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Industry Panel Discussion Part 2: The Remote Workforce May Persist Post-COVID

Varenya Dingari
Varenya Dingari
Published on
March 1, 2023

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The Future of Business Digitization and Workforce webinar and panel discussion held in July 2020covered discussion topics from remote work to digital transformation and DevOps. Panelists included Sheila Jordan, Chief Digital Technology Officer of Honeywell, Fran Roshan, CEO of digital identity company Forgerock, and Ralph Loura, CIO for photonics manufacturer Lumentum. Declan Morris acted as a moderator.

This blog summarizes apart of the panel discussion.

Hiring in-house remotely attracts talent.

“During COVID I approved a strategy that moves us from outsourcing work to in sourcing it for our projects. This allows us to build technical depth as an organization and make sure we have the skills to run our data centers and work around new platforms.

“Its really about sustaining operating ability, allowing the team to turn around a CEO’s great idea in a couple of days. We are
focused on being a global, diverse organization at every level
so that we can deliver diverse thinking for the overall organization.

“Also, our HR team is extraordinary. We’ve done all of this hiring digitally from assessments to hiring and technical training. It’s a whole new experience and many of the people we’re hiring won’t see the physical office space for several

- Sheila Jordon, CDTO at Honeywell

Customer relationships will require a new approach.

“We previously did a lot of marketing and sales in-person with events and demos, but due to COVID, we decided to go digital with our big annual event. At first, we were worried that no one would want to go to another webinar, but we wound up reaching four times as many people. We spent less time in the event and less money on it yet got more people and better quality leads. So we’re never going back to the event-driven approach. “Sales is a bit more challenging, especially with large enterprise sales. People want to meet you and build relationships. We’re still learning how to best engage and be professional with digital selling. It’s been easier with existing customers.

Most of our customers are running solutions in the cloud. Teams aren’t physically located where their technology is anymore, so it’s been very smooth for our professional services to go remote.”

- Fran Rosch, CEO at Forgerock

Not everyone can work from home.

“A lot of the key work in our company is done in a lab with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment. I can’t ship these labs to people to work from home. I do have to bring certain people to the office, the people making things, but we’ve found a way to allow our quality engineers to do their work remotely. It’s not ideal or as good as doing things in person, but it's adequate.

“We've also got a team in Zurich trying to teach a team in Thailand how to build a product. Normally, that would mean engineers spending quality time helping operators set up and understand the nuances of the line. Instead, we’re using cameras and tablets to walk people through the line. Again, it’s not as good as being there in person, but it works.”

“In our case, we’re clearly going back to the office. We’re already there. So much of what we produce are essential products and therefore we have essential workers.”

- Ralph Loura, CIO at Lumentum

There are culture concerns that come with distributed teams

“I have a lot of concerns about not actually interacting with staff in the office. How do you instill a culture in people working from their homes?

- Ralph Loura, CIO at Lumentum
“I think it’s important to make a very explicit statement about culture. At Honeywell we have eight behaviors that drive the culture and we really use them every day to be accountable. Things like be courageous, be bold, think big, and make it happen. And this isn’t just a poster on the wall; it’s ingrained into the behavior of the company.”

- Sheila Jordon, CDTO at Honeywell
“Yeah, a crisis like this gives you the opportunity to work those cultural muscles. Anybody can have a good culture when times are good, but as we made these dramatic changes having a cultural foundation in place makes it easier and gives you an opportunity to step up and prove your values to your employees.”

- Fran Rosch, CEO at Forgerock
Watch the Future of Business Digitization and Workforce Webinar Here 

Read other parts of the panel discussion: 

Reach out to us today, if you’d like more information about how Opsera can help manage your tool chains!
Watch the Future of Business Digitization and Workforce webinar here. 

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