COVID-19 Rapid Response: Switch To Work-At-Home

8 Critical Questions to Assess Your Technology Readiness

This is the second in our series on COVID-19 Rapid Response. You can find the first post in this series here.

In my most recent post, I talked about how COVID-19 has created a new urgency among customer care leaders. Many of you are looking for ways to accelerate current plans to transition from on-site to at-home agents. Many more are trying to determine the feasibility of a first-time, rapid deployment of at-home operations.

No matter where you are in the planning or transition process, the most important thing you can do right now is to conduct a thorough, realistic Readiness Assessment.

Today, I’d like to start with the first category of critical questions in your Work-At-Home Customer Care Readiness Assessment: Technology Readiness.

As you review these questions, please keep the following in mind:

  1. You probably won’t be able to answer all of these questions on your own. Reach out to the key members of your team who can answer the questions and provide you with the data to back up their answers.
  2. Your answers will not lead you to a “Yes” or “No” answer to moving your team to Work-at-home seats. These questions will help you answer “How quickly can we get this done?”

8 Initial Questions to Assess Your Work-At-Home Technology Readiness:

Where are the gaps between your current technology and the technology you’ll need?

  1. Information security must be one of your highest priority concerns when evaluating all work-at-home platforms or models. In the past, some organizations resisted at-home models, out of fear that remotely managed agents created increased risks. But the fact is, the technology exists today that – when used with appropriate hiring, training, supervising, reporting, and security protocols – can prevent these kinds of data concerns.
  2. Is your current technology capable of connecting all applications remotely?
  3. Where is your data stored and managed? Do you use an on-site server or the cloud? What privacy risks will you have to mitigate for to ensure GDPR, CCPA and other regulatory compliance?
  4. What is the capacity and scalability of your infrastructure? How many remote seats could you add?
  5. Can your current systems support network-level controls when needed? Does it give your supervisors real-time monitoring capability?
  6. How many of your current employees currently own the hardware they would need to use, including web-based cameras to enable meaningful supervision and coaching? How ready are you to provide hardware? How will you maintain inventory control and tracking on all hardware?
  7. What steps will you need to take to ensure all hardware is malware-free – and what protocols will you need to put in place to keep at-home systems and hardware malware-free? How will you scan your remote endpoint systems for OS and security software patch updates and otherwise keep them compliant with various data security standards and regulatory requirements (HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc.)?
  8. What is the skill and aptitude of your current IT team? A rapid transition to at-home will demand extreme flexibility and unfailing can-do attitudes. You’ll be adding seats, creating new scalability models, and needing a solid team of I.T. partners who can scale up as needed for new hire training and on-boarding. Your I.T. team must also be your go-to problem solvers as new issues arise.

At Skybridge Americas, we have been overseeing high performance teams of at-home agents for years. We understand what’s at stake. We know how to transition on-site teams to at-home with minimal disruptions and at maximum speed. And we would welcome a call from you as you consider this important move. Reach out! We would love to talk.

-Bobby Matthews

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Skybridge Americas


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