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Cisco: small businesses & the future of work

News > Cisco: small businesses & the future of work
Cisco: small businesses & the future of work

Cisco: small businesses & the future of work

For more than 35 years, Cisco has served some of the world’s largest, most complex organisations. As Karen Schuman, Small Business Sales leader at Cisco Australia and New Zealand explains, Cisco is committed to delivering these enterprise solutions and capabilities that support industry leaders, to small businesses across New Zealand in an easy, affordable and efficient way. Helping customers connect, secure and automate to accelerate their digital agility in a cloud-first world.

What does the future of work look like for small businesses?

Cisco believes the future of work for all businesses is hybrid. But many businesses hear the phrase and ask what does this look like for me? Conceptually, Hybrid work is an approach that designs the work experience around the worker, wherever they are. It’s about more than where work is done, it provides simple, smart, and secure experiences from any location.

For small businesses, the hybrid work model is an opportunity for considerable growth. With potential to reduce overheads costs, and increase employee engagement through greater flexibility, implementing a hybrid work model is central to creating greater employee satisfaction, loyalty and productivity in a post-pandemic world.

To achieve all this, employees need a simple, secure collaboration platform that can help them be just as productive remotely, or on the go, as they are in a centralised office. They need access to the same day to day tools they use when they’re onsite, and, both employees and the data that moves between them needs to be kept safe and secure. Schuman explains each of these needs has its own key considerations:

  1. People and culture: “How do you make sure that you continue to develop your organisation’s culture with remote and dispersed teams?”
  2. Process and communication: “How are you communicating the hybrid or remote working experience, and what is the process to do so?
  3. Tools and tech: “Do you have the right tools and/or technology to create seamless, consistent experiences as employees move between remote and in-office environments?”

It’s all three that ensure your hybrid strategies are a success.

So, what critical digital tools can small businesses use to boost their business?

Implementing cloud-managed solutions is an effective way to ensure consistent experiences for in-office and distributed remote employees. Collaboration tools, such as messaging, meeting, and calling, plus networking solutions, as well as user, device, and email security, can all be managed in this way.

But, if there’s one thing to really think about, it’s your security, “Secure your employees, your customers, and your data” stresses Schuman. As the risks of cyberthreats increase with disparate users and devices no longer connecting to one central network, tracking risks across a mix of tools can be a drain on resources, time and money. However, with a well-implemented security approach, solutions such as VPNs and identity authentication tools ensure your users are who they say they are, no matter their location. Whilst threat detection and management solutions, leverage intelligence to uncover blind spots and use ‘cyber fingerprints’ to detect attacks before they’re able to impact your network and infrastructure. All of which enables businesses to prioritise what matters most, their customers.

However, businesses are all in different stages of the transition to designing or redesigning for Hybrid. So, whilst considering which tools are the best fit for you, “talking to other organisations who’ve either gone on the journey or are about to go on the journey can really help,” Schuman says.

Cisco and the Digital Boost Alliance

As members of the Digital Boost Alliance, Cisco have committed to supporting kiwi businesses accelerate their digital transformation, providing opportunities for businesses to understand the ways in which technology can drive growth, as well as supporting the adoption of new technologies with exclusive offers and product trials.

Cisco Digital Boost Offers

To assist businesses establish and maintain secure connections, Cisco is providing a free 14 day security health check through their Cisco Umbrella solution, which will assist in uncovering current and emerging threats to your users and data.

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