Page 36 - BusinessWest April 28, 2021
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far more open to remote work, and “ amount of work, IT professionals did only wanted a “down-and-dirty” setup
there’s no mystery to it anymore.”
Change of Scenery
While some of Hogan’s employees have always worked remotely, the per- centage has grown, and their efficiency allows them to escape the daily com- mute. “They don’t need to be behind a windshield for an hour and a half each day just getting to and from work,” he said.
When companies first sent work- ers home, IT providers spent most of their time helping clients integrate employees into their respective net- works. While they suddenly had a huge
I’m looking at the service tickets we’re completing while working remote, and they are right on par with where they were when we were in the office. In fact, we might be a little more efficient.”
not see much revenue because many clients had contracts to cover this extra work. Increased revenue soon followed, however, as many new clients sought these services.
“We signed more new customers in 2020 than the previous two years com- bined,” Bean said, adding that much of the new business came from com- panies that found their dependence on technology had suddenly increased and their IT capabilities couldn’t meet these new demands.
In addition to new clients coming on board, Christianson explained that many of his current clients, who at first
for remote access, were now looking for a more permanent solution for their network.
“Those of us in the IT industry are very fortunate,” he said. “We have done well during this time and were not
hit hard like so many other industries were.”
With the end of COVID in sight, businesses have begun looking at what comes next. Those we spoke with agree on one thing: it will not be business like it was before or even during the pandemic.
“Most of our clients want some
Jeremiah Beaudry
hybrid between those two options, where there is more in-person interac- tion than during the pandemic, but probably not as much as there was before,” Bean said. Once people started learning videoconferencing and Micro- soft 365, he noted, they saw how help- ful these tools can be even when every- one is in the office.
As IT providers continue to transi- tion their clients from premise-based servers to the data cloud, they also predict other big shifts on the horizon. For example, with so many compa- nies using smartphones and laptop computers to make calls, the company phone system may soon be a thing of the past.
“A few years from now, the idea of having both a computer and a phone on your desk at work is going to be a very strange concept,” Bean said, espe- cially when companies consider the economics of supporting two systems that make phone calls.
While the demise of the office phone seems inevitable, office space itself could be in for a big reduction, Christianson added. “We’ve seen a lot of instances where people are moving from bigger spaces to smaller ones. They are making the calculation that some people are not coming back.”
Even if it’s in a smaller space, Hogan asserted that an office presence is still vital. “I don’t think we’ll go back to the way it was before, but many people still want to return to their offices,
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