Businesses have been considering the benefits of hybrid working since their first 8:55am workday wake up on the 17th March last year. Yet while we’ve adapted our body clocks and working processes to suit home working in its entirety, it seems some companies have not considered the impact of these processes as they plan to return to office working.
Strong business performance demands strong application performance
To compete in the digital world, businesses need constant access to their data and systems through applications that perform efficiently, 24/7. The shift to hybrid working can impact this. With data and applications hosted in the office and accessed by users both on-site and at home, connectivity becomes a bottleneck and can slow down your workforce. Hosting your systems and applications off-site and in the cloud can help protect your employee’s time in getting and staying connected from anywhere. In the long term, this will impact their workload and your business’s bottom line.
Flexible working is the new 9-5
While in the past companies have strived for a structured in the office, individuals now demand flexibility in their work location, hours and systems. By keeping your business-critical data and applications hosted on site as you return to working in the office, you risk disruption during office relocations and home working processes, as well as from hardware survivability – with laptops, mobiles and more at constant risk of failure. By providing your employees a cloud environment with access to all their content and applications at their fingertips, you offer everyday efficiencies and flexibility that keeps them happy and connected, always.
Don’t forget your communication methods
It goes without saying that communicating with your colleagues and customers is an entirely different feat when you’re not in the office and able to walk over to another desk, or pick up your desk phone and dial out. Making sure you’re able to communicate efficiently across the board is imperative. Companies have become complacent with using COVID as an excuse for bad internal and external communications, but 15 months down the line, it’s just not an acceptable excuse. Why not fit your employees with the necessary tools to streamline their work? Solutions such as 8×8 match these efficiencies and flexibilities – with a Microsoft Teams integration, you can combine the familiar Teams experience with a outbound telephony solution to provide a smoother overall user experience wherever your user is.
Legacy office safety procedures are no longer enough
We all know in the past, lots of companies hosted IP on hardware stored within the office, on home systems or on disks that can be easily lost. However, the COVID pandemic triggered an accelerated migration of business infrastructure into the cloud, with 76% of companies admitting to adopting cloud services faster than they had planned*. A lack of accessibility coupled with hardware malfunctions forced business to realise the risks of relying on hardware to access data. This risk is accelerated further when you consider the potential for break ins, office fires and the like putting company data further at risk. If your users are accessing company data remotely then you need to make sure they’re doing it securely. Making use of a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) to provide visibility and granular control of web traffic, paired with Zero-Trust Network Access for private applications, creates a safer environment regardless of where your users might be working from.
But what about the risk of cyberattacks?
If COVID-19 has done one thing right, it’s showing us that the number of hackers globally is increasing and getting more sophisticated in their attacks. The FBI reported up to 4,000 new cybersecurity complaints per day across the pandemic, a huge 400% increase*. But now businesses have learnt to fight back and are putting even more sophisticated procedures in place to stop them. That’s why many cloud security solutions have been built with the potential of cybersecurity. Thanks to the likes of Acronis Cyber Cloud, regardless of if you’re working at home or starting the return to the office, you can protect your business-critical data within a cloud environment, and even run disaster recovery on your data and intelligence when you lose connection.
An increasing focus on safety
Unreliable VPNs have made home working difficult for lots of UK businesses during the pandemic and have forced many employees to forgo office safety procedures – i.e. saving work on business systems behind cryptic email passwords – and save their work on physical hardware instead. When applications are hosted in the cloud, all users can access their business applications and data, easily – with no worries about struggling connectivity from dodgy bandwidths, lost intelligence from hackers or waiting for broken hardware to be fixed. This all gets taken care of behind the scenes. Simple, efficient, time saving.
Sound like a no brainer?
While you might not be ready for a complete cloud revamp, the evidence shows that you should be thinking about your current infrastructure and making some changes. With our stepping stones towards cloud transformation, you can pave your digital transformation journey at your own pace. Whether opting for co-location to maximise on your existing hardware investments yet reaping the safety benefits of the cloud or, looking for more secure measures to protect your hybrid workforce or transitioning your processes completely to the cloud for business protection and ease of working – we’ve got the solution to suit. So get in touch.