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Protection-as-a-Service & the Modern Agile Office
From hastily switching to a remote work model, to changing business strategies and adjusting for market swings, to finding new ways to meet safety protocols and ensure staff productivity, organizations have endured an operational roller coaster since the onset of the global pandemic in 2019. With vaccinations increasing albeit at regionally and globally varying paces, new data on variants and other late breaking news, plus changing CDC guidelines, the one constant is that the businesses, organizations, and the public at large are eager to get back to normal and put COVID-19 behind them. World leaders, business owners, managers, employees, and people everywhere simply want a return to their pre-pandemic world as quickly as possible.
The Workplace – The Epicenter of the Return to Normal
No matter the sector, our world is driven by the connectivity that businesses, supply and demand chains, and social events occupy in our daily lives. With many offices having already moved from a remote work model to partial or fully staffed in-office activities, no organization wants to lose momentum or take steps backwards. To preserve business continuity, staff and customer health, and operational efficiency, businesses are now faced with making decisions based on evolving circumstances, recommendations, and protocols that are still very much in flux.
In 2020, to support enterprises across key industries, 22Miles developed the award winning Protection as a Service (PaaS) suite: a series of integrated technology features and capabilities that act as a uniquely customizable software platform, designed to meet the challenges businesses of all types faced around COVID-19 safety. The suite includes tools for temperature screening, space utilization, wayfinding, access control, collaborative mobile applications, touch-free interaction, and visual communication features with real-time information updates. What makes PaaS a durable solution, is how these situational “ala-carte” technologies can help organizations address the changes the post-pandemic world reveals, as they come.
What Businesses and Experts are Saying and Doing
Oxford business group survey found that most CEOs experienced significant challenges brought about by the pandemic which had profound effects on how they conducted day-to-day business around the world. While the group’s GCC Covid-19 CEO Survey found that 61% of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their government’s economic response to the pandemic, most respondents indicated they needed to take a pro-active individualized approach to ensuring business continuity and long-term success at the organizational level.
Wharton University of PA sponsored a series of virtual events titled “Leadership in the Wake of COVID-19.” In this series, Sherry Bahrambeyqui, CEO of San-Diego company PriceSmart (a billion-dollar operator of warehouse clubs), stated the simple mantra they invoked is “Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your business. This translates to making sure employees can work safely, efficiently, remotely when necessary, and on-site as well. Ensuring employee confidence starts with communication, and a commitment to using available data and tools to allow them to perform with as little worry and hesitancy as possible.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, author Martin Reeves indicated that surviving and thriving in the new business reality begins with understanding how habits have changed. Crises situations produce not just a plethora of temporary changes (mainly short-term shifts in demand) but also some lasting ones.
In an article on workplace tech, Dan Weil of the Wall Street Journal emphasizes communications tools have become a routine part of operations, citing innovations in video communications, increased use of artificial intelligence, and enhanced workplace safety technology.
For most businesses—and their CEOs—unlike any they have ever faced, the new operational realities have forced an abrupt dislocation of how employees work, how customers behave, how supply chains function, and even what ultimately constitutes business performance. A recurrent theme is that the global outlook is still very much a work in progress, so the smart bet is to remain flexible, informed, and willing to make changes to adapt.
22Miles EVP Tomer Mann has been watching the shifts in the workplace and the global business environment since the onset of the pandemic at the beginning of 2019. Mann has several published interviews and articles in online and print publications such as CIO Review, Hotel Business, AV Magazine, and Digital Signage Today.
“This is a time when every organization has to be in somewhat of an assessment and adjustment mode. What is happening in the real world across sectors is that businesses are constantly transforming into more agile operations models that have the ability to pivot and adapt to significant shifts in day-to-day and long term operations and protocols. We’ve seen companies move from dealing with lock downs, to supply chain shortages, to man-power shortages, to work-from-home, to “Back-to-Work.” The uncertainty is one part of why we developed and continue to enhance the Protection-as-a-Service suite, but the bigger motivation is quite simply, “Preparation.” These solutions are designed to be able to fit exactly what the operational environment needs, even as those needs are consistently changing. We like to think of it as a “Future-proofed” solution, that anticipates the needs of the business, and puts organizations in a space where they can use the technology they already have in PaaS to observe, adjust, and execute quickly,”
– Tomer Mann, 22Miles EVP/Technology Contributing Writer