As Ireland emerges from behind closed doors and we negotiate our way through the reopening phases of the Covid-19 lockdown, working from home has become a priority area for many businesses. Our Sales Director, John Gleeson, gives his thoughts on what has become the new norm for many and how a digital transformation can benefit you.
For some, it will be the new way of working, for others it will be an inconvenience they need to bear for a while longer. But whether you are working from home or in the office, having your IT function and systems aligned with the changing needs of your business, has never been more important. Now is the time to assess the status of both your communications and Information Technology infrastructure. Using the past months as a “trial run”, companies can now assess what worked for them and more importantly, what didn’t.
For the past number of years, people might have heard the term “Digital Transformation” and perhaps not understood the concept. The global research firm Gartner, defines digital transformation as anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. What we have seen over the past number of months is an acceleration of the Digital Transformation of businesses in the SME space. While many progressive businesses had already embraced cloud computing, voice mobility and remote working, they were ready to work from home the next working day when the lockdown kicked in. The vast majority of the SME’s were only starting to look at it. Covid-19 accelerated Digital Transformation, for everybody the world over.
The SME Perspective
Large enterprises and corporates have dedicated IT teams and security specialists planning and implementing remote working solutions, sometimes taking months and years to do. With the Pandemic, SME’s had to put in place temporary workaround solutions overnight. Radius currently supports close to 500 SME clients nationally, and as you can imagine our engineering team and helpdesk were “quite busy”. Everything has changed, from the way we answer the office telephone, to when and where we access our company information. At the time, it was a fast response to an immediate problem, but now as the dust settles we are advising companies to reassess the way they work and more importantly, how they want to work. We are also advising companies to ensure whatever temporary solutions were implemented by their technology partner at the time, make sure it’s secure, robust and is a long term, best-fit solution for their business. So, Cloud Computing, Remote Working and Cloud Telecoms platforms are not the future, they are the present, and have been for several years now. Covid-19 has merely accelerated some company’s transformation.
Budgeting and Costs
Budget is also going to be a big issue for most companies. What Radius have found over our 25 years in business is that successful SME’s are progressive. They look at what’s best for their businesses, the most efficient systems and the best way of working, and only then look at costs. When the COVID 19 lockdown began, Progressive companies had already implemented the technologies and were set up for remote working, they kept working with minimum downtime or interruption.
Final Advice to Companies Looking for Digital Transformation
Firstly, look at your business from the helicopter or top-down view. Look at the bottlenecks, the inefficiencies, the time-consuming tasks and where the pain points are. The way you have always done things may no longer be the best way. Then look at your customers and what they want from you and finally look to your team and what their needs are and only then look at technology as the enabler. When we do speak to new clients the first thing we ask is, where can we help? To fully utilise technology, you must understand the issues within your business processes, and then companies like Radius can add value with the options and solutions.
For more information on the new way of working post Covid-19, please contact me by email at Johng@radius.ie