What Technology Tools Can Help Your Operations Operate Remotely?
Well, that was sudden. One day we’re battling the morning commute to and from the office, and social distance was something we maintained with people we didn’t like.
That was yesterday, though. Today, companies are having to manage a wholesale shift in operations as offices go into lockdown and employees are sent off to work from home.
Some companies were well-situated to adapt to this change, though it’s probably still a challenge for even the most tech-savvy businesses. Productivity and collaboration are still important, maybe even more so in such trying times; regulatory compliance and risk management are still necessities, too. Can we afford to bet a SOX auditor will give us a pass because we had to remote our workforce?
Fortunately, there are technology tools that are relatively easy to quickly adapt and use to help a company meet these needs. Some have even begun to offer features intended to specifically address COVID-19’s impacts.
Automating processes within the office by digitizing repetitive tasks and eliminating manual involvement and human error has been a winner for all sorts of enterprises, from legal operations teams to government agencies. The best workflow automation solutions are built in the cloud so they’re easily deployed across a host of locations, and can even enlist vendors and service providers in automated processes designed around timely, multistep collaborations.
So applying them to meet work-from-home demands is just a matter of adapting them to new needs. As with other best-in-class offerings, these solutions feature drag-and-drop design tools for creating online forms and workflows, centralized dashboards for monitoring compliance and performance, and automatic archiving of workflows and assets for audit purposes. Moreover, some providers are now providing a battery of workflow designs designed precisely for work-from-home situations, even for doing health check-ins to assess COVID-19 risk levels among remote employees.
New or revised policies and procedures around COVID-19 and its effects have to be drafted, communicated, and attested to. But now they have to go out to a workforce that’s scattered across a welter of ZIP codes and IP addresses. Manual policy and procedure processes were already difficult enough; agility matters more than ever now to ensure proper compliance.
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A SaaS Policy Management software solution that combines ease of adoption and ease of use for everybody in the loop – admins and employees alike – can ensure you’re collaboratively drafting policies, distributing them on a targeted basis (so a role-specific policy goes only to the people it affects), and capturing attestations digitally.
A dashboard-based tool like this gives risk and HR managers an all-inclusive, top-down view of compliance across the entire organization, even if that organization isn’t sharing the same premises. Global companies with widely-scattered operations have used Policy Management solutions long before the coronavirus arrived for exactly this reason.
Enterprise Content Management
Companies in highly-regulated sectors like financial services rely on huge amounts of content and data, and need to be able to maintain up-to-date common documents and content for users to access; they also are required to collect, store, and then delete material like personal data in accordance with various regulations.
They’ve turned to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions that collect and collate content and documents in secure centralized repositories. This provides a single source of truth for everyone; employees can access these remotely based on their permission levels, which are controlled by supervisors. So a remote workforce will be able to work with only approved, up-to-date content, documents, data, and other mission-critical materials.