When the Coronavirus hit the UK in March last year, it completely turned everything upside down with many small businesses being hit hard as a result. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that one of the major trends last year was a surge in the number of employees working from home. This meant that for many businesses they had to create as well as execute and maintain policies to allow employees to work from home.
With 2020 long gone, the continued impact of remote work is not. This is likely to continue to have a major impact on the way in which small businesses operate in the coming years. It goes without saying that the solutions and tools put into place during 2020 will continue to allow small businesses to dramatically improve productivity going forwards. With this in place, which trends should small businesses now turn their attention to in 2021?
Expanding Cloud-Native Technology
As a result of the Coronavirus lockdowns, most small businesses had to dramatically change their operations and piece it back together, ready for remote working. Those small businesses that were already making use of the Cloud, with application and data accessibility, were at a significant advantage over those that didn’t have this in place.
As a consequence of this, small businesses had to rapidly speed up their overall digital transformation and look to migrate their processes to the Cloud faster than they expected as their core software and collaboration solutions needed to be setup first. Given the rapid acceleration of remote working and the likelihood that it will be in place for many years to come, it is crucial for cloud-native technologies to be established to allow a business to maintain continuity. Therefore, small businesses will need to make use of the expertise of Managed Service providers to make this transition into the future.
Significant increase in the use of AI Intelligence & Automation
Given that most SMEs can’t compete financially with well-established, larger competitors, they are always looking for a strong return on investment when it comes to remote working. The previous operational structure for most IT teams being pulled from pillar to post will change dramatically with an increased demand in resolving issues that occur from employees who need additional troubleshooting when remote working.
As well as this, many small businesses have increased their usage of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation which helps to build the concept of intelligent automation. By bringing these two components together, a fast, end-to-end business process automation is established.
Reducing security slightly to maintain & safeguard remote workers
It comes as no surprise that small businesses will face additional security challenges more regularly throughout 2021. With more and more people using the internet at home will likely see the number of phishing schemes increase even more along with their level and sophisticated nature. Furthermore, businesses that have a number of remote workers need to switch their attention towards the endpoint, with employees needing network access for more than one device, increasing the risk of data being compromised.
There are a variety of different solutions that can easily be built into cloud environments to help protect a business, its users & applications. Furthermore, it is crucial that these protective measures are established at each entry point into a business. The importance of having the right levels of security integration into cloud-native applications will be a significant consideration for small businesses in sourcing the right kind of security IT partner such as Advantage to implement and maintain these safeguards.
Making use of both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G for optimum connectivity
As connectivity continues to evolve and change the way in which we connect, making use of both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G has revolved around its application alongside the Internet of Things particularly in industries such as manufacturing where employees are connecting from multiple locations. Therefore, connectivity is essential in businesses being able to deliver across large physical spaces which means that it will need to be able to cope with the ever-changing demand.
Consequently, small businesses who prioritise connectivity will help to give their employees more accessibility to their company networks over businesses that are slow to adopt this technology quickly.
Is your business looking to implement some of the above technologies across your business to ensure that remote working works as it should? If so, why not get in touch with our team of IT experts today to discuss your requirements further.
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