Best Technology Practices During a Pandemic

I’ve been neglectful of my blog, and it seems like a good time to report on what I’ve been up to. So here are some things that I’ve been working on that might be useful, both for dealing with the current catastrophe and managing technology in general.:

First, I’m presenting a webinar today (4/21/2020) on Technology Best Practices in Pandemic Times for the Greater New Orleans Foundation. If you’re reading this before 3:00 PM EDT, you can register here. My audience, I’m told, will be 100-150 employees of New Orleans Nonprofits. My assumption is that half of these orgs are already in the cloud, so the switch to remote work wasn’t too technical a challenge for them, but that the other half have documents on a shared drive on a server and their options for connecting from home are difficult and likely insecure. Beyond that, what I’m seeing is that companies that are using collaborative tools like Slack and MicroSoft Teams to keep staff engaged are doing much better with this than the ones that just made sure that their people could connect and are communicating strictly through voice, email, and the occasional video-conference. Virtual work can be isolating and challenging, and the transition is about far more than just the tech. I wrote an article about this for Marcum’s CoronaVirus Resource Center a few weeks ago.

Much of my work at Marcum Technology involves helping companies with their CRM and document management implementations. While I support orgs on multiple platforms, the ones I see most often are Salesforce and Office 365. For the former, I find that there is some confusion as to what Salesforce is and isn’t. We know that it’s a powerful contact management and sales/fundraising system. But it seems like it’s being used to do just about everything these days. My take is that it’s better at some things than others, and that the investment is not always justified. My article “Should You Use Salesforce?” dives deep into those questions. Similarly, Office 365 offers a variety of tools for managing documents: Sharepoint, Onedrive, and Teams. I don’t think it’s as much a question of which one to use as it is how to use them in concert, making the most of each application’s strengths. My article “Managing Documents With Office 365” pitches a solution that makes use of all three applications.

But that’s not all! If you’re too late for today’s webinar, I have a few more scheduled. On May 6th at 9:00 Am EDT I’ll be doing a webinar on “Business Essentials: Disaster Recovery vs Business Continuity” for the Raffa Learning Community (Raffa being the nonprofit-focused division of Marcum; people that I work with regularly). And you can join me the next day, along with Jeffrey Bernstein, Marcum Tech’s Managing Director for the Cybersecurity Group, when we present on “Information Security Governance in Times of Pandemic” on May 7th at 1:00 EDT.

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