Insights and opinions based on our experts’ real-world experience.
Insights and opinions based on our experts’ real-world experience.
As one of the UK’s leading IT solutions providers, we keep our finger on the pulse across our industry. We also have a lot to say about all the latest trends, from the hardware that’s transforming modern businesses to the latest device deployment methods, remote working tools, cloud apps and more. We love talking tech. Here’s what we’re talking about right now – check back for more later.
With the recent easing of restrictions, businesses must now adapt to yet another new normal and think about the return to the office. Hybrid working – where employees work partly on site and partly from home – seems the de facto choice for many companies. But what does that mean from an IT strategy and technology perspective? For hybrid working to be a success in your organisation, having the right IT strategies, policies and tools in place is absolutely essential. Practical considerations necessitate some form of return to the office for many companies, yet it’s not simply a case of reopening the doors and carrying on as you did before; it’s time to review your current environment and ensure it’s fit for purpose.
As we hopefully move out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems certain that several of the IT and technology trends that were accelerated in 2020 will remain with us for years to come. Device as a Service offers numerous benefits to businesses looking ahead to a world of increased hybrid and remote working, and we expect to see further investment in collaboration software and cybersecurity, too. Economic recovery may not be a straightforward, overnight process, but we believe there are plenty of reasons for cautious optimism in our sector.
For Gen Z, who will dominate the global workforce in decades to come, technology is incredibly important when considering a job. In our own research with students, 69% said that being offered their preferred brand of technology either “would definitely” or “may” sway a decision to accept or decline a role. 81% of respondents preferred iPad to other tablet brands, 59% preferred Mac notebooks to other major laptops, and 58% preferred iPhone to competitor devices. Clearly, providing employee choice will be a huge factor in attracting and retaining the best staff.
The popularity of zero-touch deployment solutions has been on the rise for years. With the sudden surge in remote working prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect demand for them will only increase as companies look to make IT administration safer, quicker and simpler for their teams. Our Jamf management services allow IT teams to control and update every Apple device in their estate from anywhere, all without having to touch them – so expect lots more interest in the years ahead.
With the typical organisation now likely to maintain multi-platform IT environments with hardware, software and systems from a wide range of brands, it’s more important than ever to keep everything up to date. Just one obsolete device running an unsupported operating system could slow down productivity or create cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Adopting an evergreen IT approach, whereby everything is updated on an iterative basis through ongoing affordable investment, is a solution we think is becoming more and more attractive.
The broadcast industry has embraced the challenges of lockdown, with many productions shifting to remote workflows with great success. As remote production offers significant commercial potential – reducing the need for expensive premises, for instance – we foresee even greater uptake of technologies that enable it. In a recent example, we designed and deployed an innovative cloud production solution for the BBC series Springwatch that took multiple camera feeds into a processing system and then routed them to crew members working from home.
We believe that bringing technology into your business shouldn’t be time consuming, complicated or challenging. Instead, improving your IT procurement should also boost productivity, helping you to focus your efforts on other areas of your company that need them more. We partner with customers to create dedicated procurement portals that make purchasing simple – exactly how we think it should be.
Video over IP is ever-more widespread. Network Device Interface (NDI) solutions have taken the market by storm, making it easy to deliver and receive HD video over IP in a high-quality, low-latency manner. Production and post-production facilities are among those already taking advantage of video over IP, but it’s also popular for use with eSports events and other live broadcasts. We expect the NewTek NDI solutions we provide to customers to continue to sell well in the near future.
Producing and sharing quality video content comes with new and changing demands – many of which IT teams are ill equipped to handle. From a creation standpoint, ensuring sustained bandwidth and effective shared storage is essential, as is configuring systems for antivirus protection and fast file transfers. And with the move to remote working and away from town hall-style presentation events, the need for streaming necessitates realtime broadcasts in 4K that require both IT and media expertise.
FTP transfers have been a staple for years. Many years, in fact – the protocol dates back to the 1970s. Little wonder, then, that newer technologies are taking over in the world of file transfers, offering faster speeds, increased stability and greater flexibility. Chief among these is Fast Adaptive Secure Protocol, or FASP, which powers the IBM Aspera solutions that we provide to customers. Capable of moving hundreds of TB of data in a single session is the fastest, most cost-effective way to move large files around the globe. It’s secure, reliable and here to stay.
With the rise of remote post-production, Avid are in pole position. The company’s extensive cloud solutions are helping customers empower editors to work from home, on location or wherever else they happen to be. As our customers gradually transition to Avid | Edit on Demand, which allows for virtual instances of Media Composer and cloud-based NEXIS storage to be provisioned on an as-needed basis, we will be well placed to help them overcome all the complexities involved.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw many schools, colleges and universities utilise digital learning in new and expanded ways. A trend we had already anticipated before the emergence of the virus, this opens up all kinds of possibilities for remote lessons, intelligent classrooms and the use of apps that revitalise the curriculum. We think digital education is the future – that’s why we work closely with institutions at all levels to help them deploy innovative solutions.
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