Businesses are responding to COVID-19 by turning to automation. But are they taking full advantage of every technology available to them?
We are living in a world transformed by remote working, but most businesses – more than 50% – did not have a work from home policy in place ahead of COVID-19.
Many enterprises have since rushed to put one together, with some promising to let most or all of their employees work remotely forever.
However, that may not be enough. A policy is just one step toward a work-from-home environment. Without the right technology in place to perform their job, employees may struggle.
If businesses want to properly prepare for whatever the future might bring – they cannot merely transpose their systems from one environment to another.
They must instead transform the application at its core. In short, they require a business transformation that encompasses cloud technology as much as possible.
Many businesses, even cloud-centric enterprises, have been stuck working with legacy systems as they shifted away from the office during the stay at home orders.
This has now created a hodgepodge of work settings and makeshift collections of solutions that were merely instituted as a way to get by. But this will not suffice.
Call centers and sales teams, for example, cannot be expected to perform their job to the best of their abilities using a personal cellular service.
A home phone is also no replacement for a proper cloud telephony solution, which provides the functionality and flexibility needed to jump between worksites, whether at home or the office.
If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that employees need to be able to work from anywhere and at any time. It’s part of the digital transformation, and cloud has proven to be a key – if not the most important – technology in driving this revolution.
The cloud has already shaped how we live and interact on a daily basis, providing everything from unlimited storage to video conferencing, word processing, data entry and more.
Many of the cloud’s greatest successes are so well executed that their users may not even realize they are working in a cloud environment.
Businesses that take advantage of the latest technology are not only more competitive, they are also more attractive to new talent. This is highlighted by Dell Technologies’ survey of 12,000 Gen Z secondary and post-secondary students.
Eighty percent of respondents said they aspire to work with cutting-edge technology. Even more telling, 91% believe that technology would influence their job selection when choosing between similar offers of employment.
By upgrading and moving away from outdated legacy systems that constrain employees’ work to one location, enterprises can future-proof their business. This is important for any firm looking to remain competitive, but it is especially important in today’s challenging climate.
While the importance of technology cannot be overstated, organizations did not have much of a choice in going digital – at least partially – when the world shifted to remote work earlier this year.
It proved to be a challenging experience for some, but it also highlighted the importance of digitization. But now you have a moment to do things right. You can take your time to lead your digital transformation your own way.
Like any business decision, moving to the cloud should be a transformational process. But true transformation can only take place when leaving legacy solutions behind. Some businesses have tried to migrate to the cloud, but their archaic architecture has held them back and diminished their efficiencies.
The results often turn out to be hosted versions of their old selves, which is not the best way to optimize performance. This ultimately prevents the business from reaping all the true benefits of the cloud.
The change to remote working is likely to leave a lasting impact on the business world. More than 40% of employees would prefer to stay home going forward, suggesting that remote working is here to stay.
This is yet another reason for organizations to take this opportunity to begin their digital transformation today. And that includes full usage of cloud technology and its many benefits.
Tim Beeson is the Global Alliances Director of Natterbox. Joining Natterbox in 2010, Time has played an instrumental role in forging alliances for Natterbox with Salesforce. Previously, Beeson led the Natterbox UK sales division and global alliances segment, securing large accounts like Groupon.
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