The New Normal
2020 and Beyond

Making it real in the New Normal

The New Normal is taking shape with trends across the six critical dimensions and these dimensions are defining the need for organizations to improve across the three layers of Physical, Intellectual and Emotional Infrastructure. There are many aspects to such transformation that include people, processes, policies, and technology. For the scope of this book, we will touch upon some of these aspects but provide concrete steps to make the transformation real on the digital technology front. Such a thoughtful digital transformation needs to be paired with a strong change management and training program to realize its full benefits.

Physical Infrastructure

There are many actions that leaders can take immediately and, in parallel, initiate new longer term digital initiatives. But the first step is identifying that Cloud is the backbone for the New Normal for the obvious reasons of hyper scale, flexibility, managed services, security, cost effectiveness, and benefit from ongoing innovation packaged in various cloud solutions.

Immediate Relief 

Businesses can identify infrastructure bottlenecks during this period of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Here are some solutions that MediaAgility and Google Cloud have put together that can be deployed in days and weeks instead of months. Each solution addresses important aspects of an organization,

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People

Enterprise-grade video conferencing to bring remote teams together without going through a complete replacement of the productivity and collaboration platform.

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Customers

Deploy Google’s powerful AI technology to handle the flood of calls at Contact Centers. Automatically handle voice and chat based conversations to answer frequently asked questions and free up the expert agents to manage more complex cases.

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Business Applications

If the bottlenecks are identified in certain applications or databases, then MediaAgility’s Digital Operations solution can provide immediate relief. Businesses can rapidly migrate to a hyper-scale platform like Google Cloud with managed services to monitor and operate the applications.

Longer-term digital initiatives

Once these immediate infrastructure bottlenecks have been addressed, it’ll be time to understand the impact of the New Normal on the physical infrastructure. There will be a need for complete overhaul of the office workspaces – layouts to accommodate social distancing, visitor management process, deep cleaning and sanitation protocols, and more. On the technology front, following initiatives can provide the foundation for digital initiatives, 

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Security 

Instead of the traditional VPNs that rely on a single point of entry into a trusted network, the new approach to Enterprise Security is that of Zero Trust networks. BeyondCorp Remote Access is one such solution developed by Google Cloud [1]. 

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Infrastructure modernization 

MediaAgility has developed comprehensive solution sets to address the needs of migration and modernization of infrastructure and applications. These range from using technologies like Anthos to manage hybrid-cloud infrastructure to modernizing legacy applications.

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Endpoint Management

MediaAgility provides a G Suite based solution to manage all endpoints like mobile devices, tablets, PCs, and notebooks based on Android, iOS, Chrome OS, MacOS, and Linux. This is critical for Work from Home facility with all endpoints managed and secured with a robust enterprise grade solution.

Intellectual Infrastructure

This layer builds upon the underlying physical infrastructure to enable continuous process improvements, automation, and innovation of service delivery to end customers. All internal and customer facing business processes need to be reimagined in the New Normal with the help of digital technologies. 

Next steps after immediate relief: Continue to the next steps of the immediate relief measures taken during the crisis. For example, if a video conferencing solution like Google Meet was deployed then continue with enterprise content management solution or a complete Workplace Transformation solution that MediaAgility offers.

New customer experiences: Reimagine all the products and services in light of digital technologies. Answer some of these questions –

Can a traditional product or service be transformed with the help of cloud or digital touchpoints? 

Can AI be useful to personalize a service, predict certain outcomes, or help better understand the customers? 

New cloud-native applications built on managed cloud platform services can accelerate such innovation. AI technologies should be at the center of building such customer experiences. MediaAgility provides solutions in this area to accelerate AI adoption and build cloud-native applications.

Transition into a data-driven world: Data in the hands of talented data scientists when combined with strategy, processes, and technology can be a powerful asset. That is exactly what MediaAgility’s data analytics solution set is designed to do. The solutions can range from data integration and visualization to more complex streaming data processing that support user data scientists. Specializations in areas of Marketing Analytics and the world of Location Intelligence is another dimension to consider.

Emotional Infrastructure

Work from home is the New Normal and managers need to trust their team members to deliver on the promise of their role. Strong social interactions based on trust and autonomy need to be developed in addressing productivity concerns. 

As compared to the other two layers, technology can only assist the heavy lifting to be done through policies and a genuine effort to bring about a change. A good starting point is to revisit the purpose of the organization, attitudes toward self-management, access to leadership, and most importantly, the efforts to foster development of a community. A lot has been written about this topic elsewhere so the scope here is limited to technology solutions that can facilitate these initiatives. 

Rich Communication: An emotionally bonded organization, like a close-knit family, relies on rich communication and becoming available for each other in a team. G Suite is an integrated solution that, if deployed properly, can bridge the geographical distance of a globally distributed team. Google Docs-, Sheets-, and Slides-based long-form communication is recommended to allow each person to develop their ideas more completely while they are in a “flow” state instead of the ASAP culture of instant messaging. 

Occasional video calls can help with decision making or quick sync between team members or for 1:1 meetings where leaders can become available and provide their undivided attention to each team member. 

Interest Groups and Support Networks: Organic rise of interest groups and support networks is a good sign of a healthy emotional infrastructure. Cloud-based applications can be custom built to meet specific organizational needs. Google Sites and Groups are G Suite’s built-in solutions that can be deployed with proper training to encourage creation of such community initiatives. MediaAgility provides a comprehensive solution set to reimagine how teams work. 

Leadership Connect: Regular live streams from the leadership team delivered in a town hall format with live Q&A is a great way to connect with a global team. Recorded sessions can be made available for those who are unable to attend. The leadership team can also make full use of such technologies to clarify and reinforce the organization’s vision and purpose. Such purpose-driven organizations with self-management practices succeed in creating an emotional alignment across the board.

We have just scratched the surface here with what is possible when digital technologies provide a strong backbone for transformation across the infrastructure layers. This combined with accessible leadership, clarity of purpose, innovative digital initiatives, and exceptional services from expert partners can enable organizations to prepare for the New Normal.

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