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The End is Finally in Sight, or is it The Beginning?

Finally, a glimmer of hope that the COVID-19 crisis is nearing an end.

Whilst it’s still early days, and final approval is needed for the Pfizer vaccine; there’s a definite feeling in the air that maybe, just maybe, we can get back to normal early in 2021.

But what is ‘normal’ now? If it’s where we were at the start of 2020, do we actually want to go back there? At least from a technology point of view anyway.

You only need to look at Zoom’s share value to see the impact that the crisis has had on the way we think about ‘IT’.  At the start of the year, remote and home working were considered ‘perks’; something to be provided for only the most trusted of employees. They are now considered ‘normal’. The pain barrier was crossed, and people were able to work happily, securely, and productively – from their bedrooms, kitchens, and garden sheds.

But did organisation really ‘solve’ the home working problem?  Not really. Here at String, we coined a phrase for the initial dash for home:  instead of ‘Bring Your Own Device’, we called it ‘Grab Any Device’.  As global laptop availability plummeted, and their prices soared; people connected whatever device they could get their hands on to their home broadband, and … they realised that all they could really do was send emails. Line of Business applications, documents, and telephony were suddenly so unreachable that they might have as well have been hosted on the International Space Station.

So – what did those millions of home-based users do to allow themselves to work?  Basically, they improvised.  They used Dropbox, Gmail, Hotmail, Splashtop, and, of course, Zoom – whatever they could cobble together to carry on.  Over a period of just one month, the well architected, managed, and monitored IT security solutions, established over the previous years or decades, were rendered impotent. There was no going back.

So, come 2021, how can IT departments begin to regain control in a society where home working is now an established, proven, and often effective way of working?  Simple; they offer their colleagues a set of technologies that not only meet their current expectations, but exceed them.  Technologies that allow their users to work from anywhere, on any device.  Technologies that allow them to communicate, to collaborate, and to remain productive; whatever their location.

So, what are these ‘simple’ technologies?  The answer is also simple: they’re collectively known as Microsoft’s Modern Workplace, and they’ve already helped millions of unwilling participants to get through the great home-working experiment.

Is the end finally in sight for COVID-19? We certainly hope so. It is also, however, the beginning of a new, exciting era for IT.

Why not get in touch to hear how we’ve helped hundreds of clients across the UK to utilise Microsoft’s Modern Workplace to survive, and in many cases to thrive, in a year that we all look forward to forgetting.

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