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If there’s one lesson the COVID-19 pandemic taught people and businesses globally it’s that everything can change in an instant. While we can’t anticipate whether we’ll ever again face changes as sudden and severe as the pandemic introduced, most of us are taking steps to ensure we’re better prepared to handle unexpected events in the future. 

For businesses looking at next steps for success, there’s a lot at stake. Many businesses experienced lengthy and costly disruptions during the pandemic, and they’ll want to do everything they can to mitigate the risks of future disruptions. To help cement their long-term success, every business will need to ensure their teams have solutions that allow them to work efficiently and effectively, no matter what unforeseen circumstances come their way.

As you evaluate where you are today and where you need to go, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

1. Start By Evaluating What Worked Well And What Didn’t

To cope with the pandemic, most businesses were forced to make unbudgeted investments to spontaneously support a vastly larger remote workforce. Some of those investments will be worth maintaining, while others met a short-term need, but now need to be updated or replaced with more cost-effective and flexible solutions that will increase productivity long-term.

As you’re making your assessments, take a broad perspective. Look at the solutions and processes your teams are using today, but also consider what you’re missing, and what you might need in the future. An employee survey can be a good way to identify pros, cons and gaps in your current solutions. Your teams’ responses will help you determine:

  • Which solutions are used most often, by which team members and for what purposes.
  • Whether generational work styles and preferences are affecting solution usage.
  • The types of solutions that will deliver maximum benefit to your employees today and longer term.
  • Whether there are opportunities to update the solutions in use with more advanced and tightly integrated technologies, or whether it makes sense to replace existing solutions with more future-friendly technologies.

2. Assume You’ll Be Permanently Supporting A Hybrid Workforce

In the post-pandemic world, many offices will never again experience all staff working on-site at the same time. At least some percentage of the workforce will always be working remotely — and the mix of on-site and remote workers may change daily. 

This shift means businesses will need more meeting rooms and collaborative spaces instead of individual workspaces for everyone. Hot-desking, or workspace sharing, will become commonplace. And everyone will need the ability to easily access all of the applications and tools they rely on whether they’re working in the office, at home or while on the road. 

To meet these new requirements on a permanent basis, you’ll need to ensure apps and tools are provided in a very flexible way, but with no compromises to data security or compliance. All data must be fully protected and comply with corporate policies and industry regulations no matter where people are located or which device they’re using.

3. Focus On Communications And Collaboration Solutions

The communications and collaboration solutions you adopt affect every aspect of your internal and external operations. With the right deployment strategy and solutions, you can:

  • Help on-site and off-site team members efficiently and productively work together, no matter their role, experience level or preferred work style.
  • Create a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan that ensures everyone in your organization can continue to communicate and collaborate with one another and with partners, suppliers and customers without interruption, regardless of what’s going on in the outside world. This includes the ability to quickly pivot and ask all employees to work from home, or from satellite locations, with minimal disruption, whenever needed.
  • Enhance the customer experience with omnichannel communications that include traditional voice and web interactions, social and mobile apps and services, advanced data analytics and integration with customer relationship management (CRM) and other back-end systems.

The key is to ensure your communications and collaboration solutions are fully integrated. When people can switch seamlessly between voice, text and video conversations on any device, they can work in a more natural and intuitive way. And they’re better able to focus on the topic being discussed rather than how to manipulate multiple disparate tools and apps.

Shifting to Hybrid Work Doesn't Have to be Hard. Here are 10 Ways MiCloud Connect can Make it Easier. >

4. Explore New Technologies With Your Entire Organization In Mind

As you evaluate the technologies and solutions that are best aligned with your business goals and workforce requirements, you’ll no doubt consider the merits of cloud-based solutions. According to market research from Frost & Sullivan, when technology solutions are delivered from the cloud, businesses can:

  • Reduce costs for hardware and software maintenance
  • Reduce the risks of app, tool and service downtime
  • Free IT resources to develop innovative solutions to tough challenges
  • Accelerate delivery of new services and applications
  • Increase agility and market responsiveness

While cloud-based solutions are a great way to efficiently deliver a consistent set of features and functions to highly dispersed teams, it’s also important to understand what these changes mean for the different groups in your organization. For a successful transition, you’ll need to consider how your move affects:

  • Your workforce. Industry research shows that Gen X employees have different workstyle preferences than Gen Y and Gen Z employees. The generational profile in your organization will influence the speed and ease with which people adopt cloud technologies.
  • IT. These teams are used to providing on-site services. They’ll need to adapt their focus areas and priorities to help your workforce understand, and make optimal use of, solutions delivered from the cloud.
  • HR. These teams will need to help hybrid on-site and off-site teams adapt to new ways of working together and keep morale high.
  • Facilities management. As people try different ways of working, facilities teams will likely have to adjust space allocation multiple times. This need will diminish over time, but it will be important for team members to feel they can work productively from the office or from home. 

5. Rely On An Expert Partner

Mitel specializes in helping businesses of all sizes and types navigate the new normal, do more with the solutions they already have and migrate to cloud-based communications, collaboration and contact center solutions at the pace that’s right for their business. We understand there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and our global network of certified partners is ready to help you implement the solutions that best fit your unique requirements. 

To find a Mitel partner near you, search our global partner list. Alternatively, contact our sales experts

Looking for more insights? Download the Frost & Sullivan e-book, The Only Certainty Is Uncertainty. >

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