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The coronavirus accelerated digital transformation plans for many firms, but it has also exacerbated headaches on the skills front, with many customers struggling to keep up with the advances.
Research from Daisy Corporate Services has shone a light on the current challenges and has highlighted opportunities for the channel to step in and ease problems.
The firm found that more than half of respondents (53%) to the survey view making use of technology their biggest challenge over the next year, with just shy of half also revealing that improving digital skills is a key concern.
Other worries included combating the rise in cyber attacks, with a third of the respondents mentioning it as a priority for the next 12 months, with the result that half of those firms quizzed by Daisy have made protection against cyber crime and data theft a technology investment priority.
“Technology undoubtedly played an important role in helping many organisations negotiate the pandemic. However, the research reveals there is a danger that some have tried to run before they can walk, which in turn has highlighted a skills gap,” said Lyndsey Charlton, COO at Daisy Corporate Services.
“If organisations are to maximise their current and future technology investments, it is vital that they provide their employees with the necessary training and support. This will not only boost productivity, but improve cyber security – allowing organisations to educate employees to use technology in secure manner,” she added.
The good news is that the findings from Daisy revealed that many customers want to work with a partner, but they were also keen to make sure they could avoid getting bogged down with one particular approach and still remain flexible.
A hybrid approach was the most popular, with many customers expressing a desire to look after some functions in-house and use the channel to handle the rest.
“Many organisations had to pivot almost overnight to support new working models, and IT has been essential in ensuring ‘business as usual’. With investments in connectivity, security and collaboration technologies showing no sign of slowing down, the onus is on organisations to effectively manage their ever-evolving IT estates,” said Charlton.
“For the majority, that means working with a partner that can quickly respond to changing business requirements and provide guidance on future technology adoption,” she added.
There are signs that the channel is adapting to the changing demands from customers, with the emphasis on providing hybrid working support among the key areas of activity.
For example, on 7 September, Technology service player IntraLAN announced a partnership with Xarios Technologies, which has looked to step outside of its usual telephony channel.
IntraLAN will be providing customers with cloud comms solution Dimensions Voice, a comprehensive cloud communication solution enabling businesses to work flexibly, no matter the size or location.
“Our combined engineering talent and Microsoft credentials appeal to companies searching for solutions that enable safe, secure hybrid working,” said Peter Watson, head of sales of IntraLAN.