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A personal message from our CTO

I know, these masks are a sticking point...

In cyber-security, we use a tool called a threat and risk assessment; it helps us understand our vulnerabilities, their potential risks and consequential impact. The AICD company directors course teaches a similar concept where risks are characterised by likelihood and impact.

Prior to 2020, a global pandemic wasn’t considered at all likely by many companies. Therefore the impacts weren’t well understood. It’s fair to say that most businesses, even whole industries, have been caught somewhat unprepared.

In the rapidly changing world of March, we, like many other companies, decided that we mustn’t wait for a government to tell us the right thing to do. We realised that we had to make decisions fast and in the interest of staff safety. That took precedence over everything else - including staying in business.

The next priority was to protect the company - to stay in business.

We are fortunate to have wonderful relationships with our clients. We took the time to understand what each other was facing; some clients have particularly unique challenges.

All of this combined into the single most volatile, uncertain, changing and ambiguous set of circumstances I've ever had to navigate.

We were all confronted with our own mortality - it was like living in a pandemic movie. What was important was love, friendship, trust, a measured amount of courage, and to listen to medical leadership.

We are lucky in Australia that the combination of geography, sound decisions by leaders in medicine, government, private companies and families has allowed us to avoid a catastrophic ‘first wave’.

We still face many unknowns, but less so than during March. We now know:

Soon the medical crisis will be behind us, leaving in its wake a once in a lifetime opportunity for reinvention. Trends driven by digitisation and technology have undergone rapid acceleration.

RACGP spearheaded fast-tracking years of reform in a matter of weeks, so that all Australians may now have telehealth consultations with their regular GP, rather than travelling to the surgery.

Between December 2019 and April 2020, Zoom’s average daily meeting participants grew from 10 million to a staggering 300 million. Meanwhile, we’ve learned that online meetings are much more mentally draining than in-person meetings (estimates in the range of 30-50% more tiring); and so we have a new term, zoom fatigue.

The trend to remote-work and digitise is unfortunately accompanied by an increase in cyber-crime. Just recently a number of UK universities and charities; locally Lion, Toll (embarrassingly twice), Nielsen and most recently Garmin have all been victims of so-called ransomware attacks. A ransomware attack is when criminals infiltrate, steal and encrypt company data. They then demand you pay a ransom for its decryption, threatening publication to the dark web if you refuse.

At Airteam we’ve developed a number of training materials for our staff about privacy and security awareness. We plan to make these available to our clients, so please reach out if this is of interest to you.

We’ve also had to reinvent how we do UX without face to face, and we have published a remote UX guide on how to do this.

We’ve paid close attention to how we operate as a team, how we manage our internal knowledge, and how we help and look out for each other.

We do this because we remain resolutely passionate about working closely with our clients to achieve their online customer engagement goals.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” - Al Gore

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