Use lockdown to maximise digital skills in your business

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Written by Chester Avey, CyberSecurity Specialist

Covid-19 has impacted businesses in a number of ways, not least in terms of how we work now. But while we navigate the pandemic and begin to accustom ourselves to working remotely, there are ways that we can use the extra downtime to maximise our skillsets.

Digital skills are more important than ever across businesses in all industries, but especially within IT infrastructures. We’ve compiled some of the key ways you can make the most of your time during lockdown to build up digital skills for your business and which areas to focus on for greater benefits.

Work with outsourced specialists

The pandemic has revealed a greater need for expertise in businesses, which is why now is the perfect time to build relationships with external companies. Outsourcing skills can actually cut costs while also providing the business with the knowledge it needs to thrive.

“We have been contacted by many businesses who are looking to strengthen their IT services through outsourced specialists”, says Netcom IT Solutions , providers of remote IT support services. “The pandemic has given many businesses the chance to re-assess their priorities, and many realise that IT support can be easily and safely provided remotely”. By choosing to outsource, you can learn from the experts and build up your skills, while also re-energising your workforce.

Maintain staff training

The digital landscape evolves continually, so it’s important that you and your staff stay up to date with the latest technology and trends. Updated training will ensure that your employees’ knowledge is always current and that your staff are upskilled in areas that will benefit your business.

There are numerous online courses and platforms that staff can use remotely to keep their skills and knowledge up to date — a great way of ensuring everyone is learning at the same rate and is working to the same practices is to host group learning sessions online.

Embrace the modern working practice

There’s an increased importance placed on working from home and being able to carry out different roles remotely. But beyond the pandemic, being able to work remotely is vital for businesses not just in terms of a crisis but to allow for more flexibility and to widen the scope of the talent pool available to you.

Investing in technology skills and making changes to how your staff work to make working from home possible is incredibly important, both in the immediate and past lockdown. From communication apps to file-sharing technologies and video conferencing, there are numerous ways that digital skills can be put to use to assist in better collaboration in business.

Investing in infrastructure and tools

In relation to embracing the modern way of working, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest tools and software available to assist working. From Google’s suite of apps and tools to video conferencing software like Zoom, communication tools like Slack and collaborative software that allows you to work in tandem with colleagues in real-time, there are plenty of digital skills that can be put to use remotely.

Even if the role isn’t a technical one for every staff member, being comfortable with software and hardware as a remote worker is key today for everyone. Companies need to know that they can manage without an IT department being on hand immediately.

Prioritising cybersecurity

One of the things that Covid-19 has presented in abundance is the opportunity for hackers and cybercriminals to take advantage of the uncertainty that everyone is currently facing. There’s been a rise in the number of COVID-19-themed phishing which places businesses at an immense risk.

By investing the time and resources into developing cybersecurity skills, you will not only protect your business from an attack but also support your workers in understanding different threats and how to manage them effectively.

Final thoughts

The rise in remote working doesn’t look set to decline any time soon and once the threat of Covid-19 dissipates, the number of remote workers will remain. By investing the time in maximising digital skills now while the time is available to everyone, you can set your business up to be as strong remotely as it is from a physical location, which will enhance your business’s productivity, efficiency and flexibility.

Originally published at https://digileaders.com on May 26, 2020.

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