Let’s face it, the first half of 2021 has been as uncertain for some as the months before that. With key dates and deadlines ruling the headlines in the UK, ambiguity around how people and business will react when we reach them – it’s been a tough year for a lot of businesses. One industry that has been key in propping businesses up, especially when it came to the move to work from home, during the pandemic is the technology industry. So, as we enter the second half of this unusual year, let us take a look at 3 technology trends that will be changing the way we work (yet again…)
The Office Debate – Are we going back?
The answer to this question will definitely be different depending on who you speak to or what industry you are in. However, the resounding answer is changed is needed. Whether this means sticking to remote working fully, a more hybrid setup where people split their time between home and the office, or just going back to the office full time. All these scenarios will require some technology adaptation.
If your business does end up going back to the office full time, there are several changes staff will be expecting. In-office employees are looking for some of the flexibility they experienced during the work-from-home peak. Knight Franks Re-occupancy and Re-imagined Workplace Survey 2020 showed 47% of businesses were including more flexible or coworking space in their real estate strategy, which was only accelerated by the lockdown. Plus, making sure your environment is adapted to communicate with those who have chosen to stay remote is key. Both of these will require some sort of technology adaptation, so it won’t just be a case of slotting right back into your old way of working.
Then we have the full work-from-home businesses. Setting up an entirely remote network may not have been an organization’s plan back in 2020 when a huge segment of working moved online. So now is the time to ensure they structured properly and securely if they have not already. Engaging with an IT Support company is a must, as you are now having to think about as many endpoints as you do employees – rather than one central office location. Therefore, you want to be sure as you expand, someone is managing your network properly so you can focus on growing your business.
Data Breaches & Security
Security is a trend that appears on this kind of list every year but, as we mentioned in the last section, remote businesses are now dealing with the risk of as many networks as they have employees. There are also multiple users and family members all working on these networks, of all different skills and levels of security savvy. Therefore, security is going to be at the forefront of any business looking to keep on some remote or flexible working.
The issue is cybersecurity threats evolve every year to meet the changes in technology and business environments. The Verizon Business 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report of 2021 so far, found that out of the incidents analyzed a third more confirmed breaches were found than the same time last year. As long as there are hacker’s intent on accessing business data, there will always be a need to develop and enhance business security.
Organizations should be looking for a reliable IT Support Service that includes some 24/7 proactive network monitoring as part of the solution. This type of system will detect unusual activity before it becomes an issue. There are also great tools that allow you really granular control of what staff can or can’t do with company data. Examples include demanding multiple passwords and codes when logging into systems and even go as far as not being able to copy and paste data outside of company applications. You may not work 24 hours of the day, but your infrastructure does so having a reliable system and team supervising it is a must.
When the pandemic hit and we could no longer meet in person, Virtual Reality really started to show its true potential. From training to entertainment and sports, the possibility for this connective technology has really been realized during this time of separation and it doesn’t show any sign of going away.
One industry that is said to be leading the way with this technology, is its use in Real Estate. Being able to set up virtual viewings where potential buyers can walk around properties from their own home, or an estate agent can give them a realistic and safe view of a property’s potential. The properties don’t even have to be completed, or in the same country for this to work! The investment in this technology was already being made, with the VR market size being valued at $15.81 billion in 2020 and being expected to grow to $21.83 billion in 2021 according to a report by Grand View Research.
The rest of 2021 will almost definitely bring about more changes that we have not foreseen, but with these will come innovations and growth that will only push business technology further. For those that are willing to adapt and move with these trends, this could be an advancing and restorative 6 months after a long period of uncertainty.