April 19, 2023
These past few years have seen huge steps forward, especially when it comes to collaboration and AV solutions. Plus, now that everyone’s gotten used to using more technology in their daily lives, we’ve grown comfortable with it.
Business technology has proven its worth, even to the skeptics. Want to see what it can really do?
5 Technology Trends That Will Be With Us Long After the Pandemic
1. Empowering Hybrid and Remote Workers
Even as many businesses are returning to the office, or at least for a few days each week, Covid-19 is still a reality — one that’s hard to argue with. Fortunately, this pandemic has also proven that being physically present is no longer necessary to produce amazing results.
Maybe for those few workers who enjoyed an incredible office culture, a gorgeous corner office, and a short commute, in-person work has its perks. But 97% of workers still prefer a remote or hybrid workplace. And then there’s this — if push came to shove, more workers would prioritize better work-life balance over better pay.
Offering hybrid or remote work can reduce disruptions caused by contagious illnesses, accommodate business travel, help improve work-life balance with the same levels of performance…
…and can help you attract and retain top talent like a magnet.
There’s a downside to remote work when it comes to the additional IT workload, but technology has a few fixes for that as well…
2. Cloud Computing Post Covid
Where there are remote or hybrid workplaces, there you will find cloud solutions. Before the pandemic, whenever we’d mention a cloud solution to a client, we’d have to do quite a bit of explaining about what the cloud is and how a cloud application operates. We’d also have to talk quite a lot about cybersecurity.
Cloud computing has done a full 180° in a very short time. Now everyone instantly trusts a cloud solution — so much so that we’re the ones who bring up security. Cloud tools are typically easier to use, they’re often cheaper, and updates are automatic. The migration process can be a challenge, but if you’re still mulling over cloud migration strategies for some or all of your data and tools, a trusted technology partner will have the expertise to make a cloud migration as quick and easy — and strategic — as possible.
3. Bigger AV Budgets
Have you increased your AV budget yet? Even if your business is back to in-person work full-time, not every business is. And if you’re trying to get people back to the office more often, it’s a bad look for them to put up with a commute and a brown-bag lunch just to sit on the same video calls with the same tools they now have at home.
The technology is there for conference rooms and huddle rooms to accommodate remote and in-person attendees seamlessly, including cameras that can adjust to feature a speaker instead of that awful static shot of an entire room. If you’re looking to attract workers with honey rather than using vinegar, tools that make in-office meetings much more pleasant and productive go a long way.
Presentations can be more meaningful, more inclusive, and less stressful. Meeting room automation can take care of the following:
- Dimming the lights
- Turning on the projector or displays
- Opening and closing window shades
- Adjusting the volume
- Granting control to an attendee joining through video conference
With sophisticated AV components comes more responsibility, but managed AV, much like managed print and managed IT, can help keep presenters focused on what matters most — solving problems, retaining clients, and winning new business. Regular health checks ensure that all of your components are ready to go when you need them.
4. Fewer, but Better, Collaboration Tools
Platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex by Cisco were here before the pandemic, but most businesses weren’t taking full advantage of them because, well, they didn’t need to.
Now, more businesses are discovering just how powerful these tools can be, but if you add Slack, Miro, and other online tools to the mix, that’s a lot of open tabs and a lot of additional onboarding for new employees.
And that brings us to…
UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service, might not be right for every organization, but the myth that it was helpful only for enterprise-scale businesses has been largely busted. Robust and feature-rich Unified Communications (Teams, Zoom, and Webex) can bring all collaboration solutions, including Cloud Voice, under one tab.
5. Easier, More Secure Connectivity
Covid-19 led to remote work, which led to the cloud, which now necessitates better, more secure connectivity.
Back in late 2021 we hosted a webinar on SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) architecture, and how Cisco’s solutions can better facilitate cloud apps, secure hybrid and remote workplaces, and make life a little easier — finally — for IT teams. SASE (pronounced “sassy”) is still evolving, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.
Making 2023 a Whole Lot Easier
Now that we’ve had a chance to figure out how businesses can achieve the exact same set of goals using entirely different tools, 2023 can be a whole lot easier than the past few years have been. Change fatigue is real, but it still might be a good time to talk about other changes…before complacency sets in. Especially when those changes make life easier instead of harder.
If you haven’t yet updated your AV systems or anything else I’ve mentioned in this blog, it’s definitely time. But wouldn’t it be nice to push the easy button for once? If you’re in IT, you’ve definitely earned it. AV components can be complicated, especially when setting up a new conference room isn’t what you do day in, day out. As our first demonstration of how much easier we can make AV, just one click below will take you to our AV solutions page.