The world has changed in an extremely short period of time and with it many services have had to adapt to fulfil this necessary need. The pandemic has made an impact within the Information Technology sector and it has become clear that remote working has become a "new-normal." Companies around the world are making big decisions on how to handle their workload and workforce to remain functional through an incredible challenge.
So, what does this mean for your IT Support and what impact does this have on your day to day?
IT Support is a fast paced environment, whether that’s from the initial workload or the continuous improvements there are always hills to climb and hurdles to jump, as part of those continuous improvements the world of IT has been on a trajectory for virtualisation for a long time with services such as O365, Azure and Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions, among others.
The beauty of having a managed service provider is that IT support has always been remote. Our many tools allow us to provide industry leading support to our clients from a distance. No matter where your colleagues are in the world, we can provide them support in their time of need thus allowing a smooth transition from accessing support in the office, to accessing it from home.
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The initial announcement of a lockdown in the UK created the largest wave, as many companies moved to a remote method of working overnight and therefore requiring a solution to a problem that was unprecedented. Businesses turned to their IT for help to ensure their services and resources were accessible to staff while working from their home’s allowing them to focus on their business in this turbulent time.
For the everyday user, the common IT problems will remain an issue and knowing your IT are just a call away while going through this change should always be a reassuring comfort rather than an inconvenience. Performance problems, email Issues and hardware malfunctions don’t disappear because you move away from the office so neither should your IT support.
How does a Servicedesk continue to meet expectations?
When you think of a Servicedesk you often imagine a room full of people answering calls, discussing processes and ideas and a general busy atmosphere, so what happens when your remote support must also be remote?
Having the tools, processes and resources are key part of remaining efficient and effective. IT Support is a customer lead industry so ensuring high-quality standards are met is essential to success. Maintaining a high service level with huge changes is always a challenge, however having structure and processes in place can define the success quickly and can ensure service expectations are not only met but exceeded in every possible instance.
Like all businesses, Concise is not exempt to the road bumps of business. Being a successful business is about managing and overcoming the bumps in the road, be that seeing them coming with proactive management, having good suspension for your core services with redundancy of infrastructure should an unpredicted event happen, or good problem management procedures following any knock to services. All these methods are implemented at Concise to provide our clients with the high levels of service they have come to expect, whatever the circumstance.
With companies also adopting to work remotely it has seen an increase in the use of remote access methods, and in turn increase security measures to protect these processes. Multi Factor Authentication being one of best examples.
Applications such as Microsoft Teams have planted firmly into this now world allowing communication quickly between colleagues and teams, what used to be a discussion while peering over monitors has now transformed into private messages, screen sharing or a series of GIFs in a team post, and what used to be a busy board room meeting has migrated to a display of webcam’s and customised backgrounds.
Changes to the Day to Day
You work from home and so does your IT support, but what actually changes? Well working from home can produce its own obstacles, from a knock at the door, childcare or a restless pet. Working from home can bring a new level of loneliness for some and using tools like the aforementioned Teams is important to keep the bond between colleagues for business and interpersonal relationships. Sometimes speaking with work colleagues can be a great reason to get out of bed in the morning, even if the commute is rolling out of bed and a short walk to one's workstation in the next room.
It’s an unknown world for most but as more and more companies adopt into this way of working many are finding their groove. For a lot of companies working remotely was sudden, scary and uncharted, like a ripping a off a plaster, it was necessary but uncomfortable.
Staff are seeing many pros to working from home. Gone are the long commutes and beating the traffic, freeing up time before and after work, removing the rush and stress that could easily set up for a negative start to a day. This leaves time for personal improvement for members of staff, an opportunity that has been grasped with two hands by many at Concise.
Mental health being one of the most talked about topics during this time opens the door to “what is normal?” in the working environment and how can our actions affect those around us and even our clients. Being professional is always an attribute that many people working in IT strive towards however being understanding, considerate and empathetic are often more effective in producing a resolution to meet a common goal, we support people… not technology
As the future is uncertain, we can be sure that technology will remain at the forefront of any business. With this, so will IT Support. As some companies return to the office over time or others adopt to remain remote, there will always be a need to look to the future. This will come in many forms from a new technology infrastructure to maintaining systems. It is fair to say that flexible working is likely to become a more permanent feature, allowing working from home to become more commonplace method of allowing employees to balance their personal lives with their business lives and knowing that your IT support will be there wherever in the world is an important confidence to have.
To conclude it must be noted that everyone is going through the same change, although it may not always be visible, which is an achievement in itself, many companies including the IT Sector are embracing this new change. Change can be healthy if handled the right way and we can all do our part to ensure the success of those we work with as well as ourselves, moving forward is the most natural step, the path points in the right direction.
- No matter where you are in the world, your IT support should be there for you when you need them.
- To weather any storm in business it is important to have strong and stable foundations to your business and in the 21st Century, where the bricks and mortar of your workplace are less important than IT infrastructure, it is important to know you can count on your systems to be properly managed, monitored and maintained
- Times have and will continue to change but your IT support should be consistent and stable throughout. With the many challenges the situation of the pandemic has changed the world as we know it and knowing you have time to focus on your business and your personal life without worrying about IT is critical in these trying times.
- Though the world is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation event it does not throw out the future. Businesses have adapted to the new normal and it is on them to shape the new-normal going forward and informed investment in IT services and infrastructure is the key to success in the post-COVID world.
- IT problems have not gone away now we have gone away from our offices so neither should your IT. The reality of working from home throws up new IT challenges and non more important than the new security challenges faced by every business in the light of the situation.
Jon Whittaker is a 1st Line Engineer for Concise Technologies.