New World Infrastructure

Survival of the 'fITtest' - 4 steps to surviving the new world of IT

Written by Emily Pipkin

According to pioneering evolutionary biologist, Charles Darwin, survival of the fittest means those who are ‘best adjusted to their environment will be the most successful in surviving.’

2020 has been a year of immense pressure and change for all UK organisations, and with change brings big adjustments. With some of these adjustments, you may confidently be thinking ‘we’ve managed that pretty well,’ others ‘we’re still working on that’ and then there’s the ones…’we haven’t started yet.’

It’s easy to reflect and only see the negatives. However, many of those changes are here to stay and have set the stage of the modern work environment.

It’s no longer the future workplace which needs to be flexible and highly connected, it’s the current workplace.  Any strategy for digital transformation must focus on this huge shift in modern workplaces. Each business leader's agenda should focus on enabling mobility, collaboration and access to the tools that employees need to contribute and innovate efficiently and securely with speed and simplicity.

As the world of work evolves at a rapid pace, the organisations who adapt and embrace the change that will flourish and grow, whilst others may become extinct!

Here are 4 steps you can take to meet the future with confidence and survive the new world of IT:

1) Support your teams with freedom of location

Remote working is now the new norm and has revolutionised the workplace. Your office is no longer your organisation and work is no longer constrained by a physical place or specific time of the day! Plus, there’s no sign of things returning to how they once were…

Did you know? 60% of Western European organisations will keep in place at least some of the newly implemented work-from-home policies and over 40% will reduce their office floor space as a consequence.

Technology is the key enabler of mobility and the new working environment has required investment in scalable enterprise level productivity and collaboration tools. Cloud-based tools such as Microsoft Teams and Office 365 improve employee communication, productivity, and teamwork by integrating all forms of collaboration into one single user interface. Anywhere can be an office thanks to Wi-Fi and mobile devices. As long as you are connected to the internet, you can connect to the files and people you need to stay productive.

2) Defend and protect your greatest assets

Ensuring your teams are connected and productive has always been a main priority, but we've now entered a new phase, fostering a hybrid digital workforce that maintains agility, collaboration and efficiency – securely.  Supporting your distributed hybrid workforce requires improving security for your employees wherever and whenever they work.

Although we cannot predict the future, if there is one thing for certain, it is the persistent threat of ransomware attacks. During the height of lockdown, opportunistic hackers swiftly took advantage of the challenges businesses were facing. Cybercriminals are seeking opportunities from users sharing files across networks to multiple locations.

SonicWall reported that in the first half of 2020, Microsoft Office files and PDFs made up a third of all new malicious files identified, and the number of office files exploded, increasing by 176% compared to the first half of 2019.

It’s never been more important to keep your workforce, networks, data and customers safe.  You need peace of mind that if the networks your team are connecting to from the devices they’re using are compromised, that your infrastructure and corporate resources won’t be at risk. In order to diminish vulnerabilities across your IT network your business needs robust protection for your endpoints. Endpoint encryption, email security, multi factor authentication and backup solutions all greatly reduce the security risks against your distributed workforce.

Compliance with regulatory requirements also needs to be at the top of your priorities. Sector-specific regulations, GDPR and Brexit have all introduced changes that require your full attention for total compliance. We can help you understand the cybersecurity and data protection rules that apply to your business. With a risk assessment of your current compliance controls and business processes, we can identify what additional security controls need to be in place to help you achieve and maintain compliance.

3) Keep your users connected with unified collaboration across distributed teams

The key to succeeding in the modern workplace environment – connecting people, machines, devices and applications. Whether you’re planning a long-term growth of remote working, phased return to the office or a hybrid distributed workforce, you need to implement technology that builds connections and boosts collaboration across multiple sites.

Moving to a hybrid work environment places new demands on your IT networks. As your teams collaborate across multiple locations and move between the office and home, new traffic patterns emerge. A distributed workforce across multiple sites can limit your ability to leverage applications that run on your internal network and, unfortunately, you can’t control the performance of your employee’s network.

However, you can safeguard your corporate network from performance issues by having the services in place to gain a secure connection to on-premises solutions, unlocking the tools your team rely on to maintain productivity wherever they’re working.

Our network provides stability to ensure you meet the increased demand that comes with a hybrid workforce whilst providing users reliable access to data and applications and keeping hackers out (where they belong!).

Are you in a quest for stronger employee engagement and customer experiences, greater productivity and business agility? We can support your operations with scalable, secure and resilient solutions for your network connectivity. Effective collaboration helps organisations work smarter!

4) Speed up performance and save on costs

This year has seen a big hit on revenues and it’s time for businesses to make smart decisions on where they allocate their IT budgets. 13% of organisations increased their IT budgets in response to the pandemic with remote working being a growth catalyst for cloud-based IT spending. Businesses are looking to accelerate digitally-based business models that can improve remote customer service experiences at scale.

Today’s organisational models, metrics, technology and culture demand agility and speed. Migrating to the cloud is a cost effective solution to develop, deploy and manage your IT portfolio. Are you looking to avoid costly capital expenditures for new servers and the large overhead of managing on premise infrastructure?

Virtualising your core IT can deliver a substantial drop in outlay on infrastructure, hardware and software. As the cloud platform is utility based, it allows you to rent additional processing power whilst only paying the provider just for what you use and when you need it. Cloud services require a lower initial investment and typically far lower overall costs than on-premise models.

The cloud's economy of sale and efficiency are just the tip of the iceberg! The vast number of servers that help to drive down costs are also on tap to provide virtually unlimited levels of compute power for your business.

Cloud has become a core element of many businesses' technology stack. A recent IDG Cloud Computing survey found 32% of IT budgets will be dedicated to the cloud by 2021 and it’s not hard to see why! Cloud hosting, together with public cloud, provide organisations with scale, flexibility and predictable payment structures, all of which offer you the foundation you need to evolve and adapt to 'new world' IT. 

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