In this issue:
What’s New: A round-up of new products for work and home
Software: Why it pays to prepare early for a move to Windows 11
Cloud: Aled Sage explains how moving to the cloud can help businesses shrink their carbon footprint
Analysis: Beware rising cloud costs, warns CloudStratex
MPS: Quocirca highlights growing demand for broader workplace service offerings
MFPs: Sharp launches new devices for the smart workplace
Broadband: Britain’s IT infrastructure fails one in four hybrid workers
Workplace: Tim Richards, CEO of precision timing specialist Hoptroff, picks the half dozen things he couldn’t do his job without
The cost of living crisis is usually presented as a consumer problem. It is also, of course, a big challenge for businesses facing a triple whammy of rising costs for energy, raw materials, products and services; escalating wage demands and recruitment costs; and the risk of falling sales as they are forced to put up their prices and/or customers decide to cut back on their expenditure. According to a survey of 1,000 SME owners by Fiverr, the cost of living crisis has so far cost UK SMEs an average of £186,000 each; 85% of respondents say they have already lost money due to inflation and increased living costs and 22% have received requests for salary increases.
Under such circumstances, it can be tempting to delay or cancel investment in new technology, albeit at the risk of becoming less productive and competitive and potentially missing out on opportunities to save money by eradicating inefficiencies in the status quo. On page 20, Andrew Carr, CEO of Camwood, does a good job of explaining why businesses should start preparing for the move to Windows 11 now, pointing out that doing so will enable them to gain control over application estates that have bloated by an average of 30-50% since Windows 10 was deployed and seize the opportunity to eliminate unnecessary expenditure on licences for unused, duplicated or out of date software. On page 14, Dave Hadden, Head of Solutions at EIZO, explains how taking a total cost of ownership approach to procurement can provide the justification needed to shell out for new, better quality monitors. As an example, he points out that paying a little more for a monitor that consumes less energy will reduce office cooling requirements and thereby save money on air-conditioning.
Another factor that should be considered as part of the mix is employee wellbeing. Giving people the tools they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently (in the workplace and in a home and/or remote office) won’t only generate benefits in terms of productivity, it will also contribute to employee wellbeing which survey after survey shows is vital for talent retention and recruitment. Typical is new research by Towergate Health & Protection which found that 42% of HR decision-makers view support for the emotional, physical, financial and social health of staff as a major reason why people stay with their companies; 31% view it as a big reason why people choose to work for them in the first place. A technology upgrade might be a small price to pay if it keeps employees happy in the midst of a national skills shortage.
James Goulding, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
The challenges of hybrid working
10 Office Design
Five non-negotiables of the future workplace
The truth about the skills gap
Not all the monitors are the same – and here’s why
16 Interactive Displays SMART helps businesses navigate the challenges of hybrid working