3 ways to get businesses ready for the post-pandemic future
Return to the office is on the horizon for lots of UK businesses and while many will be ready to welcome this (and their co-workers) with open arms, a large chunk of companies won’t be ready for what the post-pandemic working world has in store.
While our laptops, meeting rooms and copious amount of Pret coffees can resume as normal, our seating plans, computer systems and security processes will all likely look quite different thanks to the impact COVID-19 has had on our technical infrastructure.
Over the last 10 months, nearly a third* of businesses have said to
have fast-tracked their digitization plans to move to cloud computing
and be able to resume business as usual while working from home. In
preparation for future continuity events, it’s believed businesses will
only accelerate this further to prepare for and prevent the delay most
companies experienced in March last year.
Gartner have forecasted public cloud services to grow by 18.4%* in 2021. 70% *of organisations already using cloud expect to increase their spend in coming months.
It seems that while cloud in the past was a useful environment to store and access files – but not a necessity – the pandemic has shown new categories of business value for this environment that is proving the technology to be more vital.
So, what do we know for sure about businesses returning to the office and what impact will it have on their infrastructure?
1. Hybrid working raises data security risks and hefty supply chain overheads
With the widespread realisation that employees can operate from
anywhere – their home, a cafe, a bar – as long as they have the right
resources to hand, we’re all expecting a surge in hybrid working.
However, by-products of ‘working from anywhere’ and the resulting need
for secure access (such as via VPN, which can be a faff) is the impact
on end user performance that forces people to start saving work locally
instead, a data security nightmare.
With the impending risks of hardware failure and loss of equipment, now is the time to be talking to customers about the risks of saving data in this way, and highlighting the ease and security benefits of saving work to the cloud – keeping businesses connected to their critical data and applications wherever they are, from whatever system they’re working on.
2. Employees need increased (and reliable) bandwidth to support newer working processes
Although there might be fewer people in the office at any one time, it’s likely those that are there will require far more bandwidth than before. With voice calls transitioning to video thanks to the likes of MS Teams and Zoom, participants could need over 10x the bandwidth* just for this single aspect of their day-to-day role.What’s more, companies embracing this flexibility and providing homeworker VPN access to on premise critical systems, data, shared drives etc. will be significantly impacted. With more people working from home, more consistently, there is likely to be much higher volumes of traffic coming in and out of these data sources. So, whilst with an empty office may have posed no challenges across the last year, that might not be the case when supporting both models simultaneously.
Making business applications cloud-based will help users access them easier with far less disruption, as server resources and bandwidth can be more easily scaled to manage high-demand when it’s needed – keeping workforces operating as efficient as possible all the time.
3. Unsecure home systems are rife for cyberattacks
While a year in lockdown may have worked wonders on our productivity, the truth is that homeworkers that choose to stay working for home, may still be operating on unsecure home systems with unsecure connections and a high risk of cyberattack. Plus, connecting into office systems provides lots more avenues for attack from hackers, further putting businesses at risk.
It’s important to have a system in place to protect your workstation and to secure users against malware attacks, advise on critical patching vulnerabilities and backup all of the data on the device for a rapid restore when system failure occurs.
Regardless of whether a workforce is coming back in full force, staying home or shuffling somewhere between the two, it’s important their technology is there to support them and not hold them or their companies back. What is certain about the future is that businesses are unlikely to operate in the exact same way they did before which could throw up some unexpected constraints, that you are in a prime place to assist with.
These 3 use cases alone create the opportunity for bandwidth and bearer upgrade conversations in the short term, as well as digital transformation conversations including security, colocation and cloud opportunities.
Find out more about how our solutions can help you support your end customers – get in touch.