The COVID-19 pandemic caused a seismic shift in the way businesses operate. Canadian organizations across a multitude of sectors were forced to adopt remote work strategies as the main avenue for conducting business amid social distancing measures and the continued impact of lockdown measures. While some organizations were ready to make the adjustment, many entered uncharted territory with all employees working remotely for the first time. As a result, there was a wave of widespread procurement of new technologies and solutions as organizations attempted to give their employees the necessary tools to ensure business continuity.
In addition to more thoughtful consideration being put into cybersecurity, the shift to remote work outlined the need for organizations to provide the appropriate solutions that support employees with the necessary tools to make this challenging landscape feel as normal as possible. Through digital transformation, we’ve seen several prominent trends arise as well as barriers to entry.
In an increasingly uncertain and remote world, here are some trends we’re seeing in the increased importance of endpoint solutions and devices to support remote work:
Increased hardware adoption
With employees having completed a mass transition to work from home, more flexible technologies were in demand. As a result, there was a noticeable uptick in hardware sales including laptops, phones and especially notebooks. These tools provide employees with greater mobility and flexibility to work wherever at their convenience. The increased remote work also incentivized organizations to give employees more autonomy, as they have largely proven capable of being as productive or more working from home compared to in the office. It’s this embracing of self-governance coupled with having the appropriate devices available that empowers employees and will be a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent going forward.
Necessary software adjustments
With widespread procurement of hardware devices, autopilot solutions became increasingly popular. These simplify the first-time set-up process for users and IT professionals to ensure devices are properly configured and ready to use upon reception. As a result, manual set up is often no longer required which allows for a smoother, more streamlined transition across the board. This capability enables organizations across different sectors to conduct large rollouts of device adoption tailored to that industry or workplace.
We similarly saw organizations continue to adopt more collaboration tools to maintain business continuity. This serves to streamline processes among coworkers which helps enhance both the customer experience and employee experience by enabling easy communication with colleagues to make our new reality as normal as possible.
Key challenges in transition
Unsurprisingly, several barriers arose through the remote transition that prevented organizations from adopting and implementing necessary endpoint solutions.
The most significant barrier to organizations implementing the appropriate endpoint solution was budget constraints. A large portion of organizations across sectors were unprepared for this rapid change and thus, did not plan for investments to ensure employees were digitally enabled in the new environment. Digital adoption can be costly but moving forward it’s an important consideration for organizations as our current environment is unpredictable. Organizations should, if possible, prepare for a variety of different scenarios as remote work could be our reality for many months or years to come.
For many, another challenge was lacking the appropriate network infrastructure and security to compliment these new devices. While the investment in tools to ensure business continuity for employees is important, it’s equally critical to an organization to ensure its private information remains secure.
To learn more about how CDW Canada can provide you with the tools and expertise to assess your current endpoint solutions inventory and position your organization for long term stability through our new environment and into the future, visit cdw.ca/digitalworkspace.