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The Future of Work: The Post Pandemic Normal

The coronavirus pandemic brought the spotlight on technology, which enabled the forced scenario of WFH, which will continue to be the working model for many organisations. It will lead to many technologies to be an integral part of our daily lives

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The sudden surge in the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing shutdown was the most difficult challenge faced by companies globally. The scenario had not been planned for. The crisis scenario building was done, at the best upto the extent that at least one site will be available in case of an untoward event and operations will be handled from there. The necessary skilled human resource had also been deputed accordingly. This has driven the thought process towards the future of work and what will it entail.   

The future of work will have some compelling propositions for the enterprise community. “Voice is the new command. The commands will help you order a coffee, call for a lift or order the microwave oven. The mobile will be the new ID card. Visitors will no longer have to go through procedures for entering the building. They can wave the mobile at the visitor gate and I will be identified based on the GPS location powered by the Aruba network; a pass will be issued automatically and i will be guided to the meeting room by the GPS. Subsequently, the concerned person will be notified about my arrival and the PPT to be used will automatically be ready on the screen,” narrated Anirudh Shrotriya, Managing Director, SHRO Systems.

A combination of digital and physical is the way forward for companies is the lesson learnt by Deepak Keni, EVP – Special Projects & Enabler, Deepak Fertilisers And Petrochemicals Corporation. The company adopted many out of the line initiatives to be engaged with the consumers – farmers. They dont have emails IDs, a necessary requirement to logon to collaboration platforms. “We did over 300 webinars in the last few months with farmers, not using Zoom but phone to phone audio tools. The use of Facebook, Youtube and WhatsApp is also picking up,” said Keni.

Panel Discussion – The Future of Work: The Post Pandemic Normal | Back To Work

Aruba, a HPE company, had launched a solution in 2010 during the SARS pandemic to face the challenges cropping up from a lockdown situation. “I have worked in the area of mission critical systems, most of my career and all the necessary systems had been put to test but not the probability of ‘what if all the sites arent available,” said Sriharsha Narasimhan, Chief Technology Officer, Aruba, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India. HPE’s solution was an innovation to provide the work experience in the office to be replicated back home. In the current crisis, enhancements such as security handling, cloud enablement, collaboration have been made available by Aruba.

Employee engagement in the absence of physical meetings is an important issue at hand and Mahindra Finance has achieved good results out of using the collaboration solutions. It’s important to note the company has 35000+ employees. “In the corona period, a new CPO, CFO, Head of administration and the head of a new LoB has joined and stabilised over a period of time. A talent competition was launched, which was received very well in the company. All the HR related processes are also conducted over collaboration and conferencing solutions,” said Gururaj Rao, VP & CIO, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Group.

The emergence of contactless solutions has driven companies towards making many changes in the customer interactions, which ultimately add to the customer experience. Many installations such as hotels and restaurants have also introduced contactless and hygiene factors in the unlock period. “Hotels and restaurants have added QR codes for customers to access the menu on the mobile phones; Ice cream tubs are preferred over paper or cardboard as package material. The tubs can be sanitised before consuming the ice cream; the customer focus is now more on brand quality and hygiene factors, which is now on top of the mind over any other issues. Havmor as a brand is also focussing on these factors,” informed Dhaval Mankad, Vice President, Information Technology, Havmor Ice Cream.

Thermax, one of India’s biggest manufacturing companies has successfully leveraged cloud, virtualisation, open wifi, collaboration solutions to enable the engineering, sales, finance teams to work from home. “For an engineering institution like ours, working on engineering drawings is critical. We have used vGPU technology to make them available to our engineers in the comfort of their homes. Open wifi has helped employees to collaborate at the manufacturing sites,” explains Jagdish Lomte, Vice President (IT) & CIO – BTG, Thermax.

The cyber security posture of the company has to be maintained in these difficult times. Especially with the WFH paradigm, there are already reports of massive cyber security incidents. “A cyber security policy framework has to be put in place. Security can never be an afterthought. We had adopted ISO 27001 in 2016, followed by getting a Business Continuity Management audit (BCMS) certification. Our necessary audits also happened virtually and the certificates were also issued on technology platforms,” said Sharad Kumar Agarwal, Head – IT, JK Tyre & Industries. 

The article is reproduced from the panel discussion organised as a part of the Back to work conference
Panel Discussion – The Future of Work: The Post Pandemic Normal | Back To Work 

Moderator: Dipu KV, President – Operations, Communities & Customer Experience, Bajaj Allianz

Panelists:
+ Jagdish Lomte, Vice President (IT) & CIO – BTG, Thermax Ltd

+ Sharad Kumar Agarwal, Head – IT, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd

+ Gururaj Rao, VP & CIO, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Group

+ Deepak Keni, EVP – Special Projects & Enabler, Deepak Fertilisers And Petrochemicals Corporation

+ Dhaval Mankad, Vice President, Information Technology, Havmor Ice Cream Pvt Ltd

+ Anirudh Shrotriya, Managing Director, SHRO Systems

+ Sriharsha Narasimhan, Chief Technology Officer, Aruba, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India Pvt. Ltd.

 


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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