By Lee Johnson at Air IT
The office landscape is changing. Old cultural norms like business casual, 9-5 hours and overtly hierarchical structures are phasing out, making way for a more flexible and smarter environment. The work-life balance is being championed, meetings are being transformed, and companies are benefiting from technology in ways like never before.
Technology is making companies more intelligent, transforming time-heavy meetings, and helping to solve complex security issues.
Microsoft’s Modern Workplace helps businesses stay on the cutting edge of technology. The question is – how can businesses make new advances to connect and support their employees and foster a cultural transformation?
The days of writing a document, emailing it, waiting for a colleague to make tracked changes and send it back to you are up.
Cloud collaboration tools, such as Microsoft 365, can offer a range of benefits to your workforce, helping companies to achieve more together by better connecting them, and empowering employees to get work done from anywhere, on any device.
Tools like Microsoft Teams enable all employees to edit and comment on a document simultaneously and in real-time, encouraging innovation and making work much more efficient and transparent. Everyone can access the most up-to-date document, eliminating the risk of multiple versions of one document saved in different locations.
Meetings are useful for collaboration, but it’s estimated that businesses lose $37 billion in unnecessary meet ups per year. Advances in technology can provide audio and visual services based on the device type, enabling a high-quality meeting experience, that people can join and leave when they wish.
Let Them Work Mobile
Modern offices can’t hold back on offering the option to work from home anymore. It’s a necessity that, if you want to attract the best pool of talent, has to be available for your team.
In the last decade, mobile workforces have increased by more than 100%. New developments in technology like cloud communications and collaboration tools have made it easier for employees to work from home, and minimise the disconnect that can happen when team members are separated.
It’s also proven that employers who have a work from home policy have improved productivity due to less distractions, reduced office costs and higher employee retention. Advanced enterprise cloud technology has made it possible for employees to access the data and resources they need from almost anywhere, on any device. It also reduces the number of employees commuting, having a positive effect on their carbon footprint.
Bring Your Own Device
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies, which offer the choice for employees to work and access corporate data and accounts from their own devices, are booming. Cisco recently claimed that it gained $300 million a year in employee time whilst Intel saw an annual productivity gain of around five million hours.
Of course, protecting corporate data is a huge concern for businesses. But technologies like Microsoft Intune can be leveraged to safeguard data and intellectual property.
Intune manages phones, PCs and tablets to reassure the business that a device is in the possession of the correct and intended user. Intune also implements other security issues for best practice, such as making sure that all devices have passwords with strong parameters.
By governing all devices, you’re much more likely to prevent any data falling into the wrong hands. Through compartmentalisation, you can control which apps to install on a user’s device without intruding on their personal usage and right to privacy.
You can also remove devices by wiping, retiring or manually un-enrolling them, to avoid any leavers having access to confidential data.
Employees are more at ease when they have visibility into the work environment, what its objectives are and where it is heading. Group messaging tools like Microsoft Teams offer full transparency, ensuring everyone is kept in the loop at all times, and foster a “we’re all in this together” mantra. You no longer need to repeat information to absent or new members of the team; they can catch up anytime, anywhere with fully integrated voice and video.
You can restrict teams or channels to specific users, and track discussions related to various projects. You can also assign email addresses to channels, so if something happens that all of the team need to be aware of, an email will automatically insert into the channel.
Modern meetings and messaging enables employees to have quick, real-time conversations and stay in constant contact with one another, reducing the incidence of lengthy email chains by staggering amounts. As the number of remote workers rises, open communication will become a must for your team.
No matter the workforce, technology is opening doors for businesses everywhere in their quest to achieve the modern workplace and prepare their employees for a new culture of work.
With the right digital tools, businesses large and small can offer services to empower employees, and help them to work as smartly and as flexible as they possibly can.
ERSTE BANK HUNGARY IMPROVES AND SECURES THE REMOTE BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH ONESPAN MOBILE SECURITY
Leading Hungarian bank deploys OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to one million customers to make mobile banking convenient while fighting fraud and meeting PSD2 requirements
OneSpan™ (NASDAQ: OSPN), the global leader in securing remote banking transactions, today announced that Erste Bank Hungary, a subsidiary of Erste Group Bank AG, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, has integrated OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite into its banking app MobilBank. Erste Bank Hungary selected Mobile Security Suite to enable and protect online and mobile transactions and to comply with PSD2 requirements for authentication and dynamic linking.
The European Payment Council has stated that social engineering attacks continue to increase and remain instrumental in fraud schemes, often in combination with malware. Erste Bank Hungary chose to implement OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to protect against potential social engineering and malware attacks directed at its customers. OneSpan’s technology enables banks to integrate application shielding, biometric authentication and transaction signing.
Erste Bank Hungary added Mobile Security Suite’s Cronto visual transaction signing to replace the bank’s SMS authentication with push authentication for login and transaction signing. This new process improves security and eliminates significant costs related to SMS delivery. OneSpan’s Cronto technology also helps fight social engineering attacks like phishing, while enhancing the customer experience by enabling transaction signing using a color QR code.
“OneSpan’s proven technology will help us maintain our leading position in the market without compromising on security or the customer experience,” said Erste Bank Head of Digital Services, Akos Andras Molnar. “As part of this roll-out, our customers can also make online purchases using push notification with any retailer connecting to Erste Bank via the 3-D Secure protocol.”
“Criminal hackers continue to target banking customers as social engineering remains a preferred technique,” said OneSpan CEO, Scott Clements. “In their search for security solutions, banks need to consider cost, convenience and regulatory compliance. OneSpan’s technologies address these concerns so that banks can focus on providing a secure and convenient customer experience.”
HOW WILL LENDERS TREAT THE FINANCIAL SYMPTOMS OF COVID19?
COULD the coronavirus pandemic spark a financial crisis similar to that which was seen in 2008? Tim Kirby, Group Commercial Director of the global fintech Monevo, a personal lending marketplace and platform, discusses how Covid-19 could play out for lenders.
The 2008 financial crisis, explains Kirby, was about credit over-exposure. While strains are apparent in the money markets today, it is not 2008, when risky mortgage investments in the US banking sector and into the UK caused everything to collapse.
Kirby said: “The financial crash was self-inflicted for many reasons, including poor income verification, poor credit quality assessment and poor employment verification (self-certification). It was asset-backed predominantly as it was led by sub-prime mortgage lending.
“My thoughts are that once the virus is contained, the economy will most likely turn back on within a few months, however recovery to current levels will be somewhat longer.”
Kirby predicts that it is very possible this downturn will be shorter than the 2008 financial crisis based on a number of factors.
He said: “The financial crash was either at a house purchase level or encouraging debt consolidation through re-mortgaging that placed unsecured debt into secured debt over a longer term. The consumer then ramped up unsecured debt again with the same poor assessment applied and eventually ran out of headroom.
“This was propped up by the capital markets and warehouse funding lines being supported through securitisation models that rated the loans held in the bonds as AAA.”
Kirby adds that the coronavirus outbreak is more micro and consumer-led than the recession was.
“There is still a great deal of uncertainty, but consumers are certainly going to experience affordability difficulties in the short-term, perhaps three to six months,” Kirby explains. “Lenders are already tightening their criteria and that could lead to more tactical initiatives being introduced.”
Kirby points to the potential introduction of black-listing certain occupation types most affected, and reducing opening balances to applicants that they are most prepared to lend to.
He said: “At Monevo, we have been speaking to lenders who are predicting a 50% slow down, with some pausing to assess short-term strategies, as clearly there are aspects of credit / risk scorecards that aren’t working at the moment.”
Kirby also adds that access to capital markets will be a challenge in the short term: “Lenders who don’t lend off balance sheet may become constrained and you would have to question the Peer-to-Peer lender impact as the returns and appetite of investors could be under threat.”
“Additionally, those lenders nervous about funding certain cohorts of consumers, now have those very same consumers currently in their loan books.
“So, for lenders, focussing on forbearance and other support activity to protect these consumers in the short term of 3-6 months, will be a priority.
Kirby takes the view that it is important lenders relieve some repayment pressure from consumers in the short term, so they can rehabilitate when the new normal arrives.
“Lender feedback in the last week is that they haven’t seen a massive increase in defaults, it’s very early days though. Anecdotal feedback from lenders that are strong and well-funded is that they expect strong growth when the market returns, and that those who are optimised and agile will see an upswing.
“What I am hearing, is that consumers will remedially seek liquidity through debt, as the world normalises to address the short-term pain being experienced at present.”
Kirby adds that lenders who look at credit risk closely when the upturn comes in three to six months could see dramatic growth, albeit from a reduced base.
He added: “From Monevo’s perspective, day trading is difficult to predict and lenders are re-assessing short-term strategies. We are using the time at present to apply additional focus on our internal tech pipeline in driving the product development roadmap forward to continue to deliver great solutions for our partners.
“We want to ensure when normality returns and the upswing in both demand and supply inevitably happens, that we are supporting our origination partners and the lenders on our panel as effectively as possible.”
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