How has your organisation managed with the many changes that we have experienced over the past couple of years, and are you equipped to handle the changes that we can expect in the near future?
Having a resilient business means that you can work efficiently in the present and can adapt to future change at short notice.
The weight of the pandemic forced many businesses into a state of shock and they were forced to quickly adapt to remote work. But working remotely is not a new concept; it is part of the digital revolution that has been underway for some time.
Pandemics aside, there are also other reasons for building a resilient business:
It has been proven that employees can be highly productive when working from home.
Long before the pandemic many organisations had started operating with flexible hours or hybrid work environments (a combination of working in the office and working remotely). New technologies, automation and a shift in mindset made this possible.
Thanks to Covid-19, almost all organisations that were able to adapted to a completely remote workforce in 2020-2021. Now that office work can resume in parts of the world, some of the most successful global organisations, such as LinkedIn, are choosing to remain flexible, whereas others, such as Apple and Amazon, are postponing their return to office.
Many people feel that they work very well from home, especially those in technical jobs that require less teamwork. They enjoy the freedom and flexibility it gives them, as well as the reduced time spent commuting and attending an excessive number of meetings. However, they thrive on going into the office occasionally when collaboration efforts are truly required for specific tasks and for social bonding.
Taking it a step further, some workers are complete “digital nomads” that can work from anywhere in the world and never need to set foot in an office.
It is unlikely that office environments will become completely obsolete, but perhaps certain industries will operate with a fully nomadic workforce one day. It is worth considering what the new global standards will become, what will work well for your own organisation, and what will attract and retain the talent that you require.
We all know the effect that Covid-19 has had on organisations for many months now.
Here in South Africa, we were also faced with devastating civil unrest in July 2021 which saw many organisations’ physical workplaces go up in flames, leaving them to rely on cloud backups, and in some cases sincerely regretting not having backups at all.
There are countless other unspeakable disasters that should not be overlooked. The frequency of natural disasters is rising in many parts of the world; cyber threats have increased (although many of these are manageable if your IT security is maintained); and local criminal activity is high in some cities.
A resilient business will be able to pick up where things left off right before major disruptions occur, albeit from a different location or with a different device, and suffer minimal downtime and no data loss.
Cloud computing is no longer a trend: it is commonplace and those that are not using it may be at risk of becoming obsolete.
What other technological advances are coming our way?
Having an IT expert on your side means that you will be kept abreast of digital advances and have the knowledge required to make adaptations where necessary. Further to this, relying only on highly reputable, globally recognised service providers (think Microsoft) means that your services and tools will be progressive and constantly evolving to ensure that you are not be left behind.
GZD's four C's for future-proofing your business:
Employees can only perform if their work environment is conducive to productivity. A reliable, secure internet connection and secure end-points ensure that your company’s information is not compromised.
- Uncapped, unshaped, high speed, reliable internet is absolutely vital for any organisation, whether based in office or remotely.
- Identify and manage any risks associated with online connectivity. You need a firewall to monitor and control network traffic, and antivirus software to prevent, detect and remove cyber threats.
Keep your team connected and productive by ensuring that all employees have access to secure communication platforms.
Email – Microsoft 365:
- Reliable email services are vital for internal and external company communication.
- We also recommend Mimecast’s email management and security features, ensuring that unwanted email threats are kept at bay.
- This software-based telephone system allows you to make calls via landline or mobile from anywhere in the world, while using a secure internet network. You can go from your office, to your car, to your home while never being out of contact and you can keep the same phone number along the way.
Ensure that all employees have access to the same, secure communication and file sharing platforms in order to collaborate effectively and maintain flow of work from anywhere.
Holding regular meetings and discussions via a video platform is essential for team morale and productivity, even when in-person meetings are not possible.
- This offers your team efficient file sharing and collaboration tools that will increase productivity, whether you are working remotely or in an office. All you need is a secure internet connection and you will be able to collaborate with ease.
- Features include file sharing, productivity tools, email and calendar tools, security and more.
- Microsoft has tailored their Office 365 environment to offer efficient collaboration across organisations, regardless of location or device, and Teams is a large part of that. It is a single app that brings together several tools and communication methods and provides a hub for collaboration.
- Video conferencing has quickly become the new normal for meetings. It has the power to bring people together, simplify collaboration, improve efficiency and help you save money, but there are also many other benefits of using Teams.
4. CLOUD COMPUTING
In order to enable a remote workforce, or in the case of an unexpected emergency, your data and applications should be accessible from anywhere.
With cloud services being simple to adopt, scalable, adaptable and available on demand, there is no excuse not to be operating from the cloud.
Further to that, any level of downtime or data loss equals a loss in customer confidence, damaged brand, or lost revenue. You should always backup 3 copies of your data to ensure an effective and reliable disaster recovery plan.
You can host all of your applications and systems in the cloud, which can then be accessed securely from any device, for example:
- Windows 365 – Desktop
- Microsoft 365 – One drive, SharePoint
We trust CLOUD29 with all of our cloud hosting requirements.
- We recommend an offsite backup and recovery system for your local devices, your on-premise backup and your cloud backup. Our disaster recovery plans are fully managed and your backups can run automatically in the background without you even knowing.
Speak to us, we will put you on the right path to creating a resilient business.
Our team are experts at assessing your current IT environment, and will advise on how best to incorporate the above elements into your own IT strategy, ensuring that you can withstand the changes that lie ahead.
It is worth noting that while none of the above is possible without having suitable equipment to work with, your equipment is not a key element of a resilient business: if it gets destroyed, you should be able to pick up from another device with relative ease.
Your team members can either use one portable device, or keep a desktop in the office and sync the same content to a mobile device out of office. GZD can advise on suitable products and procure these items for you.
Due to the complexity of each unique IT environment, at GZD we assess our client’s unique requirements and provide customised solutions using one or more of our key partners.
Get in touch with us for your own tailored solution.