Lockdown and remote working drives technology spend
By Adam Flynn
78% of businesses adopted a new technology during the pandemic
62% of businesses expect their spend on technology and digital transformation to increase
The Covid19 pandemic and lockdowns have changed the way we work, and its effects are likely to be felt for many years to come. The financial impact of the pandemic has sadly brought stress to many workers including the loss of income and jobs. The pain caused by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have not been shared equally with the retail and hospitality sectors amongst others baring more of the brunt.
Flexible and remote working, which was already on the rise prior to the pandemic was suddenly thrust upon companies, many whose HR procedures and technology were not prepared. However, although companies have faced significant challenges, many have been able to use it as an opportunity to change the way they work and have seen benefits from their new approach.
According to an employment survey conducted by EBC Group and the Chamber of Commerce for the majority of businesses the lockdowns brought at least one benefit, with work/life balance recognised as the main one.
The pandemic brought many changes to the way we were required to work, and businesses were quick to adopt new technologies to help them overcome them. The survey showed that 78% of businesses adopted a new technology during the pandemic. With restricted access to face-to-face meetings and networking, the use of video technology such as Zoom, and Microsoft Teams soared in popularity.
One of the other challenge’s companies faced in relation to remote work was being able to maintain efficient collaboration and communication. There was a significant increase in the adoption of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams. In April 2020, the Teams app reached a record 75 million users in a single day, which was more than 3 times the number just a few months before.
There are mixed views on remote working in the longer term and for many companies it may not be achievable or desirable. However once social distancing restrictions are removed it is likely that many of these new habits around technology and the digital workplace will continue because they have been able to provide businesses and employees with increased flexibility and efficiency.
The survey shows that 62% of businesses expect their spend on technology and digital transformation to increase. Before rushing into any decisions on new technology, EBC Group recommends that businesses reflect upon what has and hasn’t worked for them during lockdown and how they can change the way they work to benefit both them and their workers.
They should consider adopting a digital transformation strategy with the objective of developing an effective digital workplace, including a range of solutions from Cloud Services, Collaboration tools and Unified Communications.