The year 2020 brought about one of the biggest accelerations of digital transformation in our lifetime. Across industries, the shift to remote and hybrid productivity was a tipping point to redefine the future of how people work and collaborate outside physical office spaces.
As a result, there has been a significant increase in dependence on technology to keep organisations connected.
By speaking directly with their customers and conducting extensive research, Microsoft has produced four key conclusions on how the needs of business customers have evolved in the last year:
1. The future of working and learning is hybrid and requires more flexibility
Views on remote work have changed: 82% of managers say they will have more flexible work-from-home policies post-pandemic, and 71% of employees want to continue work from home at least part time.
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And while more people are working and learning from home, they are facing new physical space constraints as well as distractions that can interfere with productivity. People are sharing spaces throughout their home and are moving locations more throughout their days to stay productive and accommodate others.
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2. Connectivity is critical to uninterrupted business operations
Poor internet performance at home is a new challenge many are facing. With multiple people in a household now connecting from home, it is putting a strain on bandwidth — where people are using their mobile phones more often as hot spots for online meetings due to poor internet connectivity.
3. Camera to camera is the new face-to-face
Connection to one another is an area that arguably has felt the most challenging — people are missing the energy and connection that was attained when we could be together in a room physically.
People are now relying on their device’s cameras, screens, speakers and microphones to be seen and heard. As a result, they are feeling more empathetic to one another now, that through the lens of a video call they have a better view of life at home. Some even feel more valued and included as a remote contributor in meetings with everyone being in the same virtual room.
4. End-to-end security from chip to cloud is more critical than ever before
Rapid digitisation means almost everything has gone online. Organisations need their data and workflows to be secure to enable remote and hybrid work. Devices need end-to-end security features to enable the productivity needed to maintain business continuity.
Technology organisations understand the importance of listening to the customer and will often place them at the heart of their product development. These organisations rely on research and feedback to set priorities and integrate those concepts into next-gen solutions, enabling customers to achieve future success.
Long gone are the days when a person should have to choose between the portability and convenience of a tablet and the power and productivity of a traditional laptop. 2-in-1 devices have become renowned for their versatility, power and performance, touch screen and pen capabilities, and great battery life.
As more people connect to the internet and work and learn from home, many businesses are also witnessing increasingly sophisticated and targeted attacks.
Accordingly, modern devices have improved hardware security features enabled right out of the box, without any hit to performance whilst these features are active.
At the same time, organisations need agility to deploy devices directly to people’s homes and manage devices running on home networks securely, without having to physically touch devices. Remote deployment is critical in a hybrid work environment.
End-to-end logistics solutions now guarantee the delivery of new devices direct from the factory to people’s homes and are ready to go with an organisation’s security policies, applications, and settings applied. Remote deployment programs get people online, connected, and productive as quickly as possible, and eliminate time consuming re-imaging and manual set-up for IT departments.
All customers have peace of mind, knowing they get great security without compromising the employee experience.
Finally, it is vitally important for customers to be in control of their data. A removable SSD is critical for data retention, to support the security and privacy needs of businesses. This type of feature makes it easy for customers to retain sensitive data if something happens to their device.
Technology companies are developing solutions with the needs of all business customers in mind. Next generation devices deliver top customer requested updates while maintaining the same iconic design, so customers can continue to leverage their existing investments.
Surface has a legacy of innovation. What started over 20 years ago as an exploration of touchscreens and tablets, evolved into the creation of the 2-in-1 category. Since then, Surface Pro has evolved to meet the changing needs of customers, with an obsession for responding to their needs and feedback. With each new generation and continuing with the new Surface Pro 7+ for Business, Microsoft finds novel ways to empower users in surprising and boundary-pushing ways.