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- Network and Data Security for Returning and Remote Workers + Disaster Recovery Symposium
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- Thursday’s Virtual Conference Tackles Today’s Supply Chain Trials and Tribulations
- 10 Tips to Reduce Cloud Storage Risk
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- Cisco Breach Defence Overview
- Announcing Our New Website and Blog
Lately, with much news being devoted, understandably, to COVID-19 and the US presidential election, other issues may not have been given the attention they deserve. That doesn’t mean they are any less important to Canadians. Quite the opposite.
Specifically, concerns related to appointment and our environment are critical issues for Canadians of all ages
Three separate pieces of research, including one conducted by TQG in conjunction with the Schulich School of Business in September 2020 and one commissioned by IBM in October 2020, show:
- 50 – 65% of Canadians are more concerned about the environment today, than they were pre-pandemic.
- 70 – 75% of Canadians believe that adoption and utilization of AI, machine learning and other innovative technologies will be critical to ensuring the growth of our economy, and the creation of meaningful jobs, especially for those under the age of 50.
- +70% of Canadians consider both the company’s commitment to the environment and its adoption of technology when seeking employment. This particular stat came from a study conducted before the ongoing impact of the pandemic had been felt from an employment perspective, but is indicative of attitudes. Attitudes that will likely be reinforced once work and career growth returns to normal – whenever that will be, in whatever the new format.
None of this is surprising considering that when the World Economic Form hosted the Sustainable Development Impact Summit from September 1 – 24, 2020, their leaders stated:
“The COVID-19 crisis wreaked havoc on societies and economies and dealt a major setback to achieving the 2030 agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. Putting the world back on a path of sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth will require more than a global recovery; it will require a great reset of social and economic systems.” (www.weforum.org)
At a time when most companies are still struggling to adapt to new ways of doing business, and seeing bottom-line profits erode in many instances, investing in tomorrow may seem heretical. But, it may be the only way to protect your company’s tomorrow.
An Approach to That Works Well, Regardless of Industry or Organisation Size
- Set aside a time for senior-level leaders to truly examine the business, looking at what products and services have contributed to the company’s growth in the past two years. For each line of business (or SKU), look at its percentage contribution to both profit and revenue, and how that has changed over time – and why.
- Overlay your findings from this internal assessment with trend data related to what’s going on in the macro-environment, changes in your industry overall, and shifts in consumer buying habits and attitudes.
- Be brutally honest with yourselves about what you are doing well, what is off-trend, what is working and what is not.
- Consider what products and services should be eliminated from your portfolio, which ones should be retained and promoted, and what you should be adding to the mix in order to thrive.
- Determine how to reduce your carbon footprint as you make slight – or even major – shifts in direction.
- Determine what organisational changes may be needed in terms of people and process to bring this new strategy to life – and ask yourselves if you have the right people and technologies in place to implement your new vision.
- Calculate what your revenue and profitability will look like five years down the road if you continue on your current path, taking into account the changes around you. Then look at the potential revenue, after factoring in the total investment, if you implement your new approach. In most instances, you’ll find there is a huge upside to making these changes, including more investment in digital transformation.
Repeating a key point from above, as you revisit your products and processes finding ways to reduce resource use and waste can have a profound impact on employee perspectives about the company and your bottom line.
Our key partner, Cisco, refers to this as “Circular Economy”. Interestingly, one of their writers, Katie Schindall, wrote about it on this week. Here are excerpts from that Cisco blog post:
Sometimes referred to as “circularity” or a “closed-loop system,” a circular economy is an economic system focused on the elimination of waste and resource overuse by designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. By reducing consumption and employing principles of repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling, we minimize resource use, waste, carbon emissions, and pollution.
The goal of a circular economy is to improve the lifespan and productivity of equipment and infrastructure with the idea that “waste” becomes a resource. (Think composting for servers.) This differs from the traditional linear economy, which is a “take-make-waste” model where products are used and then thrown away.
A circular economy is essential because as a society we’re using more natural resources than our planet can regenerate. It’s also our belief that circular business models can be just as profitable as the old linear model, and we’re on our way to proving that.
Our approach extends from how we design, build, and deliver products to how we value the assets we have and turn those assets into new products. We also apply Cisco technology to support our customers in their own circular transformations. Cisco was a founding partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), which facilitates collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the pursuit of a circular economy.
In January 2018, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins joined eight other technology executives at the World Economic Forum in signing the PACE Capital Equipment Pledge. We committed to 100 percent product return, pledging to take back used equipment from any customer and grow the reuse of equipment through refurbishing, remanufacturing, and repair. We continue to actively engage in the PACE Capital Equipment Coalition and other collaborative efforts to advance the circular economy.
We realize that the way we design our products and packaging directly impacts our customers’ ability to achieve their own sustainability goals. Through our circular design strategy, we’re advancing how we can support our customers and meet our own objectives and aspirations. One good example is our cloud customers, who are keenly focused on energy consumption, waste, and their ability to reuse data center hardware.
Our circular design principles are facilitating progress toward these goals. By 2025, all new products will be designed with circularity in mind, driving increased reuse, repair, recycling, and resource efficiency.
To read what Cisco is doing in terms of reducing necessary materials and incorporating recycled content, using sustainable packaging and helping companies smart energy consumption and designing in ways that enable equipment to be repaired and reused, please see: https://blogs.cisco.com/sp/how-to-transform-from-linear-to-circular-models
As for your employees: Being able to share your new vision, while at the same time showing how you will be protecting the planet, will help you attract the right types of employees to make this happen – and retain the ones most important to your growth.
Despite Cloud Managed Networks being technology-centric, our approach includes looking at your business overall, helping you determine the best way forward – and then showing you how technology can help. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or (416) 429-0796 or 1.877.238.9944 (Toll Free), even if you’re only looking for complimentary shoulder on which to bounce some ideas.
P.S. You might also be interested in reading our October 28, 2020 blog post: Responsible Disposal.