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How IT is playing a critical role in the pandemic

25th March, 2021

From a commercial perspective, technology has been a game changer throughout this time.

,As we hit the one-year anniversary of lockdown, most of us would probably say that we never thought we would be where we are now. We are exploring the critical role IT has played during the pandemic.

Technology has undoubtedly played an integral part, whether your business has been severely impacted or remained buoyant during this incredibly difficult time.

On a personal level, we’ve all had to teach relatives how to do Zoom, Face Time, Facebook and so on, so we can maintain some interaction and reassure ourselves that loved ones are coping and keeping safe.

Technology has proven a fantastic enabler in education. Whilst the pressure on parents for home-schooling, and teachers for delivering lessons remotely has been huge, there are benefits too. Finding applications to support teaching has given many teachers the opportunity to enrich learning and is something many plan to continue now they have returned to the classroom.

The pandemic has accelerated the predicted transition from cash to contactless payment, with cash usage declining by as much as 70% in some areas.

In the world of retail, in one year the pandemic has increased online shopping by more than the last five years, speeding up the decline in high street shopping. The average footfall in the UK in January 2021 compared to January 2020 has dropped by 78%. Sadly, we have seen the impact on many beloved retail brands as a result.

From a commercial perspective, technology has been a game changer throughout this time.

In the recent McKinsey Global Survey over half the respondents reported that they believed technology transformations increased revenue, reduced costs and improved employee experience.

Those companies who have wisely embraced technology and made the change from on premise to virtual have thrived.

For some time now we have been actively encouraging all of our clients to move as much to the cloud as possible, enabling them to work from anywhere. That agility enabled them to literally pick up their desktop or device and start working from home.

Whilst we might all be “Zoomed” out, Teams and Zoom have proven to be lifesavers.

Not only have we been able to keep in contact with our customers and carry on with business development, but it has allowed us to keep up with our team too. Morale and keeping spirits up have been a huge focus, and so many businesses are reporting they are more concerned about mental wellbeing than ever before.

The leading technology giants, particularly Microsoft, have invested heavily in the continuous development of their software over the last year. We have seen accelerated roadmaps for many apps to give enhanced user experience and support remote working.

And the longer term impact?

Many companies have recognised that the geographic spread they used to focus on is no longer a barrier. They can work with businesses across the UK and beyond through the joy of online meetings. Less time commuting, less impact on the environment and so on.

Being able to offer your team flexible working options with a hybrid of remote and office working makes you a very attractive employer.

Organisations who were very much on premise are now looking to migrate. We’ve supported clients in migrating to virtual solutions, even with legacy systems initially deemed incompatible with the cloud. Companies no longer want to be constrained by their technology.

Whilst we have always believed that your IT should be an enabler for your business, never is that more true than right now. Your business should drive your technology, not be controlled by it.

Companies who are going to thrive going forward recognise that having a truly agile environment is going to be the new normal. It’s time to adapt, so give us a call on 01784 437 123 and let’s start the ball rolling.

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