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Safe and secure in a remote world

Digital transformation

Safe and secure in a remote world

"There's little doubt that North East firms have been elevating their operations with digital tools and capabilities."
Steve O'Connell of Advantex

Digital transformation is opening up new opportunities for legal firms, accountancy practices and other regional professional services as working practices change, says Steve O’Connell, sales and marketing director at Advantex.

Professional service firms recognise that today’s workplace is changing rapidly and are re-engineering their businesses accordingly - and investment in effective digital solutions such as Cisco’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), which adapt and evolve in line with new ways of working, is seen as paramount.

However, as welcome as all this is, one of the central issues that’s arisen in these challenging times, is to ensure secure access to online services for millions of people, who currently find themselves working remotely using laptops, computers and smart devices devoid of the sanctuary afforded by the corporate IT infrastructure and firewall.

SASE is a framework that securely connects people and devices to global applications and services when their locations may be anywhere.  In simple terms, as the security of digital services migrates to the cloud, people working remotely or on the move, benefit from a fast, seamless user experience safe in the knowledge that their devices are secure from the risk of computer hackers, cyber attacks, malware, viruses and myriad other digital threats.

As businesses look to rebuild in a post-pandemic landscape, transformation and fresh thinking will drive growth and success; and here managed IT services is critical in helping to facilitate this. Indeed, adoption could prove a faster, more effective route to a smarter future for many people across the North East.

But what are managed services? Essentially, it’s the practice of outsourcing the responsibility for your IT, often to secure advantages such as improvements in operations and secure tangible cost savings. It also provides an efficient way to stay abreast of the latest developments in technology, with ready access to associated skills, services and technical support. Managed service providers can also offer clients help in navigating digital change in their own businesses through the combination of consultancy and innovation.

Managed services can be an extension of in-house resources, and expertise should be crafted to make your business more productive. This can include an array of turnkey solutions and support packages that give you the flexibility to up or downscale rapidly in line with your needs without the intensive upfront capital costs.These solutions range from the management of networks, applications and systems to drive performance improvements through IT service desks and software and hardware advice to IT security and compliance, contingency planning and consultancy.

Moreover, firms that take the managed service route will often be better equipped to improve productivity, outperform their competitors in the fight for extra work as well as new talent. Processes can be streamlined while mundane or less valued tasks are automated with those firms taking a more proactive approach securing competitive advantages.

In practice, stronger collaboration can really deliver better results. For example, emerging cloud-based technologies enable workforce teams to review, edit and comment on documents together wherever they are working while flexible working nurtures a more engaged workforce – hosted desktops allow people to access all their documents on the move, helping them to increase productivity and contribute more effectively. 

There’s little doubt that North East firms have been elevating their operations with digital tools and capabilities. However, the Covid factor has hastened the urgency to invest in digital transformation and managed service providers who offer rapid, cost effective access to the latest technologies, associated expertise and skills needed to design, install and support systems but without the associated upfront costs and limitations of in-house resources. 


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