5 tips for better business operations

Discover how to keep your teams connected, your business running efficiently, and your data secure in a hybrid working world.

5 tips for better business operations

Hybrid working in action!

Discover how teaming up with Canon gives you the plan, partner and secret weapons you need to reach your hybrid working utopia.

The way we work has been shifting rapidly. Companies that were entirely office-based until recently, are increasingly exploring more options for their workforce.

Based on conversations we’re having with our customers, we’ve defined four common types of workspaces that companies across Europe are making use of, often in combination as a ‘hybrid’ set-up. These are the ‘company hub’ (a central or branch office), the ‘community hub’ (such as a shared co-working space), the ‘home hub’ (which denotes home working), and the ‘mobile hub’ (working on-the-go).

But adapting to hybrid working isn’t always straightforward. With teams working from various locations, it’s vital that companies have a robust plan in place to maintain secure and effective business operations.

In the article below, we detail five tips that will help any business looking to adopt hybrid working to do it well, right from the start.

1. Shift your organisation to the cloud

Cloud-based platforms provide a unified environment for teams to work together, share information and collaborate, no matter their location. By shifting workloads, platforms and infrastructure to the cloud, you can start to decouple your workforce from any specific workspace – and if you have no on-site infrastructure to manage and maintain at all, your business can theoretically operate entirely virtually.

Once your organisation has adopted cloud technologies, you can also take advantage of applications designed to make hybrid working easier for teams. For example, we know that for employees to work effectively, they need to be able to access and interact with the documents they use on a daily basis. That’s why our cloud-based information management solutions allow organisations to access and manage their complete document workflows through the cloud, allowing teams to continue working as usual, from any location.

Whether you’re already on your journey to becoming cloud-ready, or haven’t started yet, we can still help you optimise your hybrid workspaces. That’s because at Canon, we provide our solutions in the way which suits you, whether that’s on-premise, through the cloud, or a mix of the two.

2. Replan your workflows

Have you considered how your workflows will adapt to a hybrid working model? Start by plotting them out; at what point do they currently depend on face-to-face or location-specific steps? For your workflows to be effective in a hybrid model, they need to flow regardless of where your employees are, which will mean migrating these steps to a digital process, supported by workflow technology.

Planning and implementing digital workflow technology can be complex, making it harder to adapt to hybrid working, particularly for smaller businesses with tight budgets. Canon has a broad portfolio of solutions and expert consultants to help you identify the right solution that fits your needs. Our workflow solutions, from invoice processing to contract management, will help you save time and money in any hybrid working setup.

3. Review your new security weak points

Moving a workforce outside of the company walls will naturally create new security vulnerabilities, particularly where information is shared into and out of the organisation. It’s important to identify what your most valuable information assets are, and then consider questions such as: how will teams interact with them when working from other locations? What security protections will be in place to prevent accidental or malicious breach of this information? As an organisation, it’s important to put in place robust best practice rules to prevent workers from introducing vulnerabilities. But you also need technology that provides intrinsic security to protect employees as they undertake everyday work. That’s why it’s essential to take note and review the strength of security provided by solutions you’re considering for hybrid working.

We have security top of mind when we develop our print and information management solutions. Our ecosystem, which includes hardware, software and services, is designed to work holistically to protect your information at every stage; anytime, wherever you work.

Our document management solutions and services also work in tandem with our hardware to provide your business with robust protection. Our devices are built to be secure by design and offer a range of features and capabilities to keep documents safe, from inbuilt McAfee Embedded Control software to user authentication.

Woman smiling at her laptop - Look at the bigger picture

4. Look at the bigger picture

The key to setting up a successful hybrid working model is to view all working locations holistically. Each workspace is not an island; teams will still need to work together seamlessly across the distance. So it’s not just about finding technology which suits each location, but technology which works together. Consider whether you have tried and tested the technologies you plan on using. Are they designed to integrate easily? Or will they require ongoing IT intervention to keep them working together? Integrating solutions is one of the most complex issues IT teams can face and so this is an important consideration.

At Canon, we design all of our hardware and solutions to work together, taking the pain out of managing hybrid workspaces. Our document and information management solutions work in tandem with our devices to make integration easy, and also to enable you to scale up or adjust capabilities as your needs change.

5. Don’t go it alone

There’s a lot of pressure to keep adapting to evolving ways of working, but speed shouldn’t come at the expense of good planning. It can be overwhelming to try and re-plan how your company functions to make it secure, collaborative and efficient when teams are distributed. Rather than trying to go it alone, Canon can provide experienced partnership to support you throughout your journey, both with your transition to hybrid working and with your ongoing optimisation, building a model designed to deliver sustainable, best-practice hybrid working.

A comic style illustration of three adults taken from the front cover of Hybrid in Action

Hybrid Working in Action!

Read more about how Canon’s technologies power effective business processes in a hybrid working set-up.

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