Reflecting on a year which has seen many businesses transition to a remote working model, Dell Technologies today outlined how organisations in Ireland can use the learnings from the past year to continue transforming at pace to ensure a digital future.

Jason Ward, Vice-President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies Ireland said: “Over the past year technology enabled organisations to transform their business models so that they can continue to operate in a virtual environment. Embracing digital transformation has ensured that 40% of Ireland’s workforce could move to working from home practically overnight while close to one million young people were able to continue learning from home.

“But after a year of living with COVID, it is essential that Irish business leaders reflect on their experiences and bring the positive learnings into future plans to inform their future growth strategy. From the shift towards ecommerce and the changing nature of work, new business opportunities have emerged. Harnessing these opportunities will require organisations to accelerate the pace both of digital and cultural transformation.

“By embracing digital and cultural transformation at speed in the coming months, we believe businesses will be able to innovative at speed. That’s why today having reflected on the year just gone we’ve outlined some of the most important lessons from the pandemic. In taking these learnings into account, business leaders can ensure that advancements made last year through necessity can be built upon to foster a technology-enabled recovery in the future.”

Jason Ward, Vice-President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies Ireland

1. The stay-at-home economy is here to stay 

Businesses of all sizes have embraced the flexibility to work and operate from anywhere. SMEs, in particular, have leveraged Cloud technology to develop their online presence with ecommerce sales growing by over 24% in 2020 (CSO, 2020). With consumers increasingly moving online, Irish firms will need to develop intelligent software to personalise and fully-optimise the customer experience and modernise their IT infrastructure to support the growing demand for transactions and buying goods online.

2. The future of work is flexible, but it must be secure

Over recent months, it has become clear that the future of work is flexible. Employees have come to value the flexibility provided by remote working as they use technology to balance work and home commitments. This has been recognised by Government through the National Remote Work Strategy. With 94% of employees seeking to work remotely some or all of the time post-crisis, businesses will need to ensure they have secure devices and networks to maintain a hybrid workforce. Cybersecurity must be embedded at the heart of an organisation and a constant priority of its people.

3.Culture is key to building a productive hybrid workforce   

The remote working experiment of the past year has changed the concept of work forever – it is what you do and not a place you go. Now organisations are faced with the challenge of enhancing productivity amongst a workforce located both in the office and at home. To ensure a hybrid workforce thrives into the future, leaders will need to accompany digital transformation with cultural transformation. Built on trust, clear communication and company values, culture will prove key to building collaboration within the team.

4. A new era of always-on connectivity has emerged

Businesses and remote workers have relied on broadband and 4G technology to stay connected in the past year. The coming 12 months will see 5G technology unlock a new era of always-on connectivity. With 175 zettabytes of data to be created worldwide by 2025, 5G will enable businesses to gain real time insights from data wherever it resides – in the data centre, in the cloud or at the edge – and digitise their operations at a speed not seen before.

5. Technology will be consumed as-a-Service

As digital transformation accelerated at pace in 2020, and IT strategies become more complicated, businesses sought to make technology easier to deploy, consume and manage. Increasingly, they began to consume technology as-a-Service with the move to the Cloud enabled through this approach. In the coming year, organisations will move to everything as-a-Service which will help free up IT budget to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that will transform the customer experience and to harness the power of data at the edge of a network – not just data in a cloud or data centre. With 75% of business data to be processed at the edge by 2025, this is where business innovation will be unlocked.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.