The coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis has forced many offices and workforces to rethink and re-manage the way they actually run their operations. It’s led to a huge shift towards remote working. This has led to more and more of us relying on cloud computing. Whether it’s cloud storage, connectivity or even servers based off-site, many people have opened their eyes to the cloud over 2020.
Eventually, once the pandemic starts to ease – which will hopefully be soon – there will be a sense of ‘returning to normal’. But will that necessarily be the case for office working? Plenty of business owners are seeing that there are huge benefits to running operations via the cloud, not only to save on time, but to save on money, too.
As a huge backer of cloud managed services and VoIP, Planet Numbers is always excited to see what the next big changes will be in corporate connectivity. But what will office work look like once the ‘new normal’ readjusts? Let’s take a look at a few ideas and concepts.
Mobility is Key
If there is one thing office managers and workers have discovered this past year, it’s that cloud computing, and by association VoIP, really opens the door for a lot of flexibility. Employees find that they are able to work off-site just as efficiently as they might in-house. Perhaps even more so, in some cases!
Office managers and business owners are also seeing huge differences in overheads and running costs. The cost of actively running an office, with outdated comms, can be astronomical in the long run. By keeping employees and team members remote, flexible and fluid, there are lower costs in terms of hardware upkeep, travel subsidies, and more besides.
What’s more, VoIP, running via the cloud, is much more cost-effective than mobile phone contracting company-wide. You still pay for the same communications standards you’d expect in-house, only you get to share them amongst your remote workers who are away from HQ.
Therefore, we anticipate a large swing towards remote working coupled with in-house necessity. There are always going to be reasons to communicate in-house, and for that reason, the physical office won’t ever go away completely. However, given an eye-opening 12 months so far, we can safely assume a hybrid model is going to loom into view.
These shifts to the cloud, whether for communications or for server management, will also mean that office managers can effectively split off much of its existing space. If there is no need to house employees, hardware or huge, sprawling servers so much, then this is space better used for other means. It might even mean that businesses choose to move to a ‘hoteling’ approach, and even sell off or break away from their physical locations altogether.
This is likely to be a brave step, however, as the cloud systems a business uses must have the best security available in order for such a leap to become possible. What’s more, it’s unlikely that we will see a complete digitalisation of the office in 2021 alone.
It’s likely to take place over several years, however. Cloud connectivity and computing have proven that you don’t always need to stay on-site to keep efficient and productive. Therefore, while a full cloud solution may be a little optimistic right now, we are at least seeing movements away from physical HQs in light of 2020’s safety measures.
An Eye-Opening Year
2020 was eye opening for most businesses. That might sound like an exaggeration, but we’re coming through a period of time quite unlike any other. Even larger businesses and office services have felt the pinch.
The costs incurred by businesses to ride out the pandemic thus far have been difficult for some to manage. Government hand-outs aside, many firms, even the smallest of SMEs, have been forced to think carefully about cost-cutting and making daily running that bit more financially efficient.
That’s why there has been such a large shift towards the cloud. Cloud services such as managed VoIP are not only physically efficient, but they are also cost-effective. The costs to maintain a physical phone network in the modern age may increase as technology gets more and more complex.
What’s more, businesses are at risk of losing revenue through poor quality or outdated communications systems. Cloud services are more reliable, altogether, meaning that there is more chance for firms to seize upon big contracts and to actively preserve their livelihoods.
The pandemic has shown business owners that there are ways and means to help adapt to some of the most impossible situations. Long-term, it’s not hard to imagine the most forward-planning of forward-thinking firms to adopt a cloud strategy of sorts to ensure that they mitigate the chance of losing any more business should the same problems happen again. Fingers crossed, they won’t – but we are now living in an age of extreme disaster management.
Is Now the Time to Move to The Cloud?
At Planet Numbers, we believe the time to move to VoIP is now. Cloud based managed telephony is not only more flexible and more cost-efficient than traditional telephony, but also future-proof.
Should lockdown conditions ever occur again in the years and decades to come, VoIP and cloud computing will ensure that your company is ready to bounce back at any given moment.
Beyond this, consider that traditional landline solutions are going to phase out by mid-decade. That means even BT are noticing that traditional telephony is drifting further and further away from relevance.
Therefore, now really is the time to start thinking about bringing VoIP, at the very least, into your cloud-based business. Otherwise, you may risk falling further behind the competition, and may be in a very difficult spot should pandemic problems ever occur again in future.
If you’d like to know more about VoIP and why the future of corporate telephony lies in the cloud, get in touch with Planet Numbers today – and we will help you move into the modern age.