By Johan de Villiers, CEO of First Technology Western Cape
Although COVID-19 accelerated the digitalisation process for many businesses by three to five years, they’re now undergoing another phase in their digital metamorphosis.
They’re no longer reacting. They’re now proactively empowering digital transformation of the workforce so they can pivot faster because uncertainty is the new normal.
We’ve seen a lot of companies take this period to evaluate weaknesses in their critical systems, especially in terms of security, connectivity, and remote management.
Many enterprises already had productivity tools and software to enable the majority of their workforce to operate from home. But we noticed a massive uptick in demand for Dell notebooks, webcams, related equipment and software just before lockdown.
Another major shift was the demand placed on remote managed services from the network operations centre (NOC). Many corporate clients weren’t able to use their usual on-site IT support personnel because they were locked down and classified non-essential services. They absolutely relied on partners to give them that critical support when they needed it most.
People have adapted and now, with lockdown restrictions having eased for a few weeks, we’ve found that clients have been able to evaluate their data centre and back office systems. They’ve identified areas of weakness within their business continuity, storage or networking domains.
Our data centre teams have collaborated closely with Dell Technologies systems architects to rapidly scale solutions to address their pain points. That’s why they’re capitalising on capabilities such as low-touch provisioning, unified endpoint management, comprehensive security for everything from the user’s physical device proximity to their software, as well as their data.
It’s been vital to simultaneously ensure their business policies and compliance requirements are maintained using strong cybersecurity in on-premise, hybrid, or cloud setups.
It has also been crucial to support their pursuit of manageability, empowering their employees, and securing their data in the end user domain.
People always wanted smarter technologies to help them be more productive. We’ve found that 58% of CIOs believe better technology and applications help reduce attrition. But 66% need support from external partners particularly with their three biggest challenges, being budget, collaboration, and platform limitations.
Many businesses have felt the financial impact of lockdown. But they’ve understood there’s value over the full lifecycle of the servers, networking, and end user computing hardware to empower their workforces to transform. They’ve grasped the benefits of the responsiveness and flexibility it enables to help them cope with the uncertainty that has become the new normal.
While leading an all-remote company will require many managers to rethink and rework how they run their businesses, all-remote is possible and will lead to greater resilience to crises, increased efficiency, and access to talent that was previously out of reach.