Spotlight article

Working together in a changing world

Giving businesses the power to pivot and thrive with connectivity

The pandemic is having a profound effect on the way we live and work. Organisations and their employees have had to embrace more flexible working practices in order to keep the lights on – and there’s no going back. More than half of those employees previously based in an office will continue to work from home in 2022, predicts CCS Insights.1 Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Institute of Directors2 reveal that more than half of their members intend to reduce their long-term use of workplaces. However, this seismic shift won’t be possible without reliable connectivity and the expertise to harness its power in the right way.

With office use set to drop, companies will need to re-invest these savings in real estate to ensure their teams are connected and able to collaborate as effectively and efficiently as possible, along with the supporting devices and necessary security. It’s no surprise that Zoom subscription revenues almost tripled year-on-year in the first quarter of 20203, while CCS Insights4 has proclaimed online whiteboard and co-editing technologies is a hot area of investment in 2021. But with the infamous commute becoming a relic of the past, and people no longer needing to live close to where they work, many are likely to leave cities for a quieter, better quality of life. Businesses will be faced with the challenge of managing a more dispersed workforce, with varying access to connectivity. Rural living is likely to pose a particular problem, with only 17% of rural areas having access to broadband speeds over 24Mbps and 15% having no indoor mobile signal, according to a National Farmers Union survey.5 Over a quarter of respondents said this was a barrier to further use of digital technology.

So how can we jointly support our customers now and into the future?

Connectivity is crucial and flexibility is key. Vodafone’s 5G Fixed Gigacube, for example, can provide immediate relief, by delivering an instant plug-in-and-play backup solution when regular services are down. What’s more, SDN can prove vital for businesses managing multiple sites of varying levels of connectivity.

Enabling detailed network management, gives businesses the power to control and prioritise digital traffic and bandwidth as required, delivering an extra boost to sustain back-to-back Zoom calls, for example, while allowing companies to pay only for what they use. The resurgence in local communities will also grow demand for better connectivity in these areas, from both businesses and private households.

Vodafone’s 5G GigaCube

Transform calling with SIP

Simple and fast broadband for business

The future-ready software-defined WAN

Vodafone’s Future Ready report

The current chaos has hit most businesses for six, but some have coped better than others, whatever their market. To help our customers understand where to go from here, we set out on a mission to find ‘future ready’ businesses – those that have handled the pandemic well – to discover their secret. So what does future-ready business look like? What traits are on display and how can they be nurtured?