Digital Empathy – in everyday use of technology – and why it is good business (and good for business).

In our previous blog article, we spoke about how Microsoft has applied digital empathy when it comes to developing their products and new thinking. They put people and users first, and then design their products around this.

“We improve productivity and collaboration through inclusive user experiences. In an industry that has traditionally expected people to adjust their behaviour to conform to security policies, this is a transformative idea”. – Microsoft.

Digital acceleration and paradigm shifts

Digital acceleration will continue to influence the paradigm shifts that shape our lives. The past year of 2020/21 has seen a complete fast-track for remote working, and the swift waning of the traditional office in response to circumstance.

How does this affect everyday use of technology?

We’re experiencing rapid evolution. The reimagination of productivity. And the adoption of a comprehensive one-stop business productivity cloud, such as the premium version of Microsoft 365, which has empathetically been shaped around today’s IT needs. This comprises the old Office 365, and more. It covers all aspects of secure collaboration and easy connectivity:

· Comprehensive Office apps that most of us use every day (Word, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint, and more)

· Intelligent and secure cloud services – that include file sharing, online meetings

· Advanced security and cyberthreat protection

· Multiple Device management

· Access from anywhere, anytime

Secure Cloud services and teamwork – especially at a time of remote working

This is a time when people are forced to interact in many other ways, without human contact in the same office or meeting room. The loss of experiencing non-verbal forms of communication that form

part of the overall way of engaging between people is one of the areas where added digital empathy is required – from an emotional engagement perspective.

Through Microsoft Teams, online meetings and video calls can be hosted for up to 300 people – bringing together all your team’s chats, meetings, files, and apps so you can easily connect and collaborate from one place. From your desktop, or on the go.

It helps to keep you connected in the best way possible, and gives your team a chance to engage visually, have a laugh and a casual exchange in between the work part of the video meeting.

And, with the available options on cloud services, team sites can also be created to share information, content, and files throughout your intranet too using SharePoint.

A full, seamless, secure digital package.

Cybersecurity and Advanced Protection

Microsoft says: “Empathy isn’t just for in-person interactions. By applying empathy to digital solutions, we can make them more inclusive. In cybersecurity that means building tools that can accommodate a diverse group of people’s ever-changing circumstances. It also means developing technology that can forgive mistakes.

What this added cybersecurity means to your business

With our cloud-based approach to your IT infrastructure cyber security needs, we make sure that your business is protected against the full range of threats – from sophisticated threats hidden in email attachments and links, through to cutting-edge defences against ransomware, malware, viruses, and other malicious software.

Some protections include being able to remotely wipe company data from lost or stolen devices with Intune’s selective wipe. And part of safeguarding all of your devices means that we can set up controls on who has access to company information by applying restrictions and authorisations.

Keeping up with threats is a challenge for a business to tackle on its own

This is why it is essential to make use of business IT software and cybersecurity that is designed with people in mind. Consistent ease of use for your employees and customers is key. And let the software systems do the heavy lifting.

Microsoft says that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets. In addition to attacks becoming more sophisticated, threat actors are showing clear preferences for certain techniques, with notable shifts towards credential harvesting and ransomware, as well as an increasing focus on Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Among the most significant statistics on these trends:

· In 2019, Microsoft blocked over 13 billion malicious and suspicious mails, out of which more than 1 billion were URLs set up for the explicit purpose of launching a phishing credential attack.

· Ransomware is the most common reason behind incident response engagements from October 2019 through July 2020.

· The most common attack techniques used by nation-state actors in the past year are reconnaissance, credential harvesting, malware and virtual private network (VPN) exploits.

· IoT threats are constantly expanding and evolving. The first half of 2020 saw an approximate 35% increase in total attack volume compared to the second half of 2019.

Keeping up with every cyber threat is a digital community effort. We understand the challenges of feeling ‘all out at sea’ when it comes to knowing which to respond to, with what tools, when to implement, and how to get traction – and much more besides. And this is where we come in: let Aindale help make these choices for you, to build a secure and user-friendly business IT ecosystem, including all-important cybersecurity. And this is where the methodology of Microsoft has made it so much easier too – with the comprehensive business premium package that covers all factors, and approaching it with digital empathy for the user.

Digital empathy is good for business – and simply good business

Empathy is good business

Empathy inspires creativity

Designers think more creatively and produce more unique and effective products when their primary focus is to imagine how their potential customers might feel when using the products in question. It can be as simple as working through the process of how someone would intuitively seek the next step in a stock management process, or an online purchase process. The user journey.

Empathy builds trust

Every successful business knows that trust is the foundation of strong customer relationships. Building trust takes time, and when lost, is extraordinarily difficult to regain. Empathy is a powerful tool for a business when it comes to developing trusting relationships. A truly empathetic business perceives their customer’s needs as their own and effectively meets those needs.

Empathy ensures customer-centricity

“Thinking empathetically is an organic process. One’s feelings, needs and motivations are constantly in flux, and to empathise with another is to feel these changes along with them. So, while customers’ needs and the ways they feel about meeting them are ever-shifting, empathetic businesses feel, understand and react to these shifts as they occur, in real-time”.

“Success in business relies on only one thing – how well you can connect with your customers and your prospective customers. Everything else works off of this fact”.

The last word … for now!

One thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is to expect the unexpected. We can’t predict what the next disruption to business continuity will be—whether natural or manmade—but we do know organisations will confront other crises that require a rapid response.

Cloud technology helps organisations develop a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy and makes preparing for a wide range of contingencies less complicated due to its scalability. Tapping into big technology, such as Microsoft, we know that our business, and our customers, will benefit from strategies that focus on this rapid response, integrated and up-to-date cybersecurity – and on people who need to use this technology in mind.

Microsoft says that “facing a new economic reality, organisations will also be driven to reduce costs by adopting more of the security capabilities built into their cloud and productivity platforms of choice. This is why digital empathy is so critical to how we move forward as an industry. Whether it’s an organisation—or an individual—our ability to be empathetic helps us understand and adapt to the needs of others during times of disruption.

While digital acceleration will continue to influence the paradigm shifts that shape our industry, one thing remains the same; security technology is fundamentally about improving productivity and collaboration through secure, inclusive user experiences”.

And here at Aindale, being mindful of having digital empathy, whether it’s in our conversations, your expectations, the technology we use – as an IT provider, it’s also in how we set up your IT systems to be user-friendly for both your team and your customers.

Any questions?

Feel free to get in touch through the contact form on our website, we’ll be happy to talk to you.