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Technology in 2021 – 5 Things to be Excited About, 2 Things to be Careful About
“Goodbye” 2020 and “Hello” 2021! The New Year is here, and thoughts of change and new beginnings are on everyone’s mind. Not just for individuals, but also for businesses looking forward to implementing new strategies for 2021.
In the digital age, technology has become intertwined with business goals and desired outcomes. Technology is constantly evolving, which is great for businesses because innovative technologies present new opportunities to solve problems and address needs.
With many new technologies evolving and emerging, we want to present 5 things to be excited about in 2021 and 2 things to be careful about.
Be Excited About…
Outside of wireless networks (Wi-Fi) in homes and offices, businesses that rely on mobile networks will greatly benefit from the transition to high-speed 5G. With an increasing number of remote employees utilizing cell phones and tablets to run business applications using a mobile network connection, 5G presents new efficiencies in collaboration and productivity with greater speed and agility.
“In 2021, we will see new infrastructure and utility or application development updates both from the large corporations and startups” according to inc.com. As it progresses to become more mainstream in 2021, businesses can look forward to leveraging 5G to run their cloud enabled applications and explore innovative opportunities to operate and interact with customers in a remote environment.
“Remote Working” was probably one of the biggest buzz words in 2020, and that will continue going into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to operate remotely and it was initially viewed as a short-term solution. However, businesses are discovering that workers can be just as productive (in many cases MORE productive) working from their homes…not to mention the cost saving opportunities that also come with it.
With many businesses embracing the work-from-home culture and considering implementing it long term, software and cloud companies like Microsoft are investing in their digital productivity and collaboration capabilities to empower remote employees.
In-office meetings and traveling to meet with clients is being replaced by video conferencing. And, why not? Social distancing is the obvious reason…but, businesses are also realizing that their teams can still easily collaborate and build relationships through video conferencing tools. For example, Microsoft Teams allows you to video conference AND collaborate on documents in real-time.
Though nothing can ever completely replace the authenticity of in-person interactions, video conferencing allows you to build relationships and conduct business from anywhere. Why spend time and money on travel, when you can fire up a video conference in minutes and only spend money on your cup of coffee for the call.
Running your business in a cloud environment enables you to engage with your customers wherever they are. COVID-19 forced businesses to not only have their employees work from home, but also making their primary engagement with customers and business operations a “digital-first” approach.
“Digital should be the default at all times. That’s not to say physical space doesn’t have its place, but it should be digitally enhanced, for example, contactless check-out at a physical store, regardless of whether it’s physical or digital capabilities should be seamlessly delivered” says market research firm, Gartner.
According to Gartner, “Total experience combines multiexperience, customer experience, employee experience and user experience to transform the business outcome. The goal is to improve the overall experience where all of these pieces intersect, from technology to employees to customers and users.”
Companies that can integrate and harmonize all the digital aspects of their business (remote working, anywhere operations, and digitally engaging with their customers) will set themselves apart from the competition. From the cloud, to productivity software, business processes, applications and the security solutions that protect them all…a focus on “Total Experience” will enable businesses to thrive.
Be Careful About…
Rise in Cyber Attacks on Remote Workforces
Cyber-attacks have been steadily increasing and becoming more sophisticated with each passing year. With people working from home now more than ever before, cyber criminals are working to exploit vulnerabilities of new newly deployed cloud technologies and inexperienced employees that are unaware of cyber risks. Having the proper cyber security solutions for your business is vital to protecting your employees and business.
“With organizations and businesses rapidly deploying remote systems and networks to support staff working from home, criminals are also taking advantage of increased security vulnerabilities to steal data, generate profits and cause disruption”, according to INTERPOL.
Unexpected Events and Risk Management
Corporate Compliance Insights reports that, “Business leaders should not only be thinking about how to complete this year safely with any continued remote work, but also be seriously reviewing their risk management solutions and contingency strategies to be ready if another crisis like COVID-19 forces employees home once again. This will become a top concern for 2021 planning and here on out.”
If 2020 taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected to minimize the impact to your business. IT solutions such as cloud environments, cyber security solutions, business continuity and disaster recovery strategies will be a focal point in 2021 to ensure businesses can remain operational WHEN (not if) the unexpected occurs.