So far, 2021 is shaping up to be another challenging year for everyone due to the pandemic. While the world may not be as we’d like it quite yet, the good news is that technology has played a crucial role in response to the pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, businesses are facing recent trends and opportunities. Along with the latest opportunities, we will have to deal with new pain points and innovations to move forward. So, what will 2021 look like? What trends will drive businesses in this new year?
Automation is King
Businesses around the world have seen the positive effects of automating as much of their operations as possible. There are now more tools than ever before available to companies of all types and sizes.
Services such as Windows Autopilot can automate device configuration from the factory right to the employee. Used with Microsoft Endpoint Manager, configurations and permissions can be set up in advance on each device, which makes the IT department’s job that much easier and faster.
Automation tools can be applied to marketing, sales, customer service, and more. Not only do they save time, but they also save money. Employees can handle essential tasks, while automation tools deal with the rest. This works to cut out inefficient processes while also saving money and time.
The key is finding those tasks that are best automated, leaving employees to become more productive.
Working remotely is set to continue, even after employees return to work at the office. Many businesses have seen the benefits of remote work. However, there are still some issues with remote work that companies want to address.
With most employees working from home, companies found themselves scrambling to support remote workers. The pandemic caught many businesses unprepared for such a large number of staff working from home. Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become essential tools for teams working on projects, collaboration between partners, and more. In some companies, the tools have also been used to foster social connections.
Additional challenges have been keeping the network and devices safe from cyberattacks. This is more challenging with everyone working from home rather than on a company’s centralised network. Businesses have also allowed employees to use their personal devices to access work network, which means increased exposure to possible cyberattacks.
This has led to a zero-trust architecture to increase cybersecurity. This means each person is identified when logging onto the company network. Employees must properly identify themselves before they’re allowed access. This helps to eliminate some security issues.
What does this mean for your company this year? It’s essential to keep investing in your remote work environments, ensuring workers can take advantage of collaboration and productivity tools. And it’s also crucial to invest in even more secure authentication tools to close vulnerabilities on the network.
Everything as a Service (EaaS)
We’re seeing a trend where businesses are moving away from SaaS to an EaaS solution. What does this mean? It’s the difference between software as a service to everything as a service.
For instance, consider the software that’s needed to run business operations. It used to be that software was purchased (paid for once) and installed. It came with certain updates on a regular basis but would eventually reach a termination point. At that point, it was necessary to purchase more software and start the cycle again.
Then came along the subscription model, which made it easy for companies to invest in the architecture, software, and more but at scale. They only paid for the services needed, rather than the older model of paying for expensive software and tech. Subscription services provided a cost-effective solution that was even available for small businesses.
Today, the EaaS model, it easier to scale services and technology, but at a savings. For instance, a Microsoft 365 license can be installed on 5 PCs, tablets, or phones. And the license is no longer tied to a device. Instead, licenses can be moved to new devices when necessary. All that’s needed is for the license to be verified by logging in.
The subscription model is a great way for companies to bring new services onboard without the expensive upfront costs of buying software, tech, and more. It makes the playing board more equitable, as well. Even small companies can take advantage of these new types of business solutions.
The trend set in 2020 will continue into 2021 with businesses going digital. This means remote work and more will continue to be done from anywhere.
For instance, while physical stores have been closed much of the year due to Covid-19, online shops have become extremely successful. This a huge switch from physical stores being more successful in the past. For this reason, companies need to ensure their physical stores are an extension of their virtual stores. To support these changes, online businesses will need to invest in 5G technology, edge computer, and more.
When it comes to shipping, robotic deliveries are expected to take off in 2021. Large organisations have been preparing for this chance for years but have accelerated their efforts going into 2021.
Smaller companies may not be able to make these huge investments; however, they can still make investments into anywhere operations. For instance, small companies can take advantage of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which makes it easier to set up company devices, no matter where they’re used.
What’s more, higher data transfer speeds and capacities mean companies can take advantage of data in real-time. Decisions can be based on the most current information, making business decisions more accurate and data-focused.
Summing It Up
The pandemic has changed our world in drastic ways and has caused some major changes in the way we do business. However, we’ve also seen some new opportunities come out of the pandemic. New opportunities to manage business operations in ways we never thought possible.
If you’re interested in new technology or services for your business operations, reach out and contact us today. We’ll help you find the best solutions for your business every time.
23rd February 2024
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