When COVID hit the US abruptly in March 2020, the need for businesses and individuals to collaborate remotely was as abrupt as the shutdown. In the past 18 months, many businesses and technology providers have risen to the challenge, augmenting traditional in-person business collaboration via a variety of electronic means and applications.
Prior to COVID, technology was already impacting business collaboration, but the use cases typically applied to external collaboration with clients and partners, or physically distributed teams, the focus often being on secure document sharing via a virtual data room application. Although video conferencing has been around for decades, it was never utilized like it is now. In just a short period, the phrase “zoom me” has become the generic term for video conferencing, just as “google it” became the universal term for conducting an internet search many years ago.
While secure document sharing and video conferencing are important functions, they are only part of what businesses must address in a more holistic manner to operate efficiently in a remote environment. Certainly, in the near-term, a return to the traditional nine-to-five, five days a week in the office is not the reality. Most companies have proven the ability to work remotely and have found advantages in certain cases where remote or hybrid office models are preferable. Many employees have found an ability to create work/life balance that wasn’t previously attainable. As such, the need to support virtual office models with appropriate technology is more in demand than ever.
Technology companies, large and small, are rushing to figure out how to emulate business processes that were traditionally done in person. Eventually, traditional business interactions, including in-person meetings and office collocation will come back – but the horse is out of the barn and most people agree we will never go back to the way things were prior to COVID. Now more than ever, businesses understand how technology can complement traditional business practices in a positive way.
Here at DebtX, we integrate secure document sharing with customer relationship management (CRM) and customizable workflow automation tools to improve our clients’ ability to be as productive online as they would be in person.
The challenge will be to complement traditional in-person activities that cannot be replicated online (e.g., non-verbal communication, spontaneous interaction, cultural development) with technology applications that solve specific collaboration problems such as time, distance, and disruption.
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