Hybrid work is here to stay. The impact of the pandemic over the past few years has fundamentally changed the way that we work, and the benefits are too significant to simply revert back to the old way of doing things.
Statistics from ABS show that more than 40 per cent of employed people now regularly work from home, which is an increase of around 10 per cent from the previous year.
As Akshay Tewari, Product Marketing and Operations Consultant at Dell Technologies said, in an exclusive interview with ARN, these changing work styles are also leading to an evolving conversation in terms of what professionals need from the devices that they are now using to work from home environments.
“Customers are demanding higher performance machines for home use, even outside the professional application space,” Tewari said.
“Historically, the workstations have been tailored to the specialists in unique, creative and complex fields. People like researchers, engineers, data analysts, designers, programmers, and so on. Moving forward, we are seeing a broader demand for these workstations,” he said.
“For example, there are the connector roles, who are there to connect teams and ensure that collaborations within organisations operate smoothly. Think about team leads, project managers, product managers, brand managers and the like. And then there are the largely desk-centric task workers think about accountants, human resources, financial analysts, and accountants.
“As each of these roles move to a hybrid work environment, the need for mobile workstations also increases with them.”
The channel play around workstations
According to Tewari, the channel opportunity with these workstations are twofold: there’s the product itself, and then there’s the subsequent strategic opportunity to have a deeper discussion about the IT environment.
As far as the products themselves, companies will need to ensure that, as they make hybrid work a permanent part of the operating environment, they don’t rely on BYOD and consumer-grade equipment. Maintaining security, connectivity, and patching best practices is just as important with the remote worker as it is with those working out of the office.
Dell Precision workstations, for example, come with ISP certifications across industry applications, Dell optimised for precision professional grade graphic options, enterprise class processes, scalable storage and management software, which makes it ideal cross multiple industries, Tewari said.
From there, the channel partner has a further opportunity to dive more deeply into the IT environment, he added.
“Working from home and working remotely comes with the increased possibility of security threats. Precision series, PCs are well prepared for that dynamic threat landscape of the modern hybrid workplace. They're loaded with a variety of security solutions, including the Dell Safeguard and Response. They'll save data, save it, save BIOS and save screen. Precision users can easily secure the hard drives with remote intrusion detection software that provides alerts that the system has been compromised.
“The other conversation that the partners can have with their customers is making sure that they're positioning Dell ecosystems, rather than products. They can aim to give a customer the complete user experience. Partners can leverage their Dell ecosystem expert advisor to get recommendations on ecosystem products automatically, based on the industry, and what the needs are for the customer going forward.”
After record shipments in 2021, the worldwide PC market still grew YoY in the first quarter of the year. Excluding Chromebooks (which experienced explosive growth last year due to the education sector as students moved to remote learning, but have since eased back significantly), the PC market grew by 3.9 per cent in Q1. There is still heavy demand for new devices as businesses go through refresh cycles and, this time, look to adopt new technologies to suit the new ways of working.
The opportunity is there for the channel to entrench themselves, not only as part of the refresh cycle, but to highlight how organisations can approach the mobile workstation strategically, provide employees with an exceptional experience wherever they are, and maintain security best practices and standards.