The last two years have been characterised by disruptions brought on by the pandemic; new working models, increased cybersecurity concerns and unprecedented change that altered business and digital priorities.
In the midst of these challenges, companies have had to not only keep the lights on but also continue on their digital transformation journeys – all while ensuring their businesses remain competitive in a dynamic landscape.
So it’s not surprising that productivity is near the top of the list of requirements for most companies.
“Businesses are looking at how to maintain their productivity so they can stay competitive in an era of transformation,” says Colin Erasmus, Modern Workplace and Security Business Group Lead at Microsoft SA.
“They are sitting with the same business challenges they had before, but with a host of new issues now added.”
To maintain their productivity, organisations are looking to things like automation. “Imagine moving to remote working but your processes are all paper-based – it can’t work,” says Erasmus. “Companies have had to digitalise their processes to help maintain the business operations.”
Cloud computing has helped to enable digital transformation, he adds – but has opened new challenges in the form of cybersecurity threats.
“As South Africans we have not been spared from the increase in cyberattacks. There have been a number of public breaches, while insider risk is always a big issue.
“Organisations have also had to deal with compliance and regulatory issues, with the introduction of the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA), the Cybercrimes Bill and a number of others.”
Skills – or the lack thereof– has also been a big stumbling block when it comes to digital transformation and cybersecurity, Erasmus adds.
In this environment, the choice of end user device that employees use becomes far more relevant than ever before.
While the PC was considered by some as belonging to a bygone era, it turns out that reports of its death were premature. “Just two years ago, people were questioning the validity of the PC in an era of increasingly mobile and touch-enabled devices,” Erasmus says. “But, as we’ve seen, that didn’t happen – in the last 18 months, we’ve seen a big resurgence in the PC market.”
In fact, Microsoft research shows that the time users spend on Windows has increased by 29% over the past months. “This speaks to people wanting to be connected,” Erasmus says. “Other research concludes that 67% of people would rather get a new PC than a new phone, which speaks about the need to collaborate as well.”
In this environment, businesses are looking for reliable enterprise-grade hardware, Erasmus says. “They want a two-in-one device that can act as a touchscreen and as a PC; they want longevity; and they want a device that is secure and easy to manage.”
Microsoft Surface, with Microsoft 365, offers all of this, allowing organisations to maximise their return on investment (ROI).
The combination of hardware and software generates real savings, according to a Forrester Total Economic Impact Study.
This survey found that end users equipped with Surface devices together with Microsoft 365 Enterprise collaboration and cloud storage technologies saved an average of two hours each day in terms of efficiency and productivity.
They also saved time thanks to the device interface, flexibility, and peripherals, increasing productivity by 1,6 hours per day.
IT departments also saw significant cost and time savings ROI related to Microsoft 365-powered Surface device deployments. For example, application updates require approximately 3,25 hours less time to complete per device, while help desk call times decrease on average by 75%.
Security is improved as well: companies can reduce their use of third-party security solutions which saves money; and they can reduce the number of security breaches they experience annually by about 20%.
For IT professionals, Surface and Microsoft 365 save them four hours for each device deployed thanks to Microsoft Autopilot and Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which includes Intune.
Companies are also able to replace two devices with one Surface device, which saves considerably in both upfront hardware investment and software licensing costs, as well as in deployment time and training.
Explore what Surface devices have to offer here