Without a crystal ball, there’s no telling how long the COVID-19 crisis will last. But for at least a little while longer, telecommuting has become normal for local businesses—and, as some have already learned, so are the various technology-related challenges that follow.
They range from relatively minor inconveniences like slow internet connections to longer-term, potentially dire problems like data breaches and other cybersecurity issues.
“The cyberthreat nor the pandemic threat will ever be eliminated,” says Jeff Moulton, president and CEO of LSU’s Stephenson Technologies Corp. “We have not eradicated the flu, the common cold, nor COVID-19—we have learned to coexist.”
Absolutely critical to preventing these issues, local tech professionals agree, is workforce training, which is expected to become a more prominent component of onboarding.
Meanwhile, the Baton Rouge business scene is trying to adapt. Through virtual private networks (VPNs), some local engineers and architects have been accessing their AutoCAD software remotely and are otherwise learning how to manipulate large amounts of data from afar. Lawyers are handling mediations and depositions over Zoom while trying to protect and manage sensitive client files virtually as some of their courtroom trials and hearings have been pushed back indefinitely. Some doctor’s offices considered nonessential are incorporating telemedicine visits into their offerings.
But today’s white-collar workforce has a major Achilles heel: internet service provider bandwidth, which Moulton says would be like “putting a basketball through a garden hose” should providers like CenturyLink, Cox, Comcast, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon increase their bandwidth as much as possible. Read the full story from the latest edition of Business Report.