IT Staff Turnover and Hybrid Working — an Unexpected Journey

Like many companies in 2021, we are in the midst of an unexpected journey. Our focus has always been helping create exceptional cloud-based software systems to help businesses meet their strategic goals – but over the past few months we’re hearing that our clients need help in additional areas that are critical to their business. 

As we begin recovering from the pandemic we’re being asked to help with gaps in business processes due to staff turnover. Our team has quickly dug in and learned how to operationalize systems and decouple them from previous staff. 

We’ve also been asked to ensure that the hybrid work structure will remain secure as it becomes a commonplace part of our clients’ business.

Let’s take a moment to walk through each of these areas that you also may be facing:

Operationalizing Systems due to Staff Turnover

You have been reading the articles and probably dealing with this reality. Over the past few months, more and more people are making an employment change — taking advantage of the return to work and the post-pandemic opportunities presenting themselves. 

In the March 2021 report The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?, Microsoft found that 54% of Generation Z workers and 41% of the entire global workforce could be considering handing in their resignation.

For those reasons, companies have begun reaching out to us to have us fill the gaps for their critical roles while they replace the headcount – not an easy thing to do these days.  They are asking for help with development, operations, security, training, and more.

Some recent projects for our clients due to staff changes and gaps have included the following:

  • Process development
    • Process documentation
    • Introduction of modern coding standards, CI / CD
  • Training and Staff Support
    • Staff transition management
    • Training and management of junior staff
    • Training and introduction of Agile software development process
  • Documentation
    • Technology Stack and Operations Documentation
    • Documenting of Architecture
  • Technology/ Security Management
    • Vendor or MSP management and procurement
    • Disaster Recovery planning
    • Cloud Security Audit and Remediation
  • Quality Assurance
    • Configuration of Automated Testing
    • Functional Testing

These are all important initiatives that cannot wait weeks or months to replace an employee and get them trained to execute. Valtira has developed frameworks, training, and templates to help in these and other areas to help augment your team quickly and efficiently.

Ensuring Security with Hybrid Working

Another area our clients have come to us for assistance is in ensuring cybersecurity of their network and devices. As employees begin to transition to blended working from different locations including from an office, home, or elsewhere, this becomes more of a challenge. This hybrid work model is going to continue to be a part of our daily lives going forward. 

In a May 2021 study by the University of Chicago Why Working From Home Will Stick, employers surveyed said that full time at home workers would increase from 5% to over 20% post COVID-19.  For IT teams, this presents a series of challenging hurdles. Organizations now must face a race to prepare themselves against the steady increase of cyber breaches and at the same time manage a distributed workforce that are intermixing personal and business devices.

In March 2021, AT&T published a survey called Remote Workers are Adding Extra Cybersecurity Risk to Their Employers’ Business. The study of over 3,000 workers found that over half of respondents had used work devices for personal business such as online banking and downloading apps, and over a third had connected them to smart home devices such as speakers.

In a recent Samsung survey, 7 out of 10 employees admitted to using a personal smartphone or tablet for work purposes, with 18% of those claiming they had “no confidence” in the security of their device. In the recent article Why the Hybrid Workplace Is a Cybersecurity Nightmare, Wall Street Journal reported that 88% of workers used personal devices for work activities.

This poses a significant risk factor to IT teams trying to protect their company data. Whether it be file sharing over an unprotected network or downloading malicious apps, the gateways opened when using a personal device cannot be ignored. Another main challenge facing IT teams is getting their machines up to speed with the latest software patches.

Microsoft CISO, William O’Hern recently stated a warning about this issue in a recent interview.

“If I had one thing to tell everyone to do, it would be to focus on strong identity proofing, not only of individuals but of [devices], too,”

Microsoft CISO, William O’Hern

To help alleviate these risks, Valtira leverages our cybersecurity, cloud technology, DevOps, security audit, and other practices to assist in the security review and gap implementation of security practices for our clients. 

Our clients have taken us on a detour to address both of these issues — and we are happy to help as we all venture into another period of unknowns together.  If you have needs in these areas, feel free to reach out to us – we are happy to help you get back on the road to your strategic goals.

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