If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near”Jack Welch
#Lockdowns, #Social Distancing and #Pandemic are the few buzz words which are in the air due to a global spread of a novel disease i.e. COVID-19 better known as coronavirus. Apart from these terms, in professional circles we have been listening another concept i.e. Telecommuting better known as Working-from-Home. We have been hearing news that various corporates and governments have started to empower their line managers to take decision on Telecommuting at their own for their staff in order to reduce the risk of virus spread. But the questions here are that is this really possible and are our systems are capable enough to implement this work style.
Telecommuting is an alternate style of working where unlike a conventional style people do not commute between their residences and work places for performing their official duties. Telecommuting is perhaps as old as conventional style of working but it was first came into formal fold in 1970s. This was still a fantasy story until Information revolution which brought it to limelight. Information Technology, where it revolutionized the whole business industry, it also gave birth to other avenues of trade and businesses like digital marketing, content writing, business process outsourcing and freelancing etc. as all of these either emerged or matured with the support of this technology. So to answer to the question of possibility of Telecommuting is a big “Yes” but devil always lies in the detail.
The second part of the question was that are we technologically ready enough to adopt Telecommuting as an alternate work style and what tools we need to put this thing in motion? Being a professional accountancy and IT firm, instead of calling it Work-from-Home, we are terming it as Work-from-Cloud. We all heard about concepts like online storage and cloud-computing etc., which we believe is the solution for switching all back-office support roles in Telecommuting mode. But it is not an over-night change for setups running conventional systems as this require a lot of character.
Jack Welch, Ex-CEO of General Electric and renowned author of various books on subject of management and strategy, once said that “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near” and on another occasion he remarked that “change before you have to”. Our analysis of the industry is that we are still not ready enough to embrace technology which is knocking our doors despite its advantages are way ahead than its disadvantages. What we have seen while analysing our markets, the major impediment is organization’s perception towards confidentiality and data security etc. which they feel could be compromised in cloud environment. With current state of technology and the advancement it has during last 8-10 years, experts consider these reservations are baseless and unsupported by any authentic research analysis.
Despite all this, glass is not as empty as it looks like. In recent time, we have seen ERP and Accounting solution providers started launching and investing in their cloud based products. Obviously, they would never have this if they couldn’t get the market acceptance or positive feedback for these solutions. Further, this also introduced/revitalized new service/product lines like PAAS, SAAS and DAAS etc. those can prove quite economical and flexible for various organizations and this also expand the catalogue of services/products available for business world.
We conclude all this by saying that we should not wait for another calamity like Covid-19 to hit us hard, god forbids, for accepting solutions which have already been there for quite long time.