With many workers now combining a return to the office with continued home working, the ‘hybrid-first’ approach is being reflected in the way that firms roll out new technologies for their employees, according to unified communications as a service company TelcoSwitch.
The somewhat makeshift nature of home working when it was first implemented last year has now given way to a more permanent evolution in working culture. Instead of focusing purely on areas such as job role or seniority, organisations are now approaching the management of employees – and the technology that enables them to do their jobs – in a much more fluid manner.
Aaron Foster, chief technology officer at TelcoSwitch, said: “As a level of confidence in businesses and the economy returns, we’re seeing IT teams start to embrace the hybrid working reality in terms of technical rollouts. When working on such projects, it’s now more about the fact that any employee could be anywhere on any given day, rather than introducing new tech based on the position they hold within the company, or whether they’re permanently based in the office.
“This is a sensible approach, as it simplifies how IT departments manage blanket rollouts for technical solutions. The fact that companies are now much more aware of how a hybrid approach works also means that IT departments are putting the medium- and long-term plans in place to ensure the technology deployed effectively meets demand. Further, IT security and governance have generally been very well managed throughout the upheaval of the last year, so we’re hoping to see this continue.
“From a technology stack perspective, SaaS is very much at the top of the shopping list for hybrid specifications. This is due to a number of attributes that make it ideally suited to the task, including its low-to-zero capex requirement, per-seat licensing models, rapid deployment, scalability, low maintenance, self-sustaining or vendor-managed upgrade policies, and little to no downtime.”
Looking a little further ahead, Foster believes there are a few key areas for IT departments to keep an eye on as they develop their hybrid approaches further. One of these is interoperability with various different applications across the organisation.
He added: “Interoperability is a vital consideration where companies are simultaneously deploying a number of SaaS solutions throughout the business. CRM systems are a key example of where this needs to be achieved, given the close links these platforms have between both the employee and customer. This need for seamless integration is only set to grow further as hybrid working strategies become more established, so it’s key that employees are able to easily access all the office systems they need from wherever they’re based.”
Foster concluded: “Aside from this, IT departments should keep up the great work they’re doing in terms of security, and continue evolving to meet the needs of the hybrid workforce. Achieve these objectives, and there’s every reason to be positive about the future.”