For many, 2021 was a year to build on. After the scramble of 2020 – where both people and companies frantically worked to try and gain some level of normality – last year was one of consolidation. With people everywhere building on 2020 and further embracing the various innovations, efficiencies and general technological improvements they ended up making the previous year.
Gareth Hutchins is Director & Solutions Architect at OpenText (opens in new tab).
The pandemic may have made lives more difficult all around the world, but there have certainly been learnings that we can all take with us into 2022: namely, how IT departments have been able to cope with the rapid IT modernization needed to keep businesses running remotely.
Information management in 2021
With a sense of ‘been there done that’, back in early 2021, CIOs and IT departments everywhere entered the year safe in the knowledge, that the majority of the hard work needed to rapidly adapt technologies necessary to continue working through the pandemic was behind them. They’d worked through the Spring of 2020 at breakneck speeds to develop solutions for issues created by remote working (opens in new tab) and had then spent the better part of a year fine tuning these solutions until they were happy.
So, as we entered 2021, many businesses were wondering how they could build on advancements made in the previous year and continue to rethink their approach to digital and work from home (opens in new tab), with all the cybersecurity (opens in new tab) and logistical questions that come with it. Naturally, the question turned to how these businesses would continue to store and utilize data when working remotely.
Employees had got used to utilizing their own personal home internet connections and devices, rather than accessing company data via controlled office spaces and technology, and had also come to expect the freedom and flexibility that it offered. While 2020 did break all records when it comes to data lost via breaches and the number of cyber-attacks on government, companies, and individuals, the year did serve as a learning curve for most businesses and organizations to get a better understanding of what went wrong.
Digitization has helped to provide entire industries with increased resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also introduced many employees (opens in new tab) to a completely different way of working. A way that – if research is to be believed – may just be here to stay. So how can businesses best continue to provide for employees?
The transition to the cloud
While businesses everywhere have been migrating to the cloud for years, for many, the pandemic served as the tipping point required to force their hand. The case for moving to the cloud and modernizing was stronger than ever before. Now, after a full year of running on modernized services and platforms, businesses are starting to see the benefits.
This move to the cloud has enabled businesses to not only access data from home, but also better connect data between different sources. Allowing the business to make better informed decisions via an overall picture that is created only by accessing data (via the cloud) as a whole and not viewing it in offline siloes. This, alongside cloud-based solutions such as OpenText Cloud Editions, are able to provide all of the same benefits of on-premise, with the added benefit of complete flexibility of where they are accessed.
Positive IT experiences for employees are all about removing friction for them going about their jobs. As such, employees have got used to – and now expect – a seamless use of digital platforms while going about their day-to-day jobs, with data, information, and assets, all moving freely from one environment to another, backwards and forwards.
However, the benefits do not end with the employee. An exceptional cloud based IT experience benefits customers, supply chains, and distributors, by reducing friction and helping to increase efficiency for the business as a whole.
A better future for businesses in 2022
As we enter 2022, it is vital that businesses continue to build on the lessons they have learnt and the advancements these learnings have led them to. Businesses are now in a better place than ever before to continue their digital transformation (opens in new tab) journey and not stop pushing until all possible efficiencies have been identified and exploited to increase business performance.
Conducting efficient digital transformation has never been easy, but the global pandemic put more pressure on businesses than ever before to adapt to a future of hybrid work. Now that they have, it is vital that they do not go backwards. The future of hybrid working (opens in new tab) depends on it.
Any business that succeeds in truly building on the digital transformation seen over the past few years, will not only be able to retain and keep employees happy, but also thrive in 2022 and beyond.
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