4 Trends Driving Our Future – Webinar Clips by Topic

In this post we split our recent webinar into 4 clips focusing on separate topics.

Click on the links below to view each topic on our youtube page.

Thanks for visiting!


4 Trends Driving Our Future – Recorded on October 22, 2020

Trend 1 – The Process of Adapting to COVID-19 – 5:15 – Chris Morino

Trend 2 – Remote Work Nucleus, Secured and Productive – 7:21 – Jason Stitt

Trend 3 – Age Demographics and our Changing Workforce – 6:20 – Chris Morino

Trend 4 – Business Intelligence, the Cultural Divide to the Bottom Line– 3:46 – Jason Stitt


If you have any questions or feedback on the content from this webinar, please send us a note at GreatThings@itforce.ca

Welcome Everyone, I am so glad you could join us today

I am Jason Stitt, Co-Founder of IT Force, and joining me is Chris Morino from our Executive team who will also be covering some of the topics today.

We also have Master and Commander behind the curtain, Matthew Hache as some of you know as our Project Manager.

A little bit about our production today, we are hosting Microsoft Teams Live Event with 2 presenters, and 1 production manger, from 3 different locations.

Any time you have a question please send it through the Q and A window, found in your navigation bar, so we will see them on our side and will address your questions after reviewing the 4 trends.

Today in our Teamsinar we will be focusing on 4 major trends we believe affecting organizations over the next 18-24 months and beyond:

-The process of adapting to COVID-19

-Remote Work Nucleus: Secured and Productive

-Transformation of culture due to age demographic changes

-Business Intelligence and the Cultural Divide to the Bottom Line

Also this recording will be available online, I will send everyone the link once it is available.

So Lets get started with Chris Morino and The process of adapting to COVID-19.


Thank you Jason and good morning everyone.

Before we begin, a couple of quick acknowledgements, thank you to our team, Jason and Matt for their efforts in preparing this event. Thank you to our Clients. Our research and our opinions are based on hours and hours of discussion, deliberation, and collaboration with our clients. We certainly wouldn’t be in a position to share this information today with our client relationships.

So our objective is to provide value to you the viewer – and even if these topics are familiar, you can confirm that someone else thinks like you, and can hear a little about our client experiences.

We start with the obvious. We can’t host a session like this without addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on our businesses and personal lives.

Mckinsey & Company reports that ten years of e-commerce adoption growth occurred from April to June, 2020

Satya Nadella MS CEO, reports MS witnessed 2 yrs of Digital Transformation in 2 months, beginning in April 2020

Countless business models suffered near-catastrophic disruption leading to new processes like curbside pickup, contactless deliveries, home-based exercise networks

Bobby Cameron, at Forrester Research, recognized three modes of response to the pandemic:

Survival – critical drop in demand forcing an in-depth look at the cash forecast vs revenue decline; and having an urgent need to plan how to maintain operations

Adaptive – disruptions like how to deliver virtual customer service or how to manage work from home teams diverted intended investments; priorities changed overnight

Growth – a rise in demand for products or services

The advice Forrester provided from an IT budget perspective was starkly different for each mode.

In Survival mode, we eliminate new spending, we consider temporary layoffs, and we examine our service contracts, possible negotiation lower fees for longer terms

In Adaptive mode, we accelerate strategic spend, like a shift to cloud in favour of old hardware, rationalize our applications, and delay large projects

Cameron then advises in Growth mode, we economize our spend with critical vendors and invest in technology directly support growth products or services

We saw examples of all three modes within our Client base through the summer, but the story wasn’t so clear cut. Regardless of mode, the leaders we met always stressed a long-term strategic view.

In the difficult case of layoffs, leaders still emphasized strategic technology adoption to accomplish more with less.

In the case of a shift to work-from-home, leaders made two decisions, how do I enable operations immediately? Then quickly moved to build strategies to ensure these new capabilities were secure, scalable, even if that required changing the initial solution.

Invariably, we heard from our Clients a deep and Canadian concern for their employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our business and lives for the foreseeable future and exposed our inflexibilities.

The key trend: Digital capabilities are critical in 2020.

The overwhelming majority of firms see technology as the key enabler to business now and in the future. They also recognize the corresponding need to constantly improve their employee skill-set.

Double-down on your digital technology strategy to ensure you have the capabilities and flexibility to navigate your business through our next unexpected disruption.

That leads us to Jason’s next topic.



As an IT firm, we had a very busy March and April connecting with all our clients to get them working remotely for their users that required working from home.

What we saw is that we had to move everything forward at lightning speeds to a Remote Workspace environment. So, where does this leave organizations with all that has changed and what are the new risks?


According to data gathered by LearnBonds, 68% of major organisations, public and private, plan to increase their cybersecurity spending as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, to address the fact that these new circumstances created a huge space for cybercriminals to exploit the crisis.

From our efforts helping our clients migrate to a Remote WorkSpace, both quickly and securely, we classified our clients into 4 major infrastructure groups. Which then helped us identify and address their security risks. The 4 major categories are:

-“On-Premise” with little to no remote or cloud activity.

-Hybrid” few users had remote access, and their e-mail was already in the cloud.

-“Private Cloud” all users could access their data directly or remotely

-“Public Cloud” all users can access all information regardless of location, and their data resides in an enterprise collaborative cloud environment. Such as:



-Amazon Web Services

As you climb through each level, we found that less work was required to migrate as the organization already had the benefits of the security and technology that came with each infrastructure group.

We found clients that began in the first infrastructure group, “On-Premises,” required much more effort and were at higher risk.

Now that all these changes have occurred and we have settled into the new “normal,” it’s even more critical that organizations review their security and productivity levels to ensure they are optimal for their organizations. Through this process, we devised a 26 point checklist that we applied to each of our current clients to confirm that all aspects of the remote workspace are both secure and productive.

For those of you on this webinar who are not one of our IT Force family, please reach out if you would like to discuss our 23-point checklist.

But that now brings us to the second concern that we identified amongst ourselves and our clients, employee engagement.

Now that most organizations have Remote access up and running either through a Collaborative Work Nucleus or by direct entry and your teams are either full or part-time remote, you then wonder how you keep your teams productive?


Harvard Business Review summarized an Ernst and Young study of 1,000 employed Americans and found that more than 40% of U.S. respondents reported feeling physically and emotionally isolated in the workplace.

The results of our survey pointed to a straightforward solution: establish more opportunities for colleagues to check in with one another

HBR found that 39% of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging when their colleagues check in with them, both personally and professionally…and In turn, this yields tremendous benefits at scale from engaged employees, to client retention, and better financial results.

Participants in a Standford Study who had been primed to act collaboratively stuck to their tasks 64% longer than their solitary peers whilst also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels, and a higher success rate.

Here a few tips we developed at IT Force to address the Remote Workspace engagement and culture:

-Have every morning department meetings to

-Check-in personally on each other

-Identify areas that are blockers and how we can help

-Remove the issue to help the team member

-Weekly Staff meetings with Video On

-Creates full engagement across the team

-Full focus on topics in hand

-Social Distant Events

-A virtual drink

-A Virtual tours of a team member’s home

-On a Friday afternoon, we had our team virtually meet for a “Tour and A Drink” event. We held our favourite drink, in-hand, while we toured our homes.

-Finally, we have Team groups where team members can continuously communicate and ask questions to the Team freely, improving response time to questions and maintaining employee connections.

We hope our 23 point checklist and our tips on engagement will help organizations get the most out of a safe and productive Remote Workspace.


Thanks Jason

Age Demographics & our changing workforce

Millennials: born between 1980 and 1996, or 2000, they are the first generation to grow up carrying the sum total of human achievement in their hip pocket on their deeply personalized smart phone.

Accustomed to immediate results, elegant and flawless app design, and constant feedback or gratification from their peers and pursuits. They demand high-performance  technology from every facet of their life, and so they are uniquely positioned to driving digital transformation.


-10 million Canadians are aged 44-64

-Another 10 million Canadians are aged 24-44

-But only 3.5 million Canadians are aged 18-24

-4 billion smartphone subscriptions by 2025

More commonly now, strategic discussions with our clients include how to transition from a retiring workforce to a millennial workforce.

In Canada, our pool of workers will shrink by up to 10M people in the next decade, the notion of having a single employer for the span of your career has disappeared. There are fewer workers coming to replace existing roles, which will have a number of consequences:

-Gone is the resolute nature of employee loyalty

-Millennial workers have a distinctly different value set: 

-Instant metrics

-Social collaboration to accomplish work tasks

-A sense that their work is important

-Instant commerce

-A need to utilize their own, personalized device or personalize a workplace device

This trend creates a particular challenge: how to build an increasingly essential digital culture that bridges the age demographic?

How do you balance the need to streamline and fundamentally change mindsets and toolsets for a retiring workforce but still attract and retain critical new young talent in an increasingly competitive marketplace?

Many companies are just now understanding the depth to which collaboration platforms (M365, Slack/AWS, Google) can bridge the divide of technology and workflow.

Collaboration platforms deliver on the Millenial expectation of ‘always-on,’ and resemble the tools they use to manage their personal lives. These platforms also allow for common-sense workflows that will appeal to an older demographic.

Examples of these workflows are virtual daily check-ins or simple dashboard metric reporting, published without any action required by the end-user.

Collaboration platforms allow a business to install fundamental building blocks for cultural change that can be visualized and ultimately, intuitive enough for entire teams to adopt regardless of age.

In closing, I’ll list some of those building blocks:

-Provide multiple channels of training to speed adoption by a varied audience

-Seminars, Lunch & Learns, virtual social events

-Written policy and procedure

-Ultra-short How-To Videos

-Develop immersive and inclusive daily routines grounded in technology which Jason described in the previous section

-And finally, a consistent message from the top

-Organizations that adapt quickest are the best positioned to lead growth under any market conditions

Let’s move back to Jason for our final topic.


Business intelligence comprises the strategies and technologies used by organizations for the data analysis of business information. We believe Realtime data will affect the bottom line and the cultural divide inside an organization.

Realtime data is essential to having continuous real-time information around critical metrics. These metrics are what the organization has agreed to monitor in their Company ScoreCard and help achieve their goals from their 90-day To-Do list to their 3-5 year vision. Having these metrics at all levels from Executive, to front line workers, helps with the bottom line and the cultural divide by connecting everyone to a single purpose to drive the vision. Having this information in real-time also allows the employees to see their ongoing performance continuously.

Harvard Business Review states that ” traditional (annual) performance appraisals have been abandoned by more than a third of U.S. Companies.”

33% of organizations are no longer relying on year-old data for employee performance analysis, but more on continuous feedback through metrics that help employees self-manage tasks and outcomes by having constant feedback at their fingertips. As the new generation of workers becomes the majority of the workforce, it is crucial to connect with them in ways that are already familiar to them. They have grown up in a world of continuous and constant feedback and expect similar from their managers and employers.

Forbes States that: “By 2025, millennials (the generation born between 1980 and 2000) will make up 75% of the world’s working population.”

To be able to give millennials, at the touch of glass, their ongoing performance metrics will allow them to focus on what’s important, such as:

-The balance between personal and professional life with the constant reinforcement of their contribution to the company

-Get constant individual recognition of their efforts through public dashboards that align with corporate vision and culture

-Keep them connected to their teams and company-wide progress on the meaningful corporate mission

-An increase in self-management reduces the need for traditional authority structures that many millennials do not value

Forrester’s research shows that firms with advanced insights-driven business capabilities are 2.8x more likely to report double-digit year-over-year growth than firms that are still at the beginner stage.

By keeping your team, whether it be your current employees or the new up-and-coming millennials, connected and informed, we believe it will affect both your culture and, ultimately, your bottom line.

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