In the case of smaller companies and perhaps with more challenges in terms of their digital capabilities, their enormous capacity to adapt is noteworthy; there is their strength, the one that will carry them forward in these difficult times.
According to EI Studios (a division of Economist Impact), in Mexico 6 out of 10 SMEs agree that the pandemic led them to use digital tools to survive; in fact, the majority consider that this was what prevented them from closing their businesses, and more than two thirds (64.4%) indicate that digital tools will be essential for the long-term economic recovery of Mexico. The report also indicates that before 2020 none was 100% digital and, in fact, 91.4% did less than half of their activities digitally. In just one year, 18% do 75% or more of their business through digital tools.
In Aruba we are sure that this is just the prelude to a wave of innovation and modernity in small and medium-sized companies. As they continue to recover and adapt to the new business rules, this is the way they will find success in their businesses.
Now, to really propel themselves into the future, it is crucial that they have a network infrastructure that is robust, agile and adaptable, combining end-user mobility with IoT capabilities – which is right around the corner for these organizations. to enable the nascent hybrid work model, which makes remote work coexist with office work, and thus increase efficiency, personalization and productivity. Ideally, the network should also be predictive, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to take advantage of all that data that will feed real-time decision making.
Data management is vital in this new era, because with the explosion of digitization in all areas, now more than ever, data is not only in the business cloud or the data center, but where business is done, with users and customers, on devices and connected “things”. This leads us to focus on the edge, which is where the action is happening, especially since last year’s change to remote work: now, if anything is a fact, it is that the network is even more critical , and its requirements go far beyond standard connectivity.
Here is a priority element for that network that connects people with applications and services, from anywhere and at any time: it is artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps), which makes it easier for IT teams to make decisions fast and accurate automated actions from developing policies that take advantage of surrounding data (such as user role, device type, location, etc.) to, for example, prevent problematic situations before they occur or even redistribute the time of employees so they can focus on innovation.
Of course, security is another critical aspect of network infrastructures. Limiting yourself to firewalls and antivirus is not an option; Steps must be taken to strengthen the network with technologies that provide micro-segmentation, authentication, confidentiality and visibility capabilities to prevent, safeguard and protect against possible attacks and multiple eventualities. And it is equally crucial that the security strategy covers from the core of the network to the edge, where it is now more important than ever to take care of risks.
Finally, we must not forget that the focus is currently on optimizing the customer and employee experience. At the end of the day, the goal is for the network, far from being an obstacle, to facilitate, speed up and make more efficient the flow of data, interactions, operations and processes, giving users the possibility of connecting to a large variety of platforms and devices, and do it safely and without complications. Without a doubt, this will translate into valuable competitive advantages that will pay off in better results.
With all this in mind, the success of small and medium-sized companies will depend on the efficiency and agility of their processes, the value of their business strategies and the effort and talent of their leaders and their workforce, to lead the organization where the businesses are, since the technological infrastructure will be prepared to promote the most avant-garde roadmaps.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.