What is your Perspective on The Importance of IT Support in Your Business Post COVID 19?

The impact of Managed IT Services to Small and Medium Sized Businesses during the COVID 19 period and post COVID 19
23 April 2021 by
What is your Perspective on The Importance of IT Support in Your Business Post COVID 19?

According to research done by Analysys Mason in the USA between April and May 2020, The COVID-19 pandemic has forced SMBs to rapidly adapt to new working conditions. The majority of SMBs have been proactive in managing the crisis by adopting new technologies to connect and secure their remote workforces and by reallocating budgets. The resultant effect is the accelerated adoption of IT and managed services.

Key Questions Addressed

How did your business’s use of IT and Managed Services change at the height of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020 and how do you expect this to change in future?

What types of support and services are businesses in general (yours included) demanding from Vendors?

I would like to hear from you. Post your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Work from Home Dynamics

As a result of the pandemic, lockdown measures by the government have been a sign of the times. At one point everyone was encouraged to work from home except the essential workforce. Today, to curb the spread of the virus, businesses have instituted partial lockdowns in the workplace. The workforce has been split into three camps where one group is allowed to exclusively work from home with the other two groups alternating days or weeks in which they will have to work from home while the other works form from the office. I know a company which has never opened their brick and motor office since the first lockdown. The whole team works exclusively from home. Just yesterday I had a discussion with a fast-growing startup company whose CEO has been working out of France since March Last Year.

The need to expand the four walls of the office to the very end of the earth has never been this imminent. As a result, there has been a growing need by small and large businesses alike to access company systems and data securely from anywhere in the world whilst adopting a heightened level of communication and collaboration with all the stakeholders. There was also a need to ensure that productivity levels of all staff members remained at par if not higher as people worked from home.  This is where IT and Managed Service Providers in particularly stepped up to be counted.

The figure below from Analysis Mason's report depicts some of the major areas that were addressed.


Cost Cutting Measures

The pandemic period has seen many, of the not so fortunate, businesses close due to a constrained business environment. However, there are companies that have managed to stay afloat by cost-cutting. As a result, many people lost their jobs. Other companies decided not to only take a defensive approach but also find ways of attacking the problem. This they achieved through automating and streamlining their business processes. We saw an increase in demand for our Business Automation Services last year, where companies need a function within a department automated whilst others required an ERP to streamline and integrate processes in all their departments. This drastically reduced the time to value, increased service delivery and reduced cost even though in many cases the job was being done by fewer staff members.

Adoption of New Business Models.

The never say die business leaders took an even more proactive approach and adopted new business models. Once again, IT and in particular Managed Service Providers played a critical role in this. Many companies took their businesses online, others moved workloads to the cloud and others developed/embraced mobile applications which opened them up to new markets and new business demands which challenged their logistics, distribution, and service delivery capabilities to new levels.

The figure below from Analys Mason' report depicts some of the major Operational activities undertaken by SMB’s in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Stretched IT Resources

With the sudden growth in the complexity of IT needs, many companies were faced with a shortfall in internal resources and expertise. Even larger companies with in-house IT resource(s) needed to leverage the deep and broad bench in technology expertise that some Managed IT Services had.

It was interesting to note that for companies that already had a competent Managed Services company in their corner, this transition was seamless and with a more manageable impact from a budget perspective because most of the changes had been factored into an IT roadmap that overtime was gradually being implemented. Post-Covid, Technology Strategy and Business Impact is the key deliverable that is being embraced by the SMB community.

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Protus Agufa

Founder and chief visionary of ANQAD Systems. Protus is a budding change agent, Technology Strategist, a Husband, a Father of Two Beautiful Daughters and part of the body of Christ - not necessarily in that order. 

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