The decentralised nature of the modern workforce means that a business’ tech is no longer unified under one roof, creating a problem for IT leads looking to keep on top of their firms’ expanding IT infrastructure. Mike Mulholland, Head of Services and Solutions at Brother UK says that resellers will need to evolve their sales approach to help ease customers’ print procurement headaches and believes that MPS will play a key role in enabling the future of w
Work is something you do, not somewhere you go, is a mantra that’s been adopted by many businesses in recent months as they’ve announced permanent shifts to hybrid working.
But IT infrastructure has had to follow the lead of employees and move away from the office too. This means networks, increasingly housed under hundreds and thousands of roofs, are causing headaches for IT leads looking to keep systems secure.
A key factor in this is that staff are becoming increasingly responsible for procuring tech. Our research found that almost half (46 per cent) of IT leads expected employees in their businesses to buy their own devices for working at home over the next two years.
The risk is that if improperly managed, this could create a patchwork- like surface layer of networks that open gaps for hackers to exploit. And there is also the issue of staff buying products and supplies that might not provide the reliable, quality solution they depended on in the office.
Equipment bundles are a great proposition that are setting firms on the journey to procuring office-grade tech for the home, more effectively to tackle these issues. They can contain the devices that they would usually have in the office, from printers and scanners to large monitors and headsets, in a neatly organised and affordable plan.
This isn’t a new concept, but the mass move to home working has renewed the importance of this sales approach and holds significant potential for resellers to expand their revenue streams.
First and foremost, having the same tech experience at home as in the office, with the devices they rely on day-to-day, can boost employee productivity further. The pandemic led to a ‘you- don’t-know-what-you’ve-got-until-it’s- gone’ scenario for many things, and the equipment in the office has often been taken for granted.
Acquiring tech with the economies of scale that bundles offer and through low- cost, monthly payment plans, provides an additional financial incentive, particularly when the last 18 months have had such an impact on bottom lines.
And ensuring employees have up-to- date tech with the latest firmware and a route of ensuring data is deleted from old units, is key for network security and data protection. It also guarantees secure supplies. Some ‘compatible’ supplies can store impressions of potentially sensitive data creating unnecessary vulnerabilities, especially in cases where very sensitive documents are being printed.
We’re seeing a significant uplift in subscription-style services, such as managed print services, as more businesses make hybrid working arrangements permanent.
Along with cost-efficiency, MPS is helping firms, thanks to the added security features that further help to strengthen layers of defence and keep networks online – particularly as it allows greater oversight of their IT estate.
Hybrid working has made it more difficult for IT leads to manage security, because there are so many new routes into the network. But MPS provides an even more formidable armour for the surface layer of any firm’s IT infrastructure because it regularly delivers the latest updates to software and hardware, making sure that networks are always protected from the latest threats that arise.
Also, MPS is available as a complete white-label solution, which easily blends into dealers’ existing services and bundles. For example, they can invoice for all clicks that the MPS customer consumes, allowing the dealer to then invoice the customer as they would normally – incorporating any other hardware, services and solutions.
Bundles and managed services are helping businesses to meet the new needs of their workforce, fast. Although some staff have been more productive at home than in the office, these enable them to boost productivity to a new level, making sure there’s continuity between the home and the office – with workers regularly switching between them – and keep networks secure with a cost- effective solution that they can plan for.
It’s here that resellers have a unique opportunity to expand revenue streams and develop existing customer relationships and build new ones.