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Digital workplace a key area for customer investment

A report around tech priorities from Softcat has underlined how the pandemic has had a significant impact on working practices

Customers are making investments in digital workspaces a priority as the world starts to emerge from 20 months of pandemic.

A report from Softcat that has specifically attempted to get a sense of where the priorities are for users across the UK and Ireland has underlined the impact that the shift to hybrid working is having on the market.

The channel player quizzed firms across numerous verticals to get a sense of what the tech priorities were and 60% indicated that digital workplace solutions would be important in the next 12 months.

Customers want to make sure that as offices reopen and staff return, the environment is right and they can create a workplace that supports greater levels of secure collaboration.

Drilling down further into what that ambition to prioritise digital workspaces means in terms of products and services, not surprisingly, devices were at the top of the list along with management tools that help deal with distributed workforces and the tools that staff will need to work from anywhere.

Not far behind the ambition to get ready for a digital workplace was a recognition of the need to do so securely so that the channel can expect spending on that front to continue into 2022.

Some of the other boxes that were ticked by users for investment in the next 12 months included hybrid infrastructure, which includes datacentre and cloud plus managed infrastructure. Many users were forced to embrace hosted platforms and services during the pandemic and are continuing to invest in that area.

“Over the past 18 months or so, many businesses have been heavily challenged – working hard to limit the impact on business-as-usual or respond to unprecedented surges and pivots in demand,” said Richard Wyn Griffith, managing director of Softcat.  

“People, empowered by technology, have made navigating this uncertain and disruptive period possible. And this will only continue as we learn to live and thrive with new ways of working.”

The Softcat report also noted that customers ranked sustainability for the first time, with 10%, viewing it as an important factor in their IT strategy going forward. Users want to ensure that decisions they make are greener and support ESG goals.

On the theme of social goals, Softcat and Mimecast raised £35,000 last month for charity Social Bite as part of its Break the Cycle fundraising event. 

A team of 30 riders, along with Sir Chris Hoy, rode from the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow to the Social Bite Village in Granton, Edinburgh.  

Graeme Watt, CEO of Softcat, said: “The goal has to be that everyone in the UK should have a safe place to call home and have the same access to benefits and facilities as the rest of society, so we are delighted to have joined Social Bite, and Sir Chris Hoy, in their campaign to Break the Cycle of Homelessness.”

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