As many of you might have guessed, C2 is drinking from a proverbial fire hose this week, and I know for a fact that just about all of my clients are worried about how this will impact their organizations. It’s still too early for me to have any real insights on how this pandemic will transform workplace technology, but you can be sure none of us will emerge unchanged.
What I’ve seen so far:
It’s quite apparent that our national data networks are going to be severely challenged by a widespread shifting of work load away from business districts. A great many of us are served by shared broadband architecture built around suburban grids and population densities from the 1990’s which haven’t been substantially upgraded since they were first built. Residential broadband was designed around raw download speeds and comparatively anemic upload speeds, which is perfect for Netflix and YouTube, but not as great for neighborhoods full of business folks trying to upload gigabytes of data and host videoconferences, on top of kids attending online classes. I’m certain no one thought what is happening now would ever happen on their data networks.
One positive thing I see this week is a lot of very conservative work environments being forced to consider the fact that their operations don’t necessarily require everyone cramming into a big box of glass and steel for 10 hours a day. Unfortunately, that change is going to come with a lot of pain, especially for companies that have relied on older infrastructure and put off upgrades for a rainy day, only to have to deal with trying to purchase and install technology during a national emergency. Not impossible (yet), but this like switching your business “difficulty setting” to “high”.
Last observation for this week: we’re already seeing a HUGE spike in phishing emails exploiting everyone’s insatiable appetite for information on the pandemic. Please exercise caution on every email, just as before. Don’t open attachments, don’t click links, and for goodness sake, if an attachment asks for you to log in to view it, stop, back away from the keyboard, and…go wash your hands. And delete that email.