Spending money on business tech is a double-edged sword – it’s both a competitive necessity and an investment in future growth. The world is becoming increasingly digital, creating both enormous opportunities and the potential for costly pitfalls.
So how should your business allocate its tech spend to ensure it remains ahead of the game? We spoke with two of Spirit’s modern workplace experts to discover how they would recommend investing business IT resources to extract maximum benefit.
Robert Nad, Product Manager for Modern Workplace & Cloud: The secure, modern digital workplace doesn’t need to be a complicated space, but there are some essential components that all businesses should include. I’ve tried to rank my suggestions in order, but feel free to chop and change as required.
- Collaboration tools & apps. The main plank of a business’s digital transformation is the uptake of collaboration tools that have the capability to empower interactions between staff when they work remotely. These platforms enable organisations to use a single dashboard to engage with colleagues and customers regardless of physical location. Such tools are a game-changer when employees are separated via hybrid working arrangements.
- Adoption of cloud technology. This will be next on my list, with businesses transitioning their workloads from on-premises to private or public clouds like Microsoft Azure. Shifting into the cloud makes these businesses borderless and allows employers to hire staff from anywhere while still giving employees access to the tools they need. Once you move your business into the cloud, the focus will slowly shift to cyber security, and the need for a secure digital workplace should become a higher priority.
- Attention to cyber security. When everyday tools move into the cloud to enable remote or hybrid working arrangements, businesses must start focusing on protecting themselves against hackers and data breaches. This would involve adopting a secure-by-design approach when moving to the cloud and engaging a technology partner with extensive cyber security experience. You can try to implement cyber security yourself, but this can result in gaps that may leave you exposed to hackers or online breaches. Organisations need to remember that cyber security is a journey, not a one-off fix. So, it’s important to have someone along for that journey who knows what they’re doing and can take that stress off your business.
Caleb Bateman, Head of Managed Service Solutions: To avoid obvious double-ups, I’ve added some variety to my top tech investment suggestions. Having worked in a regional setting, I’m mindful of the need to stay connected with your people, be they employees, clients, contractors, or suppliers. The beauty of modern tech advances means that your organisation can compete on a national and even global scale if you have the right tools.
- Strong Internet connection. Arguably the most important piece of the technology puzzle is a strong internet connection because without it your business continuity can be seriously impacted. Companies can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars from low productivity and the inability to run certain business operations. I’m based in regional NSW and see this issue prevalent within many organisations housed outside major cities. They grappled with connectivity before access to networks like business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet was provided.
- Digital equipment. On a practical level, it’s also important for businesses to invest in good equipment such as microphones and webcams to boost the remote meeting experience. If a participant has a blank or low-quality video or audio connection, it makes it very difficult to read the person behind the screen and collaborate effectively. When dealing with external persons like clients or suppliers, high-quality equipment sends a message of professionalism and competence.
- Device management. The ability to easily deploy devices anywhere using tools like Microsoft Autopilot is another strong recommendation. This device management platform saves a lot of admin time when trying to enable staff to work remotely and onboard them to your organisation’s network. To put it simply, it automates the process to provide an “out-of-box” experience. We’ve seen many businesses adopt this to support remote or hybrid work and the results are overwhelmingly positive.
There you have it, some helpful recommendations from Spirit team members who assist Australian businesses implement secure, digital, modern workplaces every day. The allocation of precious business resources is never an easy task, especially in a dynamic environment such as technology.
If you have any questions about the effectiveness of your current IT investment, reach out to one of our helpful modern workplace experts for advice.