Unsurprisingly Covid-19 has had colossal impact on business prioritiesEven the most robust business continuity plans could not account for years of change being compressed into just a few weeks. As well as the challenges of deploying remote working technology at pace, enterprise problems were compounded by shortages of equipment and internet connectivity which forced many to compromise on the solutions implemented. Most enterprises are now looking to review the cost efficiency and security of technologies adopted by home workers during lockdown. 

Blue Saffron has drawn on its experience of supporting hundreds of customers with thousands of end users during lockdown, and gathered additional intelligence by commissioning a survey of UK mid-market enterprises, which was undertaken by Larato in June 2020.  

Before the crisis, mid-market companies’ top priorities were improving productivity and efficiency and protecting against skills shortages. Now, although six in ten companies still need productivity and efficiency improvements, new priorities have supplanted these with; 

  • Retention of a dispersed workforce 
  • Survival of the business 
  • Cost reduction 


Data from our survey shows that remote working is here to stay: 53% of enterprises expect to keep 10-25% of their workforce at home for the next 12 months, and 30% expect to keep half to quarter or between 25-50% of their workers at home for the rest of this year. Other industry opinion from mainstream consultancies like PWC concurs that some of the shift to home working will be permanent 

However, while supporting home or remote working is now one of enterprises’ top requirement from technology, wider debates are opening  regarding the future shape of working practice and the opportunities it affords for contract working, more flexible employment models, including opportunities to internationalise. Using an outsourced approach could prove very useful when you consider that the pandemic is expected to make a return, bringing with it the subsequent disruptive waves of staff furloughing and redundancies.  

Another key impact of the pandemic is the de-prioritisation of retaining skilled workers. This recent survey showed that concerns about attracting and retaining skilled workers have fallen  by 25% to 19% – before the pandemic 44% of companies we polled stated it as a business priority. These are significant employment and recruitment issues and are likely to be important business considerations for the foreseeable future. 

47% of companies struggled to establish home working, with some being unable to access the most basic technologies needed even laptops were hard to source. Others struggled with business continuity plans that did not meet expectations, which was a particular issue for CEOs.  

We found that while the majority of respondents used more than one collaborative communications platformMicrosoft Teams was the go-to application of choice for remote working: 

  • 63% of companies used Microsoft Teams during lockdown 
  • 46% were using it for the first time 
  • 65% stated an intent to keep using Microsoft Teams post-lockdown 


Security and connectivity are key concerns for sustained remote working, with 65% of enterprises believing their security risks haincreased74% reported that their customers were more concerned about cybersecurity and data protection. In addition to the security concerns of utilising domestic technology for commercial applications, almost three in four enterprises viewed a business grade broadband connection as necessary for productivity in a home working environmentAlmost all of the enterprises surveyed said they struggled to source business grade broadband plan to upgrade their remote workers’ connectivity. 

How Blue Saffron helped 

Upon lockdown, enterprises needed to scale their remote working capabilities fastBlue Saffron’s support team helped their customers to extricate themselves out of difficult situations. In particular:  

  • Poor or insecure connectivity was a common problem. This was due in no small measure to unstable domestic broadband connections and consumer-grade network equipment. Blue Saffron worked with each user and patiently triaged the “chain” from end user device, home Wi-Fi , domestic routerresidential broadband and the specific security and connectivity requirements of centralised corporate systems and applications. Where required, make recommendations and optimise configuration for more appropriate equipment. 
  • The early days of lockdown saw a frenzied rush to procure laptops for staff. There was a global shortage and although Blue Saffron managed to procure substantial numbers, the dearth of supply drove the need for alternative solutions. Where it was possible, office PCs were taken home and the Blue Saffron team set about re-purposing them as remote access devices. The team also worked to ensure secure access from home devices. This involved identification of the required hardware and software, and the subsequent procurement, installation, configuration and testing. 

The Blue Saffron team  has been great, super helpful 

Blue Saffron’s support experts fixed my problem promptly and professionally in stressful times ”

“Thank you for the clear and quick response. Instructions were perfect.” 

Evaluated and optimised home devices for  60% of a 300 workforce recruiter which enabled them for corporate use.

Remote Desktop Connection was established for city-based accounting firm allowing staff to connect to their work machines.

Over 150 VPN connections were established for an education recruiter.

One customer praised our pre-Covid redesign of their IT environment, meaning they experienced no pain when transitioning to remote working. 

Blue Saffron’s Remote Worker Solution


Both Blue Saffron’s lockdown experiences and the survey show that enterprise CEOs believe it is important for their organisations to work more with external partners to manage their IT. This is partly to mitigate risk and partly due to recognising that much more support will have to be delivered remotely to keep distributed workforces operating properly.

Blue Saffron has utilised its experience of supporting customers through lockdown to produce a package that solves the problems enterprises face as remote working becomes a bigger part of the de facto workplace. It addresses enterprises’ struggle with access to business-grade connectivity, protection against cybersecurity and data loss as well as sourcing enterprise-grade remote working hardware and software. This new remote working solution has been designed specifically for the mid-market enterprise and includes:

  • Secure, managed business-grade connectivity
  • Cybersecurity protection
  • Recommendations about optimising your investment in IT and Telecoms
  • Collaboration through cloud-based Microsoft applications -including Teams- configured to protect against data loss
  • Evaluation of remote working deployments and recommendations for optimisation and future improvements
  • Assuring the performance of voice communications
  • Optional sourcing or upgrading of equipment and applications
  • Flexible commercial contracts

If you could benefit from some expert IT advice? Contact us today or talk to one of our team on 0844 560 0202.

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