By S BIRRUNTHA
MORE companies across sectors have shifted to ‘work from home’ practices to ensure undisrupted operations to comply with the Movement Control Order (MCO) set by the government to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, this can be potentially less productive in some cases, as opposed to having everyone physically present in the same office space.
Commerce.Asia founder and executive chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah said over time, modern technology has proved its capability by enabling companies to conduct their work over the Internet.
“The most popular tools among Malaysian companies now are of course Zoom and Microsoft Teams. These platforms are great for video conferencing, especially when they are working from home.
“Another one which is also quite popular among businesses is Google Hangouts. They can easily conduct a meeting with several groups of people at one time which is really convenient,” he told The Malaysian Reserve in a phone interview recently.
Ganesh also added that traditional telecommunication apps like Skype are becoming less popular among companies as the newer ones are more advanced and efficient.
“I think the quality of the newer apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are better compared to Skype, especially if you are on a video chat or a voice call. The sound and visual qualities are much better.
“And companies can also use these tools for free and with less limitation. If they want to use it without those limitations, they will have to upgrade and pay for the service,” he said.
He also noted that common messaging platforms like WhatsApp are widely used by people who work from home for simple communication and to notify people on important things.
Zoom is an application that specialises in video conferencing. It provides remote conferencing services that combine video conferencing, online meetings, chat and mobile collaboration.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage and also application integration.
American financial and business news website, Business Insider reported that Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Teams had hit 44 million daily users, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was also stated that Microsoft will be announcing several new features to Microsoft Teams, which include background noise cancellation in video calls and the ability to read and write messages without an Internet connection.
With more companies opting to work from home, cyber-security cases are expected to spike as online criminals take advantage of the pandemic to attack remote workers.
Sophos Group plc principal research scientist Paul Ducklin said the matter of cybersecurity needs to be the top priority for every company that is activating a business continuity plan right now.
“The most important thing is to start with a known security software, such as anti-virus and to allow users to get as many security updates as possible automatically, so they don’t get forgotten.
“Make sure employees have somewhere to report security issues. Remember that a lot of cyber-attacks succeed because cybercriminals try over and over again until one user makes an innocent mistake,” he said in the Naked Security report by Sophos recently.
Ducklin also added that it is crucial for employers to identify workers who find their own ways of solving technical problems, especially for convenience or speed.
“The first risk that everyone should think about in cases like this is ‘what if they make a security blunder or leak data that are confidential?’” he said.
Malaysia has enforced MCO from March 18-31 as the country continues to battle its second wave of cases.
During this period, people are asked to stay at home and conduct work operations at a minimal level or on a work-from-home basis.