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Coronavirus and home office: lack of digitisation is a big problem

March 20, 2020 9:32 AM, Der AUDITOR
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FRANKFURT. Social distancing and home office are the order of the day in times of the corona crisis. Trouble, however, is that many companies are not well-enough equipped for their staff to work from home. Many are, therefore, forced to travel to work.

Michael Gütlich, CEO and IT expert at Dedere Deutschland GmbH voices his lack of understanding for such companies. For him, "it's high time for these companies to rethink. There are several ways to ensure that necessary information can be accessed and availability. Telephone numbers can, typically, be switched to the mobile phones of the employees with Voice over IP. Access to the merchandise management system enabled if conpanies provide VPN access to the company network. Cloud-based applications are also becoming increasingly popular, such as those from Microsoft, which also have their own security standards to protect data," These steps towards digitalisation cannot, however, be implemented overnight, as the capacities of service providers are limited. Training in how to handle the new technology also takes time. "Online trading platforms can provide support for companies that lack the digital infrastructure," as Gütlich points out.

Netflix cuts transmission rate

The lack of digital infrastructure is, however, only one obstacle for the rapid implementation of home office. Frequently, the necessary equipment is also lacking and internet connections are unstable. In order to free up capacity for increased internet traffic driven by home office and homeschooling, the streaming provider Netflix has cut the transmission rate in Europe by 25% after being urged by Thierry Breto, the Eurpean Commissioner for Industryand Entrepreneurship. Even more challenging are the problems healthcare is confronted with. Hospitals and health insurance companies, which handle sensitive patient data, have little opportunity to grant their office staff access from external computers. "In order to contain the virus, it is important that human intercontacts are minimised as much as possible, not only in the social sphere. We have to expect curfews in many countries. Unnecessary ways to work will then have to be avoided to curb infection rates," Gütlich concludes.

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