By Simon Kelf, CEO of BCN Group, talks about key technology and IT and how businesses can overcome and leverage them
Last year was undoubtedly tough for businesses across all industries and sectors, but those that were able to adapt not only survived but in some cases thrived.
This was certainly the case for organisations that had already undertaken a digital transformation as they had the structure, systems and processes in place to adapt.
Not only did this mean they were able to quickly transition to new ways of working, and in particular remote working, but most importantly without compromising on security.
Those businesses have been able to power through the first three months of the year with confidence and optimism that they can easily overcome any challenges they may face.
But what trends will impact businesses this year, especially from a technology, IT and cyber security perspective?
Remote working is here to stay:
Businesses were forced to send staff home when the first lockdown was imposed in March 2020, but it seems that employers and employees like the upsides it can offer.
However, this does mean that businesses need to ensure their technology and systems are properly set up for remote working and that the necessary security measures are in place.
To facilitate this and future-proof their businesses, organisations should undertake a full digital transformation and roll-out modern workplace solutions.
Modern workplace solutions are a must:
Implementing modern workplace solutions allows you to overhaul your fundamental business functions using IT to make you operate more seamlessly, efficiently and securely. Microsoft 365 in particular assists collaboration, communication and file sharing with simplicity.
Modern workplace solutions refer to cutting-edge IT products, software, functions and applications that support the day to day running of your business.
For example, the recommended remote working set-up uses Windows Virtual Desktop as it provides a centralised place for employees to access apps, files, data and communications.
This can be done from any device and from any location, making it the best solution for organisations with employees working from home as well as the office.
Windows Virtual Desktop includes built-in intelligent security so that systems are fully secure no matter where employees are working from.
This makes sure that apps are always up to date and that data is secure and compliant at all times. It also proactively detects threats and takes remedial action in real time.
All of this means that businesses can ensure employees are working as efficiently and securely as possible, regardless of whether they are at home, in a coffee shop or in the office.
Other notable tech that will transform your workplace is cloud telephony which aids conversation and makes it possible to speak to clients and colleagues anywhere from any device with ease.
Next level cybersecurity is required:
With more people working remotely, organisations are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacks if they have not adopted modern workplace solutions.
There has been a surge in successful breaches in recent months as cyber criminals exploit weakness in IT systems and processes resulting from people working from home.
This is why organisations must adopt modern workplace solutions to ensure they are fully protected at all times and from all locations.
One of the greatest upsides to these solutions is regarding system, data and communication security; Windows Virtual Desktop is unrivalled in the protections it offers.
This is due in part to the way it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning. For example, AI is used to track where users are located and the devices they are using.
If an employee tries to log-in from an unknown or unapproved IP, such as a coffee shop, additional layers of security will be activated before they can log-in.
Another example is impossible travel rules; if an employee logs-in from their smartphone in the UK and then logs-in from their laptop ten minutes later in Germany, a security warning is triggered.
This warning can be sent to the Chief Information Security Officer so they can evaluate the situation and take action based on the Microsoft information and data available to them.
Ultimately, this gives the business a lot more control and far greater insights over user authentication and where systems, apps, files and data are being accessed from.
Other security must haves include installing multi authenticators on all devices, regular staff training to ensure a heightened awareness for all working in your organisation.
Migrate to the cloud if you haven’t already:
To fully maximise the potential of modern workplace solutions, and to provide employees with seamless and secure remote working, you must migrate to a cloud-based solution.
If a full cloud migration does not work for your business, then hybrid solutions are also available. Regardless, they allow you to scale up and down bandwidth in line with demand.
That means if more staff are working from home you can increase bandwidth but then scale it down as and when employees return to the office later this year.
Cloud solutions also provide added levels of security so that you can be certain that data and communications are secure no matter where employees are working from.
These are just some of the trends that will impact businesses from an IT and technology perspective between now and the end of the year, but they can be overcome and leveraged so long as organisations are prepared.
And by undertaking digital transformation, they can do just that.