Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2020
We often hear euphemisms such as, “Every cloud has a silver lining” or “As one door shuts, another one opens”. Now whilst I do not want to detract from the seriousness that the epidemic is having on health everywhere, or the effect that the current situation is having on jobs in industries such as, travel, hospitality and tourism. The last few weeks I have been thinking and wondering about the global effect that these challenging times could have on the way we do many things, both in work and out of work. This change could have a big effect on people and societies, the way we look at the planet we live in and the responsibility we have for its preservation. I can't help but wonder as I look at the BBC’s already implied effect that the reduction in the global carbon footprint we are already seeing could have longer term, if we use this time to make positive environmental change. (View the article here).

We live in a period in history where I am convinced, we will look back in a couple of years and see that this was the moment when businesses moved in mass over to the cloud. Not because business leaders waded onboard, as cloud technologies reached that tipping point where the chasm crossed, following the industry's marketing and selling efforts. But because life as it does sometimes, forced our hand and something out of our control, meant we had to change to survive. In recent weeks, business owners and leaders have initially been encouraged and in more recent days where possible, mandated to follow government advice by rapidly deploying their workforce to work from home in order to protect them and others against this and our industry has been on hand to help.

Today, high bandwidth internet, adaptive networks such as SD-WAN and agile collaborative technologies such as UCaaS and CCaaS, have been the backbone to the change in the way we are working. With cloud-based applications, where they are what we call over the top, we only need an internet connection to work (Ethernet, Wi-Fi or mobile data). UCaaS for example is the foundation of true collaboration for today’s agile workforce enabling our people to work and be effective wherever they are connected. UCaaS enables DDI anywhere, extensive PBX functionality, voice and video conferencing, presence, instant messaging, file sharing, screen sharing as well as the ability via API integration to work into the businesses work processes such as CRM. If businesses want to be able to operate in an agile professional manner and anywhere, then UCaaS is the most efficient means of doing so. Armed with a laptop computer and/or a smart phone or easily provisioned handsets, then UCaaS is the way to go.

The rise of the home worker over the last 10 years has been slow but progressive. However, once the dust has settled, after this present period has passed, I’m pretty convinced that nothing like 100% of today’s office based employees, will return to their daily commute and 3 square metres. Business owners and leaders will perhaps, reflect and realise that their employees (and their most valuable assets) were more productive, happier, more creative, entrepreneurial and the employee related operational costs were lower too. Whilst at the same time, businesses of all sizes and stature flourished as we adopted new ways of agile working.