In this blog post, we uncover what we have identified as the three stages of the work from home transition. We paint a picture of the workplace of the future, one no longer confined to the four walls of a traditional office while unpacking some of the competitive advantages of embracing the cloud.
Stage 1: The Initial Rush
At this stage, businesses transitioned to operating remotely. If your business was at this stage during the pandemic, most likely this transition had to happen quickly. Any organizations experiencing the rush to set up at home experienced some challenges as it exposed some of the technology deficits for many (i.e., no remote work tools, no experience using videoconferencing tools etc.). This first stage gave business leaders an almost immediate sense of where their IT is and how modern your technology is, and it put them into one of a few categories:
Category A: Legacy IT – The pandemic created a scenario where those who were working within this category had to scramble. Older technology limited business productivity to the four walls of an office: employees needed to come into the office, files were stored on a server in the back room, and as soon as that employee walked out the front door, or tried to do something away from a server, efficiency decreased dramatically.
Category B: Hybrid IT environment – In this category, businesses started making steps toward modernizing their technology i.e., moving more data into the cloud through services like OneDrive or SharePoint, and maybe even using Microsoft Teams. Professionals within this category can easily collaborate and operate productive meetings but remain partially tied back to the office still because they may have relied on a database that just does not have a cloud version hosted yet. For the most part, organizations within this category were able to make the transition to home within a couple of days.
Category C: The modern office – Organizations in this category were 100% prepared for the pandemic and other eventualities. They seamlessly shifted to work-from-home and the experience was almost entirely the same as being in the office and they are independent of that space.
Stage 2: Working Well from Home
In this stage, business leaders have had a functional IT plan in place and are committed to improving it. A set budget for IT has been allocated and best practices and standards are adhered to. There is very little legacy technology in use. At this stage, business leaders are refining their business continuity plans, enhancing mobility and maintaining predictable IT costs.
Stage 3: Leveraging IT
At this stage, an IT plan has almost been fully enacted. Businesses may have one or two IT problems that need to be sorted out (i.e., that ten–year–old database or that custom software). This is the stage where an organization starts to leverage more IT costs and controls, especially within Microsoft 365. Accidentally forwarding a super sensitive document to the wrong person is a lot less likely in this stage.