COVID-19 has plunged many businesses into a paralysis. While most are focusing on managing the crisis in order to emerge intact when the ‘new normal’ arrives, many are also gearing up to make their operations more agile and future-proof by working to better bridge the gap between home and the office. According to Kyocera, understanding and adapting to how the priorities of businesses have changed – and will continue to change – is critical for technology vendors and channel companies, particularly with a permanent transformation in working patterns almost inevitable.
According to recent research from Quocirca, 37 per cent of technology vendors and channel organisations in the print sector recognise changes in customer needs and operational requirements as being one of the biggest challenges following COVID-19. For Kyocera, these figures show that now is the time to get to grips with the nature of the changes end-users are experiencing will be critical if it is going to weather the storm.
Joe Doyle, Group Marketing Director at Kyocera Document Solutions UK said, “ever since the lockdown was invoked, we have seen a sudden and wide-ranging transformation in organisational priorities. The emphasis has shifted heavily from hardware to ICT services, such as unified communications and cloud-based document management software.
“Even as the lockdown starts to ease, we don’t expect this to change significantly. Digital transformation has truly taken hold, so alongside getting revenues back to normal, organisations are aiming to build a permanent foundation for digital transformation, business agility and remote working.
“Any technology business must recognise these goals, and also the fact that things will almost certainly never exactly go back to the previous status quo. We expect that the post-pandemic workplace will be a blended model of office and remote working environments: it is, therefore, crucial that IT companies are sensitive to these changes and are willing to adapt their service offerings to match this new environment. The evidence supports this, with 79 per cent of respondents in the Quocirca report believing that COVID-19 presents an opportunity to drive new product and service innovation.”
For Joe, the importance of a united channel cannot be underestimated if the industry is to meet the changing demands of customers. If vendors endeavour to collaborate even more closely with their partner network in the coming months, this will enable all parties to understand the intricacies of the new organisational landscape, in turn helping them to adapt their service offerings accordingly.
He added, “as business priorities change, new services and functions will be required, including the introduction of new collaboration, cloud and digitisation technologies. There is plenty of scope for the sector to expand its service offerings now and after the current crisis, but this will only be possible if vendors and their partners work together to evolve and forge new relationships to help fill gaps in their portfolio. In turn, this will ensure that all parties are able to negotiate these unprecedented times and conserve a loyal customer base both for the remainder of this crisis and beyond.”