IT Advice on a Hybrid Workforce
Co-written by Rebecca Hensley, Community and Social Media Manager at RingCentral.
The partnership between CX committees and Community is always a fruitful collaboration. We recently brought our teams together around an important topic that businesses everywhere are pondering.
What does the hybrid workforce look like? What are the key takeaways learned from pivoting during the pandemic?
In an effort to answer these questions, as well as share insights into what thought leaders are doing in their own organizations, we asked three accomplished IT professionals Jace Jones, Service Desk Manager, Envestnet, Inc., Chad Reese, Senior Director of Technology at Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Brandon Deaton, IT System Administrator at East Texas Council of Governments to share their thoughts via webinar.
The first thing we learned? Communication is key, particularly for users in a hybrid workforce.
In regards to users transitioning to work from home, Jace Jones said, “We received many calls/emails inquiring about what users could take from the office to work from home. Having communication prepared would ease stress and reassure them that it’s okay to take what they need to be as productive and comfortable as possible”.
Pandemic Pro Tip: Find a C-Suite Sponsor
- Having an executive sponsor saves time and expedites budget approvals
- Ask for an “emergency” fund, used to quickly support remote work
- Develop good accounting relations and give the team a heads up on new plans
- Report back the investments made and why it matters to the business
Staying connected and informed with all your internal stakeholders will make whatever decisions are being considered that much easier to execute.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) — easy to use?
Safety first! That means establishing a secure connection between users and the internet with a solid VPN. Brandon Deaton said, “I had to consider how new tools will impact users. I ensured that the tools would work for every employee. This includes those who are at home, at the office, or using a VPN connection.”
Chances are this is already on IT professionals’ radar, but when users started going remote, it became even more critical to ensure company data traveling over internet connections was secure.
Continue to foster partnerships (Pssst, especially with your service provider.)
Earlier, we mentioned how great partnerships can create powerful things! This is true with IT professionals as well. Chad Reese mentioned the value of alignment with service providers. “With those strong relationships, you can understand product paths, slice through communication barriers, and truly make both you and your service providers shine”.
IT is a strategic necessity in any company transition. These IT professionals juggled end-user support and helped management understand the value of information security, disaster recovery, and the benefits of cloud services.
Run IT like a “Community”
This past year has been a reminder of just how important quick solutions to urgent problems are and how the hybrid workforce’s flexibility can empower businesses and organizations to keep their services flowing. “I prioritized the rollout of RingCentral to our workforce centers, Area Agency on Aging Centers, and childcare centers because the people that utilized these resources needed urgent help during the early days of the pandemic” Brandon Deaton.
Being in IT is strategic to business and communication, but more so, their roles have evolved to community leaders and a lifeline that has brought us all together.
Thanks to Brandon, Jace, and Chad for taking time from their busy schedules to talk shop and share their lessons learned. Their bios are below.
Jace Jones, Service Desk Manager, Envestnet
As the US Service Desk Manager, Jace is responsible for the standardization of hardware and software for all US based Envestnet locations. Jace’s team supports all core systems and programs used by internal staff at Envestnet. In addition to management, technical support and improvements to these systems, Jace is responsible for process optimization and process alignment along with change management.
Chad Reese, Senior Director of Information Technology, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Chad has 27 years of IT experience strategically managing the Pro Football Hall of Fame infrastructure and systems. As a leader, he’s responsible for managing the Pro Football Hall of Fame museums, education platforms and digital experiences. Chad holds a B.A. from Malone University and resides in Canton, Ohio.
Brandon Deaton, IT Service Administrator, East Texas Council of Governments
Brandon has been a strategic technologist to Texas local government IT teams since 2012. Brandon oversees business critical apps, helpdesk, server infrastructure, backups, projects, and the RingCentral platform. Brandon also serves as a member of the Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers (TAGITM) and assists with questions or concerns from other IT members throughout the state.