A recent survey shows that Canadian professionals want technology to change to improve flexibility and productivity in the new normal.

The survey of 1000 people by VMware and Hill + Knowlton Strategies found that half of the participants had never worked from home before the pandemic. Now that they’ve tried it, 62 per cent of the participants feel they shouldn’t be expected to work full-time in an office in the future. However, many of them say they need better tools to do their jobs remotely.

“It’s clear that change is expected,” said Katrine Ellingsen, Cloud Services Sales Specialist with VMware, at a recent ITWC webinar. “What’s happening now is that it’s accelerating the journey towards digital transformation, to make businesses more resilient, more flexible, and well prepared to drive that recovery and growth and be prepared for future challenges that may come.”

The COVID crisis has exposed vulnerabilities that exist in organizations, noted Ellingsen. At the same time, it has created better alignment between business and IT to work together to adapt and prepare for the future.

Three phases on a ‘future-ready’ journey

During these unprecedented times, organizations are facing three phases that call for action, said Chris Beggs, a Digital Architect at Teramach.

The first was a reactive or triage phase where organizations had to move quickly to enable remote workers and to sustain their business. During this time, IT leaders were investing in security, data protection and recovery as remote workers needed to access corporate data safely. Most organizations have moved past this stage, said Beggs. “I think we’re really starting to realize how strong and resilient we are.”

Now, organizations find themselves in the second phase, where they’re building business resiliency and adapting to the new normal, Beggs said. At this stage, businesses are looking to target investments to increase automation and flexibility.  They want to optimize costs and drive a return to business growth.

“We’re actively looking towards the acceleration phase, which is becoming a digital-first organization,” said Beggs. In this third phase, organizations are deploying innovative work styles and hardening the business against future challenges. “This is how we enable IT to help realize our business initiatives,” he said. “And it’s really increasing that velocity.”

The road map to the future

Accelerating the journey forward is not without its challenges, said Ellingsen. “Many organizations have complex and outdated backup and disaster recovery processes,” she said. They’re looking at how to modernize disaster recovery solutions using cloud to help reduce costs. Shifting spending from maintaining legacy applications to driving innovation is another priority. As well, organizations continue to look for ways to improve security across all endpoints, applications and the network, she said.

An outcome-based focus workshop helps organizations work through these issues and develop a road map to ensure their success, said Beggs. “We have found that it sets such a clear direction, understanding where the business wants to be, where the technology is today and where we start to fill in the gaps,” he said.

Workshops like those provided by Teramach are designed to align the business vision with IT priorities, Beggs said. “It shows you how to use IT to realize the business vision and to increase velocity. Organizations will be better able to adapt to whatever the next challenge may be.”