Technology remains crucial in seeing us through Covid-19. Everyday operations have changed across all sectors and organisations, often at short notice. Employees have pivoted to working from home, and businesses have shown resilience as they continue to trade without in-person contact – all with the help of technology. In this article, we share five lessons we all learnt during 2020, and what the future looks like for businesses and the technology they use.
Business continuity plans are essential
It would be an understatement to say that the events of 2020 were unexpected. Many organisations were caught off guard by the sudden need to pivot their business model.
Some of the main problems included staying in touch with colleagues and customers without desktop phones and face to face interaction, sourcing the right equipment for employees, and being able to access data without being on premises.
Many businesses found out the hard way that business continuity is about so much more than regular backups in case of data loss – whilst backup and disaster recovery are crucial, it is best to try and mitigate the need for them.
Business continuity plans are a proactive way of minimising risk and downtime, helping you plan for contingencies that could affect your organisation. Should a disaster occur, you then have a series of considered steps to take in order to adapt to the situation.
This year has taught us to expect the unexpected and invest in future technology trends. Going forwards, business continuity plans should be comprehensive enough to account for any crisis that could bring business to a halt – however unlikely it may be.
Working from home is doable
Ten months into working from home and having limited social contact, we’ve all adapted to video calls and new communication tools. The amount of daily Microsoft Teams users more than doubled in just the first month of the pandemic, rising to 115 million daily active users by October.
Previously, working from home full-time was relatively uncommon. The idea that an entire workforce could carry out their duties solely from home would have been a bold one this time last year. But tools like Microsoft Teams, which provide a platform for instant messaging, audio and video calls, have helped replicate the everyday communications we have at work.
It’s not for everyone, but statistics suggest that most people want to continue working from home at least some of the time post-pandemic. This presents a huge shift in terms of how businesses will operate going forward and the future technology necessary to make such changes.
Remote security should always be a priority
Although working from home has plenty of benefits, one of its drawbacks is the increased threat of cyberattacks. In the rush to get set up and working from home, not all businesses considered the differences between the office and the home when it comes to cyber security.
Personal devices are not designed for professional use, and are more likely to be lost, stolen or infected with malware. This could be a problem if employees start using these devices to access corporate data. Plus, when working in a more relaxed home environment, employees are often less vigilant against potential scams than they would be in the office.
When pivoting to remote work, one of the main priorities we had for our clients was ensuring that their data was not at an increased risk of compromise.
We introduced cyber security packages specifically for remote working, including features like Cloud Network Security which protects users and their devices and User Awareness Training to support users in reducing the risk of cyber threats.
Communication is key
Platforms like Microsoft Teams are ideal for staying in touch with colleagues.
However, many businesses were at a loss when it came to keeping in contact with customers and other external callers.
To combat this, we launched Teams Talk, an all-in-one unified comms solution that enables you to embed your phone system in Microsoft Teams.
Teams Talk streamlines internal and external communications into one platform, so you no longer have to use multiple systems. Plus, with plenty of features such as PCI-compliant call recording, fraud prevention and inclusive minutes, it’s great value for money.
Post-pandemic, we predict that many more businesses will adopt this kind of technology in the future as a way of offering a seamless home/office balance – it just goes to show that remote work doesn’t have to be difficult to manage.
Investing in future technology will help businesses thrive
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of adaptability. By keeping up to date with the latest technologies and systems, businesses can stay ahead of the pack and ensure they are prepared for whatever is to come.
In a matter of months, the time taken to adopt new digital technologies has accelerated by several years. What’s more, the largest shifts of the crisis (e.g., remote work and customer interactions, cloud migration, online purchases/services, increased spending on data security) are the ones most likely to stick around.
Businesses that had already invested in modern communications, device security and cloud infrastructure were better prepared for remote working. Going forward, the need for digital transformation and demand for faster access to data will continue to increase. This will enhance the industry’s focus on accessibility through next-generation cloud and connectivity solutions.
Futureproof your IT and communications
Has your business been affected by remote working? Our friendly team are on hand to help with all IT and communications issues, including cloud infrastructure, telephony and cybersecurity. To find out more or speak with a specialist, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Covid-19 one year on: Free webinar
Event: FREE WEBINAR: Resilience through technology: COVID-19 one year on
Duration: 30mins + 15mins Q&As
Location: This is a recorded virtual event that has already happened