By Owen Smith, Sales Manager
2020 has seen technology storm into boardrooms and leadership meetings across the country, place its feet on the table, and smugly announce ‘you need me’. And technology was right. Organisations who have been able to continue operating through 2020 have been able to do so because of technology.
Data, already the world’s most valuable commodity, has continued its rapid ascent of organisational priorities. Video meetings are now a daily occurrence; “you’re on mute” has been heard more than office good mornings. Hybrid-working has moved from an awkward question to a proven operational model.
Despite lives being flipped upside down, research shows productivity is up. A research project conducted by Stanford University showed a 13% increase in productivity as a direct result of home working. In a world of continued uncertainty one thing is certain: change is here to stay.
2020 was, for many, about digital change out of necessity. 2021 is about taking back the digital wheel, and here’s our recommended top 3 priorities you should be focusing on:
- Collaborative technology
- Your core IT systems and infrastructure
- Your data – storage, management, access
Problem: Being on Microsoft Teams is a great start, but it does not constitute a tick in the box next to collaboration. Effective collaboration starts with the platform and progresses to become an organisational culture which is built to achieve objectives regardless of physical locations.
Start with these questions – what does effective collaboration look like for you? what are your business objectives, and how can technology support?
Solution: Collaboration solutions which we have produced have since provided great results across our client base in 2020 including:
- Microsoft Teams as a productivity hub, harnessing the collaborative power of Microsoft 365.
- SharePoint Intranets, as a digital HQ for communication, company news, document management & more.
Your core IT systems and infrastructure
Problem: In April, homes worldwide became offices. Personal laptops became work computers. Home connectivity was no longer confined to Netflix and Prime streaming. Accessing essential work data was reliant on VPN’s working as intended. As email inboxes started to fill, other communication channels dependent on physical office presence were no longer fit for purpose.
This was the reality for many, but it does not need to be the future.
Solution: We supported a number of clients to adapt to the ‘new normal’ by implementing solutions including:
- Microsoft 365: Secure access to emails, files, and date from anywhere, across devices. Productivity and collaboration at their fingertips and no remote connection required
- Cloud Migration: moving IT estate to the cloud and giving access, security, scalability, and performance to organisations. Removing hardware dependency and reducing CapX
- Cloud telephony: 3CX allows our clients to maintain required communication channels without requirement for physical phones or an office presence. No calls missed = no opportunities lost
- Backup & Disaster Recovery strategy to ensure their data is safe, secure and recoverable in the event of disaster
Your Data – storage, management, access
Problem: Data stored on local machines; Files being sent via email with no visibility; Numerous document versions in circulation; No management information; The list of data-centred issues goes on.
Data problems are like parking fines – they need to be actioned and delaying the process simply extends the associated headaches.
Solution: The good news is these issues are common and can be solved. Data challenges are unique for every organisation, but here are some of the solutions we have implemented in 2020:
- Microsoft 365 and SharePoint to manage data structures, data access and version control
- Microsoft Teams to support data sharing, co-authoring of documents, and data collaboration
- Microsoft Power Platform to support data management, automate data workflows, create data dashboards, and transform data from a headache into a competitive advantage
When we say: “We’re here for your Digital Journey”, we mean it. Every organisation is on a digital journey, whether they realise it or not, and we’re here to guide you through it.
2020 has largely been about keeping up and reacting as best we can to an extraordinary rate of change and uncertainty. It has been a year like no other, but we’ve made it.
Here’s to 2021 and the opportunity to harness all that the last 12 months has taught us. It’s time to adapt and advance.