From onboarding new staff to collaboration tools to encourage teamwork and the future of the physical office, there was lots to discuss at November’s Technology for Success business group.
Julian Wills, Founder of T4S and Managing Director of Timewade, was joined by Dan Pritchard, Managing Director at Astley Media, Steve Noon, Vice President and Teri Allerton, General Manager at Silvalea, Tristan Courtney, Partner at Stamp James, Sky Randall, Technical Recruitment Consultant at Sarah West Recruitment and Ben Herbert, Corporate Tax Manager at Bishop Fleming.
The meeting focused on how technology has been used to support businesses through the challenges of 2020 and to consider what technology SMEs should be prioritising for 2021.
Unsurprisingly the results of the latest Technology for Success survey reveal that during the crisis, 70% of South West SMEs reported communication tools as the most important technology, followed by cyber security (42%) and employee broadband connection (40%).
Looking beyond the pandemic, as remote working continues to become the norm, 58% of respondents will be prioritising cyber security, and 56% will be prioritising employee broadband connection and protecting data and other key information.
The business group attendees discussed the technology which they will be prioritising in the next 12 months, with a key focus the tools and platforms to support not just the productivity of their teams but also the wellbeing of colleagues.
The discussion moved on to whether people will ever return to the office in the same way as before, and whether teams are more productive working from home? The overall consensus was that blended working is here to stay, but that having the right technology in place to support collaboration and maintain staff wellbeing will be key.
Generally, the group agreed that their investment in technology had rapidly increased during the crisis, but said that this investment was essential for their business to adapt to the 2020 world of work. The group discussed the positive impact of the increased investment in technology which had enabled long term strategies to support remote working to be accelerated.
The Technology for Success survey shows 63% of South West businesses increased their investment in technology in the short term to deal with the immediate impacts and fallout of the pandemic and 50% will be increasing their investment further beyond the next 12 months.
Attendees acknowledged the need to continue to invest in tech to support remote teams, onboarding of new clients and staff and to adjust to the changing business landscape. The group recognised that increased investment in technology would however lead to cost-savings in the longer term.
There was also discussion around concerns on maintaining and promoting a positive company culture in a remote environment – and agreed that this would be a helpful topic for December’s meeting.
The next Technology for Success business group will take place on Wednesday December 16th from 9.15am to 10am, and provides another chance for attendees to ask questions and share their experiences, focusing on company culture.
Find out more and book your place here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYrceygrDguHtC2DbyTPIDYRK943z7JTO1Y