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The ‘new normal’ for workplaces is here. Is your IT ready?

The ‘new normal’ for workplaces is here. Is your IT ready?

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Nathan Knight, Managing Director – Infrastructure Solutions Group at Lenovo ANZ, tells us organizations need to ensure their IT systems are developed to manage the change in work processes and the increased desire to work from home.

Nathan Knight, Managing Director – Infrastructure Solutions Group at Lenovo ANZ

With lockdown restrictions easing across the nation, organizations are working hard to plan and implement efficient return-to-office protocols. But it’s not to say that Zoom will no longer be a part of our everyday vocabulary and we’ll stop pairing button-up shirts with tracksuit pants when working from home.

Although some of us are returning to the office, Morgan Stanley says 87% of Australians want to work at home full-time or take on a hybrid approach as we move out of the pandemic.

This shift of preference for hybrid working affects the IT infrastructure of a business. To provide a hybrid workplace that employees can seamlessly adapt, organizations must implement reliable, secure and accessible cloud-based and data-centered solutions that set them up for long-term success.

Interim fixes can’t always provide long term solutions

As we head into 2022, organizations need to remember that it’s no longer enough to only have technology that helps navigate interim challenges. Rather, they need to have solutions that set them on the path to recovery and future growth through sustained innovation.

It is no surprise that the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that the use of paid cloud computing in business continued to grow in 2019-20, with over half (55%) of all businesses using paid cloud computing services, compared to 2017-18 (42%). With cloud-based systems already set up for remote management, organizations were quick to embrace this technology to manage the rapid shift in work environment.

While COVID-19 saw organizations revert to a plug-and-play approach to keep the lights on, Business Continuity and ultimately growth and success comes from playing a long-term game. As we live out the new normal, organizations are being forced to reassess their IT and look to long term solutions like software-defined infrastructure (SDI) or cloud computing (virtual desktop infrastructure/VDI) which allow them to take their system online without complete reliance on on-site physical infrastructure.

Organizations need to continue to optimize their IT systems to better handle the shift to a hybrid workplace and prepare for any future disruptions. Those that are planning now will reap the benefits down the track.

Invest in infrastructure that grows with you

You need technology that will expand with you, not hinder your growth. This is especially important with the hybrid office becoming the norm – employees doing more of their work outside of the company’s office spaces.

With SDI and cloud computing, not only are you improving the efficiency of the organization without huge CAPEX, but seamlessly scaling operations without having to invest in further hardware. This is particularly effective for SMEs which can quickly deploy and manage these solutions with a pay-as-you-go model without huge overhead costs.

One of the key benefits of implementing infrastructure like SDI and cloud computing is the fact that you can scale on-demand without putting the security of your data at risk. Through these smart IT systems, organizations can better handle the changing workplace structure and scale up or down, depending on the demand.

Security needs to be top of mind

In this rush to fast-track plans to update their systems to support remote work, some organizations have left themselves open to the risk of cybersecurity attacks, and these criminals grow more sophisticated by the day.

It is crucial to protect company, customer and partner data. The Australian Cybersecurity Center (ACSC) revealed that they received reports of cybercrimes of all types every eight minutes in 2020-21. As security is a key priority when working remotely, it is important that your IT infrastructure has security systems that can offer real-time protection from threats. Organizations not only demand but need security and reliability from their IT systems.

The benefits of having SDI and cloud computing are the fact that they allow automated and integrated IT functions which stay on top of backups, data recovery and security. When looking to update your services to implement these systems, it is also important to assess whether the provider offers an accessible technical support system that can assist with any issues that may arise and work with you to find a solution as quickly as possible to avoid any risk to security.

Moving into 2022 and the future of hybrid working, organizations need to ensure their IT systems are developed to manage the change in work processes and the increased desire to work from home. Ensuring these systems are future-proof, grow with the business and will provide a secure location for an organization’s data is absolutely critical, and implementing these upgrades now will provide businesses a competitive edge with a strong future.

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