The national lockdown may be the very thing needed to prove to South African business owners that remote work is not as difficult as it may seem.
With many people been forced to work from home due to the lockdown implemented by the government as part of its efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 - web-based solutions that only require a suitable internet connection and a laptop are proving their worth.
According to Michael Henning, sales manager at Easyclear, technology has enabled business to digitise the workplace.
“Solutions that offer Software as a Service (S.a.a.S) or web-based systems are growing in popularity as they enable not only key staff but all staff to work remotely,” he said. “Sales and client-facing staff can access information and data at their fingertips and in front of their clients, while under the current Covid-19 lockdown, these very same staff can continue to customs clear and interact with their clients and Sars from their homes.”
He said software was accessible remotely, hosted securely in “the cloud” on Microsoft Azure’s hosted environment, behind secure firewalls and secure browsers with complete disaster recovery plans in place for peace of mind.
“Given the President’s order to lock down the country for 21 days with the exception of essential goods, cargo will continue to move thanks to these technology systems.”
Henning said S.a.a.S allowed logistics operators and freight forwarders, including their overseas agents and clients, to customs clear, track their goods and obtain release of their goods – all through web-based locations from any location in the world.
“The only provision is an internet connection. All of this enables industry to continue to function under the current Covid-19 conditions.”
Henning said there was no doubt that all of this would accelerate the fourth industrial revolution as companies started to realise the benefits of remote operations.
Already the company had seen a surge in its existing client base converting from its legacy system that was Windows-based to S.a.a.S - as well as an increase in enquiries from new clients.
“S.a.a.S is naturally a benefit as it offers a true web-based solution as opposed to a cloud-hosted solution for an existing windows application that can be costly to business,” he explained. “Our own office will be working remotely using this technology for the next 21 days, continuing to operate as normal despite not being in one location.”