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We’re on our way out of lockdown. Or, at least, that seems to be the plan. 

As Stephen Porter, Cloud Solution Strategist at VMware put it, “businesses have been through the react phase of COVID-19, and we’re now firmly in the respond phase”. 

But what does this mean? A quick overview of what IT departments have experienced so far and what’s happening today might be useful…


As offices closed, we saw an immediate need for employees to access IT systems from home. Laptops were selling out everywhere and IT departments were frantically setting up remote access for staff. We were finding quick ways for employees to continue working so that businesses could stay open. 

Solutions were implemented very quickly during the react phase and so didn’t often follow best practice. 


We are now firmly in the next phase – referred to as the respond phase – where IT departments are dealing with the consequences of the react phase. In short, trying to improve the situation we’re in and build solutions fit for the future.    

As Stephen puts it, “having overstretched the capabilities of our technology, we are now facing security concerns. Last year saw a 357% increase in ransomware attacks alone. But it’s not just security issues that we’re seeing. The rapid deployment of the home PC setup has, in many cases, led to poor end-user and customer experiences.”    

Stephen reeled off how he had got frustrated purchasing products online and eventually giving up because of an inefficient IT setup. Ultimately, poor user experiences are losing businesses money. 

What’s clear is that IT strategies have deviated from their original course, but for clever IT providers, this creates an opportunity for those that can meet the market’s changing needs.  

A recent survey of IT leaders carried out by Ekco shows how businesses have adapted already and how they see the workplace changing.

5 Areas of Growth Opportunity for IT Providers 

At an event hosted by Ekco and VMware, UK-based IT providers openly discussed their experiences over the pandemic, which gave us a good idea of where companies are now focusing their IT budgets.    

What do businesses need today, from an IT perspective, to be productive, stay secure and remain competitive to move out of the pandemic with strength? Here are the top five areas that VMware, Ekco and our partners see as prime opportunities for growth in 2021 and beyond.

  1. Microsoft 365   While many businesses were already utilising Microsoft 365, Ekco has noticed a surge in requests as companies look to improve their setup, for example, SharePoint, to offer better cohesion and collaboration between remote workers. Companies that have already adopted M365 a real opportunity to maximise their existing deployment and build a harmonised estate centred around Microsoft tooling.
  2. Cloud backup  Cloud backup has never been more important. Now remote working is the norm, ensuring resilient data protection is critical. From Office 365 backup to full DR solutions, we’ve seen an increased demand for our backup & DR solutions. You can read our latest release notes for Veeam 5.0 for partners here. 
  3. 2 Factor Authentication (2FA)   2FA wasn’t widely adopted before the pandemic, but we are now seeing a rise in adoption. Further security measures are recommended though, as outlined in our article ‘ransomware on the rise’.
  4. Multi-cloud strategies  Companies are eager to reduce the risk of having everything on one platform or with one provider, resulting in a rise in multi-cloud strategies. Picking the best solution for each use case and reducing their dependence on a sole provider is seen as the best path forward for most organisations. 
  5. Mobile device management (MDM)   Another key focus for IT departments is Mobile Device Management, which improves data security by monitoring, managing and securing mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Strong MDM strategies not only enhance security but also improve productivity for employees using multiple devices. 

To discuss these trends further, get in touch with us today to learn how you can harness these opportunities through our partner scheme. 

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