by James Green, Managing Director – IT Services
We are working in unprecedented times, no-one has a crystal ball, so predicting and preparing for the ‘next normal’ – or life after lockdown – is challenging. However, organisations urgently need to get ready for this next phase, and embracing technology is going to be crucial to that.
In recent years, it’s been recognised just how much digitalising can improve how your organisation performs for both employees and customers alike. This has happened across industries at varying rates, and this variation was evident in the way different companies were able to initially respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Early adopters of technology could immediately support remote working, keep up with quick changes in demand, mitigate risk and have more confidence around the continuation of their business. They have faced this challenge head on. Those who had been slower to weave technology into their operations have struggled. Until recently, many businesses had not experienced the critical event that would change their approach to IT investment. Now they have.
With the global move towards working from home more than in offices, benefits of such a model are now clear for many. Commutes have transformed from three hours on trains and tubes to a three minute walk downstairs, giving people time back. Companies can review the need for office space as they see how their employees cope at home, potentially reducing business expenditure. Due to this, remote working will become more common.
This demands secure, stable and scalable infrastructure and applications. Choosing the right IT Services will require you to know which accreditations to look out for (e.g. ISO 27001 for security and ITIL for management) and which frameworks to buy from (e.g. Crown Commercial Services and G –Cloud for the Public Sector). Not to mention any regulations you have to adhere to in your sector. That’s a long list of requirements to meet. For organisations that are not already technically proficient, ensuring all of these is difficult. Especially alongside your organisation’s actual day-to-day work.
Having to consider your organisation holistically under the pressure of the current situation can feel overwhelming. You don’t have to go through this alone. We specialise in end-to-end solutions, delivering IT that supports you. For example, our Adastra software drives 85 per cent of the NHS 111 service, and 75 per cent of this software is hosted in our Tier III aligned, ISO 27001 compliant and HSCN connected Data Centres. End-to-end, we ensure this vital software is available, secure and managed – scaling it to meet the changes in numbers of users.
In the Private Sector, companies are currently demonstrating each of the ways that the new measures affect businesses. Most offices are closed. This has caused a surge in reliance on the internet, whether that be websites for customers, or communication and collaboration tools for employees. There is also great pressure to reduce costs amidst market uncertainty, and ensure business continuity. Therefore, this is the optimum time to review your IT estate and switch from Capital Expenditure to Operational Expenditure. In this vein, many of our customers have moved to scalable, pay-as-you-use Cloud platforms and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, removing servers no longer required.
The last thing anyone needs right now is for a critical application to fail. Whether that be a government body struggling to fulfil payments, or a law firm not being able to share documents securely. As was true before the recent changes, the technology you invest in should ease the experience of your end users, not complicate it. Your IT should be consistent, even in the face of uncertainty.
In all of this, the people element is crucial. Your employees are working in brand new ways under a number of pressures, whether they’re operating significantly above capacity, or having to tackle working remotely whilst home-schooling children. They need to be able to rely on the technology they work with to keep communicating and collaborating securely and successfully.
Before the effects of Covid-19 created a temporary new normal, we were already talking about what technology can do to improve the ways we work – ensuring flexibility, productivity and continuity.
Covid-19 is a brand new problem, but in the face of this ongoing challenge, our specialist teams are here to support you. We are committed to understanding your position, where you want to go, and then creating and executing digital strategies that will drive you forwards. We can help you to prepare for, and thrive in, the next normal.