Adjusting to the New Normal: Preparing for Post-Pandemic Workstyles

“By putting people at the core and increasing the humanity, this means that companies must ask questions that focus on the human implications of every decision. Whether it concerns the employee or the wider community within which the company operates,” states Hwee-Xian Tan during ‘The Rise of “Alone Together” Work Style’ webinar recently hosted by Omdia. The Senior Analyst of Digital Enterprise Services at Omdia moderated the session which focused on the Korean experience with regards to work from home conditions to give South-East Asian businesses an insight into the possible post-pandemic workstyles and solutions. Joined by representatives from four various Korean-based solution providers, the session was kicked off with a brief overview of the current working landscape within the South-East Asian region.

As many countries enter the endemic phase and restrictions lift, expectations of returning to pre-pandemic conditions have fizzled. The pandemic has given businesses opportunities to explore the benefits of allowing their workers to work from home as some leaders have observed increased productivity within employees and a reduction in total overall costs. Employees included in Omdia’s survey proved to be very enthusiastic at the prospect of adopting a hybrid working model, splitting their time between working from home and the office.

Hwee-Xian Tan emphasised that no matter the decisions that business leaders make in terms of technological transformations, organisations must place people at the core of it all and base their digital transformations through the lens of the workspace experience. Stating “in many cases we think technology should enable change and is not driving it.” The introductory presentation titled ‘Building the Intelligent and Collaborative Workspace’ elaborated on the meaning of an intelligent workplace as a confluence of people (behavioural), technology (virtual) and space (physical). It also touched on areas of concern that businesses have regarding the new working environment surrounding access and security.

The panel discussion began with the introduction of UCWare, by its overseas sales manager Ah Leum Lee. UCWare is a UC&C software provider which supplies its customers with real-time based integrated communication services. Their solution, UCWORKS is a business messaging and collaboration platform that has been created to cater to the rapidly changing work landscape of today. Ah Leum noted that despite the ongoing recession in Korea, businesses have not been scared to invest in IT as IT spending has steadily risen. The thing that sets apart UCWORKS from other business communication solutions is that it offers strict separation of work and personal, creates a work environment that maximises potential and provides features such as screen share, voice and video call. As security seems to be a major concern to most enterprises, UCWare has included security and encryption through authentication security and an OTP scheme to keep business communications secure in hybrid working environments.

Still within the realm of communication but focused on email security, Kevin Kim, a representative from KIWONTECH began by focusing on the increasing and varied email threats that companies face today. The three cases presented were attachment file-based attacks, time delay based zero-day attacks and hidden similar domains. Current email protection focuses on four steps, namely predict, protect, deter, and respond. The solution provided by KIWONTECH scans both inbound and outbound emails in real-time so its customer no longer needs to worry about the safety of their email correspondences.

Moving on to application security, Sparrow Co.’s representative Ray SJ Ahn, detailed the importance of factoring in security through the software development lifecycle. As companies must secure many points of access from data, applications, networks, users and devices, it is critical to adopt two ways of protection. The first, from a DevSecOps perspective, is to shift left and apply security at every stage with Sparrow’s multiple services. The second is to adopt a zero-trust method, to allow no automatic access. This way, companies are protected in terms of their application security.

Last but not least, Helen Kang from Ahranta promoted WiZHelperONE, their remote access management system catered to the work-from-home environment.  The system proves to be an all-in-one solution that allows the approval of remote access, recording of remote screens, controlling of office PCs, an overview of statistics and maintenance alongside the ability to handle emergencies. Business leaders can control and monitor the computer activities of their employees, creating a secure work environment that is important for business continuity and connectivity.

Overall, the webinar was successful in educating business leaders on the necessary conditions and tools they may want to adopt to thrive in the post-pandemic work environment. Placing greater emphasis on the connectivity and productivity of employees in addition to system security.

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