2020 for most has been an awful year in business with Covid trashing the economy, companies struggling to survive, rising unemployment and lingering doubts about recovery even though the vaccinations are appearing and gaining traction.
There are some very positive things about 2020 that are easy to overlook amongst the obvious sadness and bad news.
A seismic shift in the way we work has happened in the space of a few months. An evolution that started years ago has now accelerated and taken hold as normal. Home working is no longer something that people do around the edges of employment. It is mainstream and it has improved the productivity of millions. It has also removed loading on transport and perhaps addressed the over-crowded commuter journey syndrome suffered by many for years.
A new world beckons for town and city development with the release of office spaces that can be repurposed for much needed housing without eating into precious green spaces.
Opportunity has opened up to deploy teams from anywhere. Literally anywhere! Previously many companies restricted their talent pool to people who commute, now they can deploy global talent.
Technology has stepped up! Bandwidth to support millions on Zoom or Teams calls all at once, collaboration tools and apps springing up to meet the demand from organisations.
Governments have acted with astonishing speed – rolling out aid programmes, taking homeless people off the street and housing them, lifting capability and capacity in hospitals. Previously the laboriously slow public sector would take years on each of these, but now they have delivered unimaginable change in a few short months.
In Illuminet we too have changed. We have adapted our products so that they can deliver without the need to be physically in the room. We have enthusiastically adopted new technology from the way we manage our accounts in the US to the way we visualise progress in our Virtual War Rooms.
We have put people at the heart of our decision making ensuring that no-one was made redundant, that our team were fully supported throughout the worst months. We paid all our suppliers on time every time and so did our customers!
We assembled a Covid Recovery Squad to bring people who are keen to get back into work together with clients who need help recovering from the lost ground.
We passed several key milestones for our company, opening our US offices, winning our first US client, adding new UK clients, winning our first renewal of our fantastic VBaaS service, creating new products to add to our existing unique offerings and signing up great new partners who add to our eco system. We also managed to fit in some make a difference days, litter picks, food bank donations, charity fund raisers, secret Santa support for orphanages and of course added more trees to our UK tree planting.
A dreadful year, but also one that we can look back on with pride.
We are excited about the potential that 2021 brings, as we and other companies build for a better future. So from myself and the whole Illuminet team, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!