The future of working is mobile; it's time to get in shape for the longer term
If the COVID-19 lockdown has shown anything it's that remote working can work, even when the circumstances of deployment are far from ideal. But with remote working anticipated to become much more accepted and utilised, now is the time to shift IT to the cloud that adds no value on-premise: taking up space, requiring maintenance, and requiring another CAPEX purchase when it finally needs replacing. Your IT team has better things to focus on, and cloud offers benefits of cost, scalability, and innovation.
Here's our top cloud moves you should think about making, if you haven't already:
Do you really need your own on-premise server for emails? A move from Microsoft Exchange Server to Exchange Online (part of Microsoft 365), will get you out of the 3 – 5 year server refresh cycle, the purchase of server software, the power and cooling required, and the ongoing maintenance – all consumers of your budget and resource.
The additional benefits? Highlights include: a monthly fixed, predictable licence per user that you can easily scale up or down as required, a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, financially-backed service level agreement, access to the admin panel from anywhere, and access to email for users from anywhere.
Find out more about Microsoft 365 here.
Virtualisation is a common way of consolidating your existing estate, making better use of the hardware you own to reduce additional purchases and work more efficiently with what you have.
The benefits of shifting this to cloud (taking Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure as an example) include further reducing down the amount of hardware you need to buy and maintain, scalable licencing, rapid deployment and built-in security. This is perfect for ensuring that your users are always using the most up-to-date software, and can access their desktop on any device.
File storage and sharing
Document management and secure information sharing are absolute essentials for remote working. If you don’t provide an easy way to do this, you can be certain that users will find a way to share information by other means, putting the security of your data at risk, creating data sprawl, and duplicated work.
By using a cloud storage and file sharing solution, your users can access and share information outside and inside your organisation in an environment you control, and importantly wherever they are. When you use Microsoft 365 you get access to OneDrive, essentially an online folder system, and SharePoint which offers more collaborative features.
With BT starting to phase out ISDN lines, you may have already started looking at your future telephony options. You could continue to use your phone system in the same way as you always have by ripping out ISDN and installing specialist equipment onsite to allow VoIP or SIP solutions.
Or you could hand the whole thing over to the cloud, skip the capital cost of install, and enable a much wider variety of telephony features that are going to support the wider range of modern working environments and needs. For example, employees choosing where their business number rings to – whether a desk phone, a mobile, a different number, add call recording, call redirects etc. And in the longer term, you may want to integrate the phone system with some internal software to automate actions that modernise processes, e.g. integrating with your CRM to display your caller’s custom information before you answer.
As you’d expect you get the reliability of cloud, the single monthly payment and the ability to add or remove lines as you need to, so unlike traditional systems you’re not paying for what you don’t use.
Find out more about cloud telephony here.
The majority of us are working in hybrid environments, with usage of at least some cloud services. When you’re not in the office, cloud services can make a huge difference to productivity for your users, as well as removing the burden of maintaining on premise hardware for IT, to allow more focus on delivering priority business objectives.
Got questions? Want more in-depth information? Join our webinar: 'Beyond remote working, what will tomorrow's digital workplace look like?'