solutions for communicating within your teams, as well as with your clients and prospects.
Combining all the communication and tools in one place with dedicated spaces, called ‘channels’, Slack is a collaborative hub that offers more features and functionality than a standard e-mail inbox. From advanced search filters and quick navigation, to pinning items and tracking or managing documents, it provides many empowering options to help your internal teams work together seamlessly and more productively.
A robust project management and task management tool, Trello organizes your projects into one attractive and meaningful dashboard. Get detailed or quick overviews on each project’s status, team details, progress meter, and task breakdowns, along with easy editing and file upload options. Trello will help you review and track each project, without letting any small detail slip through the cracks.
CRM and Sales Marketing Platform: This simple, fully integrated, CRM and marketing automation platform is an excellent and affordable solution for driving leads and conversions.Besides being scalable, secure and encrypted, it offers:
- User-friendly social management solutions that generate social score leads on the basis of sources, interactions, interests and more.
- Dynamic conversion tools and automated workflows to captureleads and generate sales
- Comprehensive campaign tracking for measuring Return on Investment (ROI) on your integrated marketing efforts.
Google Suite gives you one of the simplest and most convenient options for enhancing collaboration and productivity. It features a power-packed combination of:
- Gmail (email) and Google Drive (cloud-based storage)
- Project management tools, such as documents, spreadsheets, and slides with real-time co-editing
- Website builder and app scripts and digital whiteboards
- Security and control features to set and manage users, devices, and accesses.
Acquire and Implement the Right Tech Stack to Run Your Business Remotely
These are extraordinarily trying times, especially for small businesses that may not have deep pockets to survive long shutdowns. A creative approach, agility, and willingness to adapt new tools and technologies will help you keep your business up and running despite the difficulties. In fact, some preliminary polls and studies indicate that companies may prefer to retain a certain portion of staff on ‘work from home’ arrangements, even after the current crisis is over. With less office space, fewer business trips, better focus on employees, and greater flexibility to deal with unexpected future events, you may find remote working to be a sustainable and beneficial option for your business as well.
Whether you look at it as a long-term option or a temporary recalibration, choose your tech stack wisely and invest in suitable tools strategically.
Not sure which solutions and tech stacks are most suitable for your business? Rely on the experts at WSI eStrategies in Ottawa. Book a discovery meetingand learn know how we can set you up for success in a remote working environment.