Technological innovations continue at a rapid pace, which brings as many challenges as it does advantages. If harnessed correctly, these advancements can help your business reap a breadth of rewards. But if mismanaged, you could be leaving yourself wide open for disaster to strike.
It is these evolutions in technology that are driving changes to the way today’s IT support is delivered, as well as the solutions that are implemented.
Remote working is here to stay
One IT-related ‘COVID-keep’ is likely to be more staff working from remote locations. This trend is likely to stick around for a long time to come, perhaps even permanently.
Already, as an increasing number of staff return to the workplace, many employers are starting to offer their teams the option of working at least a portion of their week from home.
To ensure the increase in remote working doesn’t negatively impact your team’s productivity, you’ll need to make sure you have the most up-to-date and appropriate technologies in-place. Having the right tools in place to enable collaboration to occur as seamlessly as if everyone was working from the same physical location will be vital if businesses are to fully embrace the ‘new normal’ way of working.
It’s unsurprising therefore that IT support companies are noticing a marked increase in the number of clients seeking advice on the programs and tools available to support remote working, and which options are right for them.
One popular example is Microsoft 365, and in particular its Teams functionality. By providing a user-friendly central hub for collaboration, chat, video calls and meetings, and document sharing with real-time editing capabilities, the Teams suite of tools successfully overcomes many of the issues previously associated with mass remote working.
Having provided advice on the available solutions and making recommendations on what’s right for your business, your external IT partner will work with you to ensure your chosen platform is set-up in the best way to benefit your people.
More and more companies are turning to the cloud for a secure platform via which critical business applications can be stored, and the added bonus of a per-user payment option. As this shift continues, the expense and overheads associated with a dedicated, on-premises, physical server are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Helping to drive the move of more businesses towards a cloud-based environment is the increasing number of software platforms that provide their systems ‘as-a-service’, without the need for a physical server. Even those platforms that do still require a dedicated server to operate can be run using one of the many cost-effective cloud-based ‘virtual server’ options. So whichever software packages your company depends on, the need for you to own an actual physical server can be negated with the cloud.
By gaining a thorough understanding of the current and future requirements of your business, your IT support partner can make informed recommendations on the cloud or hybrid solution that’s right for you. Being able to rely on such expertise will reduce the costs and risks associated with finding a solution to fit your business like a glove.
Security! Security! Security!
As alluded to earlier in this post, along with new technologies come new risks. With more staff working from multiple locations and devices, and critical data stored in the cloud as opposed to a secure traditional on-site server, you’ll need to ensure the most effective, state-of-the-art security measures are in place.
You’ll want to be confident that every precaution has been taken to protect your business from all manner of cyber security breaches and any other type of malicious threat.
While hackers have become increasingly sophisticated, cyber security requirements have vastly evolved since simpler times when installing anti-virus software and locking down remote access were adequate steps.
By staying across the latest digital technology developments in the rapidly evolving IT security space, an expert IT support provider will have a thorough and up-to-date understanding of the security risks that may result with the cloud and any other new technologies, as well as being able to identify areas of risk and strategies for mitigation.
And remember, sometimes it can be the simple changes that are most effective. These should therefore never be automatically overlooked in favor of more expensive security solutions.
Making sure your technology works for you
Enterprise level technology and tools are now available to small and medium sized businesses, without the enterprise price tag. With a variety of automation tools now widely available any business, regardless of its size, can take advantage of more automated processes than ever before.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence have the ability to eliminate many routine and time consuming tasks, boosting productivity and profitability. It can also provide critical insights and information that can be utilised to add significant value to your operations in a way that simply isn’t feasible through traditional manual processes.
Automating such processes using the right technology will create a more efficient and informed team, which can directly lead to an improved customer experience and maintain reputation and customer good will.
The modern business needs an IT partner that understands enterprise technology and automation, and how it can be leveraged most effectively by non-enterprise businesses.
Analytics can take your business to the next level
Data is the key to smart decision-making. If used in the right way it can add significant value and help save money, problem solve, improve efficiencies, and bring about a myriad of additional business improvements.
Technology is playing an increasingly vital role in helping businesses to get benefit from the valuable information most are probably already capturing, but many are not taking advantage of.
The right combination of technologies and processes can help collate and interpret your data in a meaningful way. Advice in this space is another area IT providers are increasingly being asked about. At Lanter we are working with more and more clients to review and automate the processing of this information in practical ways, without having to spend hours manually crunching the numbers.
To sum things up, as technological advances continue at rapid speed, the way in which we live and work will continue to change. Above all, agility will ultimately be the quality that separates the IT support partners of the future from the IT support providers of the past. It may be time to ask yourself: Is your current IT partner ready to embrace the future and help your business to thrive in the long term?