If 2020 was the year that everyone went remote, 2021 will be the year that organizations adopt a hybrid workspace. Currently, most businesses are redefining their business & IT strategy to help their employees successfully transition to their post-pandemic setting. Here are some key recommendations to consider when planning your post-pandemic IT strategy with a hybrid work model.
Recommendation #1: Focus on people, not locations
Pre-pandemic, the IT strategy was based around getting people to offices and having them work. Even though SaaS had moved applications out, most businesses still used VPNs. Organizations had a remote strategy in place but that remote strategy was sub-standard to the one in the office.
It’s safe to say that the pandemic has changed that definition of IT and remote strategies. Post pandemic, IT strategies will be based on “people” not “locations”. IT will deliver applications in the same manner to everybody regardless of whether they are working out of an office location, the airport, or from home. This means that whether your business decides to go fully remote or adopts a hybrid office approach, IT’s delivery strategy should remain the same.
Recommendation #2: Eliminate Unnecessary Spending on Communication Tools
Pre-pandemic businesses had one type of communication or collaboration solution. Then the pandemic hit and businesses were forced to acquire one or multiple solutions to support remote working, resulting in increased spending and overlapping communication tools. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2021, enterprises will have increased their spending on cloud-based collaboration tools by an average of 25%, compared with pre-COVID-19 levels.
Today, most organizations are trying to figure out which tool they should use moving forward and if there is a way to consolidate solutions for both financial and efficiency savings. For instance, a business may have a PBX / UCaaS seat that they use for external meetings and chat, a Cisco WebEx seat for webinar purposes, and Microsoft Teams for true workstream collaboration and video calls.
According to a report published by Gartner, businesses should try to consolidate cloud solutions and eliminate avoidable overspending by identifying tools that have overlapping meetings and messaging capabilities.
Is there a solution that consolidates all communications and collaboration capabilities? Yes, click here to read one of our earlier posts where we recommended a single solution that delivers advanced PBX features as well as leading collaboration features.
Recommendation #3: Look for a vendor that offers bundled solutions
A decade ago, the market was dominated by big PBX providers. Pre-pandemic, the market was dominated by voice and collaboration providers. Post-pandemic, businesses are evaluating vendors that offer the best-bundled solutions i.e. a single provider who delivers unified communications, contact center, Microsoft Teams, Virtual Desktops, and other cloud solutions all seamlessly integrated into a unified solution.
In fact, according to Gartner, by 2025, the majority of technology and service providers will differentiate through bundling rather than through individual product excellence. Why? Because buying and managing all of these solutions separately is not easy and is also not the best use of your IT resources. The right vendor should be:
- A true partner i.e. someone who listens to your needs and is responsive to every interaction
- Be an extension of your IT team i.e. someone who can solve complex problems and allows your IT team to focus on business innovation and not spend time worrying about managing systems & infrastructure
- Solve complex problems
Two particularly difficult challenges we are hearing about include how to get UCaaS & phone systems to integrate with Microsoft Teams and Contact Center and how to ensure video and audio are optimized inside of a DaaS solution like VMware Horizon.
What’s your hybrid strategy going to look like moving forward? Contact us for a free consultation with our business development associates.