Pandemic, coronavirus, lockdown and global crisis. These are some of the terms that have changed the way we work. COVID-19 has opened the doors to a radical revision of traditional working models. The crisis has caused changes in our work habits, and working remotely has become a common practice for several companies.
This is the beginning of a digital transformation. A transformation where we need to provide companies with the right technological tools, so we can enable alternative work modalities, such as Smart Working.
Radio News 24 invited Sebastiano Piccinno, Consultant Manager & Head of Italy in Right People Groups, to share his knowledge on this subject. Listen or read along and learn more about Smart Working, Digital Transformation and Cyber Security during and after COVID-19.
Radio News 24: Thanks for tuning in, friends. We have a new installment with On Air, here for Radio News 24. De Lombardo and friends are here to entertain you with some stories. In this case, we are going to do an in-depth analysis of some subjects that have entered our common jargon nowadays. We are talking about Smart Working and Cyber Security. By now, these terms, for better or worse, are understandable to the masses, and they often express different concepts. So, we will try to analyze the subject with our experts who are online with us, today, Sebastiano Piccinno is on the phone. Welcome, Sebastiano.
Sebastiano Piccinno: Hey, good morning! Good morning, Andrea.
Radio News 24: Here we are. So, yours is a reality that has to do with the new frontiers of work and beyond.
Sebastiano Piccinno: Right, right. Our company is Right People Group, an international company of IT consulting that is dedicated to helping companies in the management of their IT projects. This is possible through collaboration with external consultants, which are mainly freelance consultants. Then, thanks to our experience, we’ve had the opportunity to test the effects of Covid-19, its impact on digital professions firsthand, and on new work modalities that have emerged. So, even the changes, let’s say the preferences, of the activities that used to be mainly on-site have changed to remote collaborations.
Radio News 24: Absolutely, then clearly it was a reality that you were already living, way before other people, who unfortunately began to live the reality (of remote working) during the lockdown.
Sebastiano Piccinno: Exactly, exactly, I would say the particularity of this period has caused a change in work habits, which were forced due to the emergency situation. Now, they have become common practice for several companies. This has started the so-called digital transformation, even if it’s partially incomplete and still in need of some further steps.
Radio News 24: Indeed. Well, your many activities have pointed out the digital transformation to us. Can we try to explain to our audience what it is about?
Sebastiano Piccinno: Yes. Digital transformation essentially means providing the companies with available technological tools, so that we can enable alternative work modalities, such as Smart Working. Let’s say that until now, more than an actual digital transformation, we have been witnessing a socio-cultural transformation that has allowed us to loosen the barriers towards working from home. To be able to define it as a digital transformation is necessary to understand that the tools used were already available. It was nothing new, but simply people were not using tools at their full potential. Indeed, to define it as a complete digital transformation, we need to fully encompass the concept of smart working and be aware that in reality, it is much different than what we have gotten used to during this period, which is better defined as tele-working or let’s say remote working.
Radio News 24: Absolutely. Among the various aspects clearly related to the “new” technologies — people call them that. They are actually not new, they are just more used today. More and more often, there is also talk of cybersecurity and about some apps that are said to be invasive not only for our safety, but also for our privacy
Sebastiano Piccinno: Exactly, exactly. Yes, this is one of the aspects that has probably been addressed with superficiality because companies, in most cases, were not ready to work outside the companies’ boundaries. Cyber Security, however, is an essential element to be taken into consideration, in particular if you want to enable a safe remote work environment. Therefore, it becomes necessary to adopt safety measures that may sound banal but are very important. For example, one of the first things that should be done would be for employers to acquire company devices to avoid the use of personal devices, since the superficial use of these devices within the personal sphere could have consequences on the professional one. This is one example. It would also be necessary to implement VPN connection to avoid cyber attacks, and even in this case, it may sound obvious to use high-performance antivirus software as opposed to the commonly used Open Source ones. They guarantee adequate protection of sensitive data that companies must protect, but obviously, these software have significant costs that should not be imposed on the employee. So, these mechanisms should be activated to allow an optimal situation.
Radio News 24: Exactly. Okay, so the use of personal devices in the case of remote working, especially during this coronavirus experience, pointed out this gap in many sectors, I would say, including the educational ones, on which there is a lot to say.
Sebastiano Piccinno: Yes, yes. In the school environment it has to be said that the institutions reacted very well to a situation that they were not properly ready for, and they did it with the tools at their disposal at that moment. They had to reinvent their job because education in person is one thing and teaching online is another. So, the schools didn’t have the adequate administration tools and teachers and students had to prepare themselves independently, with all the difficulties of the circumstances, because not everybody has access to the necessary tools to the same degree.
Radio News 24: And in the case of children, parents had to face many situations.
Sebastiano Piccinno: Right, right it was complicated, but all things considered, we have been able to proceed.
Radio News 24: Well then, your role becomes fundamental because it is a reference point to many parties, because there are many opportunities given the appropriate knowledge and the right advice — like those that can come from your experience and obviously there are many dangerous aspects. We were just talking about unprotected networks that could result in cyber attacks to sensitive data, so there are many responsibilities for everyone. For those who want to know more about it, and possibly contact you, we can provide references, if we have contacts such as the website, social network pages…
Sebastiano Piccinno: Of course, of course. Absolutely, such as our social networks. There are our pages on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin of Right People Group, my personal Linkedin profile, Sebastiano Piccinno and of course, our website: www.rightpeoplegroup.com.
Radio News 24: Well, dear listeners, we have all the references, like the website… and obviously, I’ll refer you to the social network pages. Let’s visit them, let’s hit the like button, which never hurts, and we could also share.
Sebastiano Piccinno: Absolutely.
Radio News 24: In fact, we can also share this interesting interview with Sebastiano Piccinno on the phone with us in video form on the social networks. Thank you, Sebastiano.
Sebastiano Piccinno: Thank you, thank you guys for the invitation.
Radio News 24: Well, we continue with our many hosts and stories with On Air.