Emerging Technologies for 2022
on August 17, 2022
By Jeremy Kauten, CIO, Senior VP of Information Technology, VGM Group, Inc.
The onset of the pandemic in 2020 disrupted “business as usual” regarding technology. Technical teams across the globe released technology overnight to allow for changes in the environment. Work-from-home capacity increased. Virtual meetings became regular. And customer service was digitized. All this has changed technology expectations forever.
Where do we go from here, and what does 2022 look like for your company’s technology? Each organization is unique, but based the current trends there are four key areas to focus on first.
1. Hybrid Remote Workforce Technology
Employee expectations have changed. Technology follows people and allows them to work from, well, anywhere. If businesses don’t meet employee expectations, they may take their skills elsewhere. Companies should prioritize mobility to retain and maximize talent. Giving employees a choice to work remotely, both in and out of the office, will generate new technology challenges that are different from a meeting where all employees are remote or in the office.
Hybrid work will take additional technology investments. Conference rooms and workstations installed before the pandemic are likely near obsolete. Most, if not all, were not set up with hybrid work as a priority. Those in-room attendees are able to hear and see each other, but those remote will experience less of the conversation and not be as connected to the team, group, or conversation.
One item of note is that many referral sources, as well as HIPAA rules and regulators, allowed for various remote technologies such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoTo Meetings, Google Meet, and even Apple’s FaceTime during the pandemic. Recently, many of these same entities are limiting the systems they support and may cause your company to use different virtual tools based on the customer’s selection and security requirements. FaceTime and Google Meet are getting the negative attention of auditors and will likely not be considered acceptable for PHI transmissions going forward.
When investing in new technology, prioritizing mobility and hybrid work will help organizations find diverse and untapped talent through accessibility and accommodations.
2. Cloud Applications
Throughout 2020 and 2021, many organizations adopted cloud storage to access files remotely. Many of these tools were not used widely due to concerns of HIPAA or referral sources restricting such usage for patient data. During the pandemic, HIPAA auditors and referrals sources lowered requirements temporarily for use of these platforms. Examples are DropBox, Box.com, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive to name a few.
Health systems and payers are now starting to dictate which cloud platforms are acceptable to transmit their data. Some approve Box.com; others require Microsoft OneDrive. Anticipate needing to react to your larger clients based on their specifications. The entire Google Suite (Google Drive, Google Meet) is getting greater scrutiny from referral sources, while Box.com and Microsoft OneDrive are becoming acceptable by many security assessments conducted by referral sources and payers. When using such tools, be sure to enable as many, if not all, security controls that are native to the platform. MFA (multi-factor authentication) is a must. Locking down access to your VPN or approved IP addresses is also very important. Don’t assume that security is built natively into the application. Review what is available and use it.
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This article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Growing Your Business With Data and Technology. To read the full article and more like this, download your copy of the playbook today!