We’ve all taken massive strides in the last eighteen months to adapt, pivot, survive and, for some, to thrive. Every business has done its best to adapt the way people and things work to fit with the circumstances. But, what now? Do we try and get back to where we were before, or do we keep moving forward and continue to embrace the challenge of change?
In our high-tech world, nothing stays the same for long and we don’t expect tomorrow to look like today. At KCS, we are always looking to the future – and we’d urge you to do the same.
We’ve supported businesses to stay connected with team members, customers and suppliers – and in some cases, family members, too.
Now the world is reopening, we see people settling back into more familiar routines. But the big message we want to share with you today is: we’ve made it this far – let’s not step backwards.
Who’s helping you to navigate change?
We know more change is probably a very long way down your wish list! We understand. However, we are still seeing companies that are regressing into outdated systems, processes, and ways of working.
We still speak to people who are using outdated hardware that is physically installed within their offices, their primary concern being security. It’s simply not necessary anymore. Cloud solutions are flexible, infinitely scalable and, when set up correctly, remarkably affordable and highly secure.
In truth, the future for any business involves operating at least partially in the cloud. The past twelve months has taught us all that we need to be agile and able to adapt at a moment’s notice.
Regardless of world events, remote working – or at least the ability to work away from your office – is here to stay.
To continue operating remotely, staff members need to have laptops rather than desktop computers, services need to be securely accessible using just an internet connection, and phone systems need to be modernised so that you can continue to maintain contact with your customers and supply chain, even when you’re not at the office.
All of this puts considerable demand on business IT infrastructure. And we must be ready to respond.
The most cost-effective and time-efficient way to implement an appropriate solution is to do it proactively. If you wait until it’s needed, you’ll be too late.
What’s expected of you, and your business?
A trend that is clear to us is the rise in customer expectations.
As people of all walks of life and technical ability have embraced videoconferencing, virtual exercise classes and more, it has without a doubt raised the bar on people’s expectations. After all, if you can join a yoga class without leaving your home, you’ll expect to be able to speak to your service providers – regardless of the state of world affairs.
To ignore the pressing need to improve your systems is a mistake. It could jeopardise customer confidence, and ultimately impact your recovery.
How are your team adapting?
Now, turn your attention towards your workforce. You’re probably starting to welcome people back into the office full time. Customers are flowing back through your doors. The sense of normality is being restored.
Or, perhaps your business is wrestling with the challenges of how to bring people back to work. Some of your workforce may be reluctant to return, having embraced the working-from-home lifestyle. Others may be concerned for health reasons. At the other end of the spectrum, team members may be absolutely clamouring to get back into the office and restore their connection with their teammates. Most businesses with a team of over ten people are likely to have a combination of all of these.
So how do we accommodate everybody and meet the needs of the business?
An analysis by McKinsey of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, across nine countries, predicted that “hybrid models of remote work are likely to persist”. Many global organisations are planning hybrid strategies. BP announced that it expected office workers to stay at home two days per week, even as restrictions ease.
By employing a hybrid model, companies open the doors to new talent who would not have been able to physically move closer to their premises. It also provides an incentive for workers looking for a different work-life balance.
There are clear advantages for businesses considering these options, but there are some significant disadvantages, too.
We know that team morale is negatively impacted by poor-performing tech. There is nothing more frustrating than a system that just doesn’t work properly: team meetings starting late every day because people can’t get connected, or the hassle of trying to return a call while masking your personal mobile number from a customer, or trying to access a file that’s not available when you’re outside your regular office, for security reasons.
Your desk is now essentially a laptop – perhaps a headset, too, if you have integrated telephony (which we highly recommend).
In our opinion, anybody working in an office environment should be able to pick up their desk and move seamlessly to another location, be that another office in the same building, working from home, or working remotely when travelling on business. Whatever the reason, systems should be accessible and work in exactly the same way – no matter where you are. And if the power goes off at the office, or you need to send your team home, your IT risk doesn’t change and is just as available.
- Your tech should work.
- Your tech should be reliable.
- It should be easy to move from office to home and back any time.
- Everything should be safe and secure.
Compromising on any of this is just not necessary. The solution is putting cloud first at the front of your IT strategy, and supporting your legacy offices systems through the journey of becoming agile.
So, how do you get the support you need to be agile, up to date and ready for anything? The simple solution is to pick up the phone. If you haven’t yet embraced cloud as part of your strategy, or if your current solution isn’t up to scratch, we’ll show you how to get set up for long-term success, and we’re confident it will reduce your costs.