By Amritesh Anaand, Associate Vice President – Pre Sales at In2IT Technologies
The dramatic shift in the world of work over the past two years has seen many more people moving to a remote workforce model at least part of the time. Technology has been a key enabler in this ‘new normal’ with the adoption of cloud collaboration tools driving this capability. However, facilitating the remote workforce is not just about providing communication and remote collaboration. Instead, organisations need to effectively handle secure access to data and tools as well as multiple security challenges and network scalability issues. While there are many tools and solutions available for this, there is no cut and dried approach that will meet every business’ needs. The right IT partner has become essential.
Gone are the days when employees were tied to their desk, leaving only for meetings and events. Today’s employees are always on the move, working flexible hours and interacting with their company and its customers and suppliers, from just about anywhere. This makes Unified Communications (UC) a critical productivity-enhancing tool that facilitates collaboration in this new hybrid workforce.
Some might argue that distributed collaboration has become more productive than in-person meetings, and this is especially true when Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are integrated into collaboration tools. With AI and ML, collaboration becomes more intelligent and enhances productivity – for example, when you join a meeting, your last conversation can be made instantly available, or the last whiteboard from your team space can automatically be included in a new virtual meeting.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach
While some organisations have moved away from fully remote working toward a hybrid office-remote scenario, the investments intime and technology and the cost savings and productivity enhancements realised mean that the remote work trend is now here to stay. Organisations that have embraced digital transformation are realising greater success in this new world, as they are better able to meet the changing needs of their customers, and those that have not needed to catch up.
However, there is no single blueprint that all organisations can follow to ‘enable’ transformation. The tools and technologies that are required to fill the gap depend on what an organisation already has in place, what their collaboration requirements are, which applications need to be accessed remotely, and more. It is also important to have a secure connection to access applications remotely. The specific environment, network and data architecture, compliance requirements and many other factors will determine the optimal solution to effectively enabling the remote workforce.
Your IT partner is invaluable
Given the complexities involved in effectively facilitating the remote workforce and delivering the right blend of communication and collaboration tools, having a trusted IT partner has become essential. The reality is that effective collaboration is not just about a platform and a Virtual Private Network (VPN), it is about getting the right tools and access in place, supported by the appropriate controls and processes. Your IT partner will enable you to leverage end-to-end collaboration with effective security practices, a network that scales to meet requirements and has sufficient bandwidth, and appropriate access control, to mitigate the inherent risks of a remote workforce.
The reality is that irrespective of the pandemic, digital technologies are the future. By proactively preparing and supporting the shifting digital landscape, organisations will be in a far better position to be competitive no matter what happens. The pandemic has simply highlighted the need to be more adaptable and flexible and that embracing next-generation technologies can provide far between results than we could have imagined.