Perhaps at the beginning of 2020, the whole concept of workplace modernization had an entirely different meaning. Work was simpler then, and so was the workplace – people worked in their offices and sat at their desks. You gave them the best devices you could, and that was about it. But as we begin 2021, the challenge is entirely different. What you’re doing now when you modernize the workplace is adjust to a whole new world.
There’s plenty of research to back this up. For example, Spiceworks notes in its “2021 State of IT” report that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a great deal of uncertainty in business in 2020, leading to “profound shifts on a global level” in the ways we do business. Companies everywhere have rapidly moved toward remote work, and that’s forced IT departments to deploy technologies that can help maintain business continuity. It’s been difficult, to say the least.
But that’s just one example of how COVID has made an impact. When you zoom out, it’s clear that the virus has been transformative on a number of levels. Spiceworks reported that 76% of businesses are now planning to make “long-term IT changes” as a result, and that many of the 2020 changes we once thought were temporary will actually prove permanent as companies continue shaping their 2021 IT budgets.
Let’s take a look at six ways in particular you may rethink your business plans in the wake of the pandemic.
- Speeding up digital transformation: Many companies were already ushering in new IT tools to digitize people’s work pre-pandemic; now, they’re only speeding up that process. With so many people today working off the premises and outside of business hours, digital connectivity is key.
- Improving data security: Now that employees are so often working remotely, they’re going to be accessing corporate networks using different devices and endpoints than they did previously. This means security is going to be more complex than ever before, and IT must be up to the challenge.
- Better supporting remote employees: When you have a largely remote workforce, you need to have resources in place to support them, including training tools to get them started and IT support staff to assist people, even when they’re not in the building. Companies today are moving quickly to put these resources in place.
- Improving IT system performance: Is your data center working as seamlessly as possible? Is your corporate network up and running at all times, with no interruptions? Your system and your IT infrastructure must be fully operational to support a post-COVID workforce; there can be no tradeoffs in terms of performance.
- Standardizing collaboration tools: Today’s employees must be ready to huddle up and work together on a sensitive project at a moment’s notice. When they’re remote, this means they must have IT tools that help them collaborate. It’s leadership’s job to standardize such tools across the whole organization.
- Refining disaster recovery plans: Your IT might be up and running smoothly today – but what if something goes wrong months from now, or years from now? You need a disaster recovery plan that’s ready to deploy in times of crisis – and in the modern workplace, it’s more challenging than ever to draw one up.
Is your organization poised to tackle these and other strategic IT initiatives in 2021? If so, partnering with Zones can help turn your plans into reality. We’ve always had a key understanding of Workplace Modernization, and that’s even more true now, as the business world changes dramatically and your organization works to keep up. COVID-19 has presented myriad challenges to businesses this past year – but with our help, you can overcome them, and then some.
Connect with us today to find out more.