IT services: the unsung hero of the remote work revolution

Now, more than a year into the global stay-at-home movement, the pandemic has left a lasting impression on the way we work and play. The sudden shift to a completely remote environment overnight put companies to the test as they needed to respond quickly to assess employee needs. Leaders had to ensure not only that employees were satisfied, but that they would continue to drive productivity and business results. In addition, this new way of operating has led to an increase in the demand for external IT services, as companies have recognized that remote working is no longer an additional benefit of the company, but a permanent element.

IT services are the unsung hero of the remote work revolution

With many employees continuing to adopt the “work from anywhere” mentality, it is obvious that workers will demand a hybrid work schedule from now on. Ultimately, this new work lifestyle will become a prerequisite for future job openings well beyond 2021. As a result, now is the time for companies and businesses to lean on new technology offerings to make sure you maintain an effective IT approach.

Lenovo Future of Work Study

Lenovo’s Future of Work Study found that employees prefer the flexibility of working remotely. The study shows that 88% of participants from large companies still want to work from home or work remotely from anywhere, at least part-time.

This new demand for continued flexibility and trust from employers will continue to change current policies and encourage companies to update their existing processes. Knowing that remote working will be part of our norm, companies will need to continue exploring ways to position themselves for growth. Additionally, companies will want to make sure their workforce remains supported, productive and safe or risk being left behind.

Outsourced Services: Looking Outside to Empower and Support Success Inside

Before the pandemic, employees had the advantage of having a dedicated IT team on site at their fingertips to support any immediate issues that arose. Today, employees no longer enjoy the access they once had to IT teams in a centralized location, and IT teams no longer benefit from the efficiency of on-site work that was previously provided.

Moving entire organizations to remote work overnight was no easy task

When the shutdown first occurred, employees had to seek immediate support elsewhere and were faced with new challenges that they may not have experienced while in the office. The process included unstable internet connections at home, data security issues, and delays or challenges in receiving timely IT support when needed.

Quickly realizing that this “temporary” work-from-home arrangement was going to last much longer than a few weeks, companies began updating their IT infrastructures to address these challenges and ensure that employees had the same level of support. they once enjoyed in the office to help them stay focused on work rather than overwhelming IT problems. However, this shift in priorities presented new challenges for already exhausted IT teams.

Lenovo’s Future of Work study also found that roughly half of employees in midsize companies (50%) and small or very small (42%) report delays or challenges in getting any kind of IT support when needed.

The sudden shift to remote work left IT teams completely overwhelmed to face the new challenges.

Balancing the need to work with all hands to transition the IT business to a whole new way of working while supporting employees who needed more support than ever was its own challenge. This operational hurdle prompted many companies to seek alternative support and leverage external IT service experts to ensure quick fixes and greater cost predictability.

IT support outsourcing seemed like an easy solution for many companies.

IT support outsourcing was an easier solution for many companies that needed their internal IT resources to switch to core business applications. Companies were quick to eliminate delays and mitigate the challenges that came overwhelmingly with remote work.

High-level IT issues

With external IT service providers, internal IT teams can focus less on ordinary repair and support challenges and more on high-level transformation issues such as future-proofing and ever-evolving security threats.

Outsourcing not only gives internal IT teams the peace of mind of knowing that employees have the support they need to stay online, productive and safe, but it gives employees the confidence they need in both their employers and the technology. provided to allow them to perform. their work to the best of their ability: win / win.

Partner with IT service providers

However, many do not realize that outsourced IT services can extend beyond repairs and technical support. Partnering with an IT service provider can have real and lasting benefits in other parts of a company’s business, helping to solve problems and create IT infrastructure readiness. Since each company is unique, a one-size-fits-all solution will not give companies the level of protection and support they need to operate at full capacity.

Today’s technology is smarter and needs improved solutions

Today, companies must have smarter technology. Technology must address common problems, deliver optimal performance that adds value, predict user patterns, and mitigate future risks to eliminate unnecessary downtime.

This was especially important at a time when companies were looking for solutions to reduce operating costs and unnecessary expenses to weather the COVID-19 storm.

As work from home continues to resonate, partnering with IT, service providers has enabled companies to make the most of their technology investments by reducing business costs, minimizing employee downtime, and enhancing the customer experience. Username.

Securing the workforce, no matter where you are

One benefit that many companies enjoyed prior to the pandemic was having a better idea of ​​where employees were located and therefore could more easily protect their devices from external threats.

Combine increased employee needs with added security complexity due to the remote nature of the workforce, and IT teams now face entirely new challenges. Security ranks as the number one most time-consuming challenge among IT departments and will continue to be a priority for IT teams as cyberattacks and data breaches continue to be a serious threat to businesses of all ages. sizes.

High risk work environment

IT departments can benefit from leveraging their IT hardware, software, and service partners for support to better navigate and support a higher risk work environment. Businesses should look for vendors that offer a holistic approach to security and incorporate built-in platform security, integrated systems management, and a robust threat and data protection program.

There are also a growing number of security-as-a-service solutions that allow companies to implement cybersecurity infrastructures more cost-effectively and better protect their endpoints as the dispersion of the workforce increases.

Need to ensure the safety of customers for the future

Additionally, new technologies must protect customers’ security weaknesses early in deployment and enable secure computing throughout the PC lifecycle. By doing this, device onboarding becomes faster and ensures that employees can go to work immediately with the level of security support companies can trust.

This is especially important for companies looking for ways to streamline processes, maintain device visibility, and increase security in a remote world. In addition to this, companies are also leveraging endpoint management offerings to better protect technology assets from assembly to disposal by providing clearer device visibility to better monitor the health of mission-critical security applications and mitigate security threats.

Drive organization efficiency and compliance with Device as a Service (DaaS)

Similar to the increasing practicality and simplicity of subscription-based business models such as streaming entertainment channels and monthly consumer boxes for makeup or entertainment, IT services have found their niche as a service for companies. Business.

In 2021, the everything-as-a-service concept will accelerate your transition to the commercial enterprise and small and medium-sized business space.

The change will shift capital expenditures to operating expenses as companies gain access to more technology tools, IT services, and security at a more affordable price. Additionally, the rise of subscription culture has generated significant interest in DaaS tools to keep hardware up-to-date while freeing up employee time for more strategic projects.

Today’s DaaS landscape is where the real opportunity lies

To better understand the current DaaS landscape and where the opportunities lie, a recent study found that only 10% of businesses currently subscribe to DaaS-like services, but 63% overall are interested.

This shows that while most companies are not reaping the benefits of DaaS at the moment, nearly two-thirds of respondents are interested in the concept and how it can drive efficiencies within their organizations. Interest in this space will continue to grow as companies experience the tangible results of adopting DaaS-like services to support internal IT staff for better business agility at a more affordable price.

Looking to the future

Although the new remote work environment has presented many new challenges, it has also provided companies with a unique opportunity to adopt new processes that drive business efficiency. Leveraging external IT services will play an increasing role in the “new world” as companies adopt creative ways to safeguard and future-proof their businesses.

I’ve seen this new demand first-hand within Lenovo’s Solutions and Services Group. International IDG Services grew 39% year-on-year in early 2021, reaching a record revenue of US $ 1.2 billion.

I don’t foresee the increased adoption of services and solutions to be a short-term trend. Instead, it is an integral piece of business strategy moving forward to help companies embrace more modern workplaces and better prepare for the future.

Image credit: tima miroshnichenko; pexels; Thank you!

Rob makin

Rob Makin is a senior business leader in the IT and telecommunications industry with more than 20 years of experience creating and growing businesses in various markets. Rob is currently the Global CEO, Device as a Service at Lenovo.

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