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GemTALK Podcast: Business as Usual in Unusual Times [Post Event Content]

7th Apr, 2020

We are currently in extraordinary times with businesses having to adapt faster than ever before, to an ever-changing situation presented by Covid 19

But what does that mean in practice, and what does that mean for employees?

In this podcast we look at how companies can continue to operate as business as usual, potential technology options that are available for use, and ideas for practical planning for the next few weeks, months and so on.

You can view the podcast via the video below. Further down the page you will also find our top 5 takeaways and some links to the information discussed in the podcast.



5 Key Take Aways:

  1. Communications. It is vital that there are channels of communication that everybody can use. This can range from full video links through to chat channels to text messages that get sent out to everybody in the organisation. Don’t forget the phone call, just talking one to one with staff members can be very powerful.
  2. Leadership. It is important that management/leaders of the company are seen to be embracing new ways of working and not just telling others to do it. People inside the organisation will follow what the leadership is doing much more than what they are saying. Leadership doesn’t only come from the top in the organisation hierarchy, most teams and groups will have natural leaders that other look to, it is important that they are encouraged to adopt the new norm and share what they are doing to improve effectiveness in these strange times.
  3. Try the digital tools. There are a lot of different digital tools available and they all have good and bad points (see below for some options). The best one for your organisation will likely be different to the one another organisation use. Currently, most of the collaboration tools suppliers are offering free access. Do a quick list but then a fast selection. It is probably better to get started than to try and make the perfect selection for your organisation. Then by the time you need to pay for the tools, you will have a much better idea what works best for you.
    1. 6 month free trial of Microsoft Teams via E1 license
    2. 60 day unlimited Checkpoint VPN/Mobile Access licences
    3. 13 week unlimited Cisco AnyConnect licenses
    4. LoopUp Meetings (UK-based; Billed only if used; Like Webex, Zoom)
  4. Security is now distributed. Everybody is a security manager when working from home and have to adapt to their own circumstances. This can be difficult, especially where they are living in shared flats or if there are several people in the same home all working. Using headphones and setting times for conversations can help. However, people need to understand that “I can’t speak now” can be for all sorts of privacy related reasons and they should be prepared to accept and say it when necessary.
  5. Ghost IT will happen. Whether working at home or not, if there is an easier way of doing things then people shouldn’t feel shy in suggesting doing it. There needs to be an atmosphere of openness which encourages people to bring innovative ways they have found of doing the work to leadership rather than an attitude of “do it our way”. Then the reasons for the Ghost IT as well as the technology can be evaluated and the decision made on what to do. Depending on the privacy and efficiency impact this can include providing alternatives and training on use or adoption of the Ghost IT into the main stream organisation digital tools.


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Ian Davis

Head of Information Security

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