The coronavirus pandemic has had a polarised effect on the travel, transport and logistics sector.
At one end of the scale, it paralysed business as usual, bringing an uncertainty that shows no sign of lifting yet. Airline fleets sat on the tarmac as people cancelled travel plans, and huge economic disruption to production saw warehouses and factories fall silent and empty. But for other businesses, the pandemic brought massive pressure to scale up operations overnight. As countries locked down, people shifted to ecommerce and all the logistical aspects surrounding that flourished. The express delivery market, in particular, boomed to the extent that, at one point, a leading logistics firm had more planes in the sky than any other airlines in the world.
Just like the rest of the global economy, transport, travel and logistics companies experienced one of the greatest workplace transformations in our lifetime — the move to remote working. Although a significant amount of the sector physically couldn’t carry out work at home, others could, and rushed to find IT solutions to support new ways of working. From contact centre agents based at kitchen tables to temporary distribution hubs backing the growth in ecommerce logistics, businesses needed more bandwidth including 4G connectivity, VPN access, and cloud-based collaboration tools.
Seeking agility through digital transformation
None of this was in the original plan. Generally, remote working and pop-up outlets weren’t long-term goals for transport, travel and logistics businesses. The expectation was that existing ways of working would continue, using the established infrastructure. Digital transformation was planned, but in targeted and specific ways to move the sector forwards, not to reimagine its very existence.
And yet, many businesses in transport, travel and logistics are seizing this opportunity to reinvent themselves so they’re equipped to navigate through future waves of the pandemic and out the other side. They’re accelerating digital transformation in a search for the agility that will let them adapt and the same questions are cropping up on boardroom agendas. How can we move to a flexible cost structure? How can we make remote working truly secure? And how do we balance a need to have workers on our premises with the need for Coronavirus security?
Shaping a network infrastructure to support change
The answer to these questions lies in a network solution that’s more digital, globally distributed and data focussed. Not to mention more efficient and cost-effective.
Moving to the cloud and taking advantage of new software-defined services is an excellent starting point for creating the secure, agile and dynamic network transport, travel and logistics businesses need to navigate whatever comes next.
Blending that network with the right combination of cloud services can connect your sites and your people with optimised private data centres, giving all those who rely on them the right experience. And this agile network infrastructure will support the smart technology that will see your business thrive into the future. From IoT in the warehouse helping to reduce staff numbers to secure social distancing levels, to AI-linked CCTV cameras that identify those not wearing a mask, intelligent technology is ready to transform the sector. Analytics, automation, portals, machine learning and AI will deliver new data insight and control, helping you to make better business decisions. Coronavirus has created an impetus to adopt the technology that’s out there to operate seamlessly, reopen safely, protect the wellbeing of employees and flex to whatever comes.
It takes more than tech to shape a global network
Technology alone is not the answer. For digital transformation to be truly successful, travel, transport and logistics organisations also need an infrastructure with the right security, service and management.
We have a wealth of experience in network transformations and in developing software-defined solutions. We’ve delivered thousands of solutions globally with our ever-increasing choice of secure services and solutions. During the pandemic, we helped customers across every sector extend bandwidth to support the move to homeworking securely – often in a matter of hours.
Our approach means that multiple technologies and legacy systems can be easily managed to create a single, secure global network infrastructure for your business. Through our broad portfolio of solutions, we can easily integrate with the collaboration applications, data and third-party cloud providers you need globally. Then our end-to-end management of your entire solution simplifies operations for you – and improves user experience for your team and your customers.
Most importantly, we’re constantly updating our solutions, so as you move into a software-defined world, your solution is guaranteed to evolve with you.
The shape of things to come
Digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic – but, in doing so, it will transform the future of business. Through our expertise and choice of SD-WAN technology, network, cloud, security and management services, we can help you shape the future of your business too.
Get in touch or read ‘Shape your future infrastructure: A proposal’ for more detailed information on how we can guide your transformation