A common scenario played out again and again this year: Companies were forced to implement remote cloud solutions and digital platforms quickly or face extended COVID-related downtime. The organizations that were able to smoothly adopt new technology seem to be better off. Companies that are still struggling to digitally transform may have a hard time coming out on top.
After the statewide quarantine earlier this year, one Greenville business of more than 50 years suddenly faced a new way of working. Accustomed to running in-person meetings, they were forced to pivot quickly to a remote solution.
Like many organizations, this company was already running on Microsoft 365. Unlike most organizations though, they had already embraced many of the advanced features of the platform — such as online meetings, chat, cloud-based file sharing and the ability to work from laptops, desktops, tablets and even cellphones.
With their local IT support provider, PTG, assisting every step of the way, they fine-tuned a few of these systems for what was now a 100% remote workforce to support the ability to work both remotely and securely. Months later, this temporary solution has become their preferred process.
This year has been one of quick decisions on the part of business owners when it comes to technology. Many had to adjust on the fly to all or a large part of their workforce working from home. “The question now is: How do you fine-tune what you’ve done?” says Reed Wilson, CEO of PTG. “Now is a great time to poll your staff; find out what’s working, what’s not, and what should be changed to support the needs of your workforce.”
The value of streamlining
As a result of the pandemic, another business was looking closely at its expenses. It discovered that it was spending thousands of dollars a year on cloud-based SaaS systems that it could easily replace with solutions it was already paying for by having Microsoft 365.
The business made the decision because the pandemic required it to, but now it’s controlling expenses and enjoying more work flexibility than before the crisis.
Business owners who had to purchase VPNs and software tools just to make it through 2020 may be able to pare down what they’re using by leveraging the solutions that can be built with an all-in-one platform like Microsoft 365.
Digital transformation for long-term success
Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” That quote seems to sum up how some local businesses are treating technology adoption in the middle of a pandemic and election year — with an eye toward being prepared for anything 2021 might bring.
While 2020 forced a quick digital transformation for many businesses, forward-thinking orgs are using 2021 to fine-tune their digital transformation effort. For example, financial institutions are finding that Microsoft 365 can be used to reimagine business operations, meet customer expectations, navigate tricky regulations and avoid increasing cyberthreats.
Leveraging technology to retain work culture
One of the things many companies lost this year was the synergy and teamwork that comes out of water cooler conversations. While in-person interaction can’t be virtually duplicated, the benefits of having engaged employees can be found through the new meeting and file share features built into Microsoft Teams.
By working with a technology partner that has the industry experience to drive use and adoption of this platform, businesses can adopt technology on their terms — based on how they need to operate and what makes them unique.
“Most organizations avoided digital transformation; now they’re being forced to make changes. There’s a right way to do it that retains your culture,” Wilson says.
PTG offers technology audits to Upstate businesses and nonprofits that want to leverage technology to increase their business value. Talk to one of their Microsoft consultants to start streamlining a technology strategy that scales.