Making the right IT infrastructure choices now is essential so that your organization can continue to thrive in times of crisis.
During the second quarter of 2020, companies across the U.S. staggered under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the months afterward, it has become clear that the survival of the nation’s businesses – small and large – may hinge upon their ability to innovate.
Now’s the time to reevaluate your company’s infrastructure investments and IT strategy to determine what’s most important moving forward. The first items reviewed and evaluated should be the IT infrastructure that may be struggling to keep up with the demands of communication, collaboration, privacy, security, and productivity.
Consider these statistics:
- Before the pandemic, only about 3.6% of the workforce worked from home regularly.
- By the end of 2021, about 25% to 30% of the workforce may be working from home.
- About 56% of the workforce holds a job that is at least partially compatible with working from home, depending on available technology.
- 99% of workers would prefer to work from home at least part of the time.
What will the next decade look like, in terms of IT infrastructure and connectivity? Is your company’s infrastructure focused on the future and scalability, or is it running on legacy, outdated technology? These are critical questions to ask at this technological turning point, as we evolve the traditional working model.
Is Your IT Infrastructure Ready for The Future?
Just one year ago, few would have predicted how global business and operations would change so rapidly under a worldwide pandemic. Almost overnight, companies were faced with the challenge, to provide workable IT solutions quickly, while keeping employees working productively and preventing the loss of valuable customers.
In response to the crisis, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a list of critical industries that need urgent infrastructure maintenance, to ensure the safety of their systems and data. If your business falls into one of these categories, you must evaluate your current infrastructure:
- Commercial facilities
- Critical manufacturing
- Emergency services
- Food and agriculture
- Governmental services
- Healthcare and public health
- Information technology
- Nuclear materials and waste
- Real estate
Even if your business isn’t on the list above, IT infrastructure should be part of your strategic plan. CISA has identified information technology infrastructure as “central to the nation’s security, economy, public health, and safety as businesses, governments, academia, and private citizens are increasingly dependent upon Information Technology sector functions.”
Which Infrastructure Investments Should You Prioritize?
Avoid taking a short-sighted view of IT infrastructure due to the immediacy of the pandemic. IT infrastructure solutions should include a broader plan that includes scalability, customer and employee needs, strategic initiatives, and goals your company has for the future.
Consider the migration to cloud-based solutions. They minimize the demand on your physical infrastructure and come as a huge relief during periods of extreme IT overload. Cloud solutions are also scalable, so you can quickly adjust them as required.
Unified Communications and Collaboration
It’s a good time to examine your unified communications and collaboration capabilities to see if your infrastructure is preventing your organization from having an optimized experience. A cloud-based solution can allow your employees to collaborate, communicate, meet, and share files in real-time, allowing them to continue working as normal, no matter their location.
Is your organization’s and customer data in the cloud and accessible from anywhere? What about your content management system? Consider which databases and platforms could become cloud-based for optimized connectivity and security.
Review how your employees are accessing your information and the standardization of this process. Do you need multifactor authentication technologies? How are you verifying that people working remotely are who they say they are?
Consider your customer service channels, including your call center. How is your reporting infrastructure? Are you able to consistently share reports and data? Do you require a custom solution? It may be time to migrate your company to a call center architecture that is not on-premises and lives in the cloud.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
This is the perfect time to review your business continuity plan and take an honest look at how well your company handled the coronavirus crisis. Were you dependent on systems that are tied down to a certain location? Did you maintain maximum uptime?
If not, it may be time to create a new plan that has greater fluidity and flexibility. It’s time for an IT infrastructure that has a truly enterprise-wide, location-free, cloud-based format.
ATSG – Transforming the Customer Experience Through Tech-enabled Managed Services
Today’s choices for mobility, cloud, infrastructure, communications, applications, and operations are mission-critical for small, mid-sized, and large enterprises alike. ATSG, Inc. is leading the transformation into Technology-Solutions-as-a-Service with our tech-enabled managed services portfolio and a commitment to technology innovation, operational excellence, and client intimacy.
Recognized by industry leaders and industry-leading publications, ATSG has over 25 years of operating history delivering exceptional customer experiences that directly result in competitive advantage, cost-savings, growth, and improved operational efficiencies. Visit www.atsg.net, email [email protected], call 1-914-517-2919, or visit one of our five Tristate locations today for more information.