*This content is brought to you by Axiz Cloud Technologies
By Willie Jansen Van Rensburg*
It has been almost a year since the global Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to re-evaluate their operational requirements and working structure. Executives who acted quickly in shifting towards a more online-focused approached and implemented remote working and customer retention plans reaped the rewards early on. But all is not lost for those that didn’t as it’s never too late to switch to a cloud-based business model.
While the distribution of a viable vaccine means things may settle, the market is in a constant state of flux and there is no guarantee that another pandemic or even the next ‘big thing’ won’t happen – and small to medium enterprises need to start preparing now.
In fact, as the future is rather uncertain, research has suggested that executives’ top priorities are shifting. A focus on workforce safety and security will rise by almost 50% in the next year, while efforts in customer retention will increase by just over 40%. What’s more, a recent business survey also revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of companies by as much as 59%. Those who acted quickly in shifting towards a more online-focused approached, mitigated many of the pitfalls associated with protracted lockdowns and getting Working-From-Home protocols up and running. Early adopter businesses are now well established in the digital space and when things shift, their systems and processes will be able to cope with the influx – and changing behaviours.
However, shifting to a digital or remote model is not only about the technology. It’s what it can do to accelerate a company’s internal structures by streamlining processes. Better structures, better sales, better customer experience and retention.
Now is the time for small businesses still making use of traditional equipment to prepare for a digital future. It is never too late to move onto a cloud platform (like Microsoft 365) that gives you all the tools you need to thrive. Having a platform that reduces the stress of the perceived loss of productivity – due to work from home or hybrid models – by including tools that foster teamwork and collaboration has become critical and by incorporating easily deployed software, team members can take advantage of several built-in productivity tools.
Made for collaboration, online file storage and sharing system make it easy to have access to the right information exactly when it is needed. Being compatible with almost any device with an internet connection, also means information and a collaboration hub is just a click away and while social distancing protocols have also decimated the traditional boardroom meeting – a collaboration hub means always being connected, so that staff and customers can focus on what’s important. That’s smart business!
Smart also means being secure. Since a company will be entrusting their most critical data to the cloud, security is a significant concern, especially considering that an estimated 43% of cyberattacks are targeted towards small and medium businesses – and any company could be next.
Having a platform that not only brings together the best productivity apps with powerful cloud services but also includes a host of cybersecurity tools and solutions to secure a company’s most valuable digital assets is critical – one that caters for information and threat protection as well as identity, access and security management. The process is also incredibly easy to set up and maintain – so if you are a small business, you shouldn’t be deterred.
The nature of work is changing, and businesses not only need to protect vital IT assets, but they need to provide empowerment, collaboration and tools to enhance productivity. As customers demand more, it’s an opportunity for your business to deliver. So, look for tools that will help you build and manage your business and remember it’s never too late to move to the cloud. Moving outdated systems and practices to the cloud is easily implemented, just choose a plan that’s right for you.
- Willie Jansen van Rensburg, Executive: Axiz Cloud Technologies.