An unprecedented event created much difficulty for the entire world. While the pandemic wasn’t as scathing on ICT as it was on many other industries, it nonetheless created new challenging obstacles.

The trends that 2020 delivered on

Back towards the start of the year, we looked at a number of trends which would likely propagate through 2020. Of course, at that time, COVID-19 was just another flu-like virus that had been discovered.

Cloud services were probably the most prominent trend that the year gone by delivered. If it weren’t for their prevalence, our ability to deliver services would have been greatly diminished. What’s more, remote working may well have been a far more difficult proposition. While we can use many of our digital tools as standalones, it is the ability to share and access a common pool of information and functions that make remote working feasible.

Data security was another trend that showed an alarming increase. The way that worldwide lockdowns isolated people meant that many verification systems were not as robust as they should have been. We also saw a surge in the number of opportunists and unscrupulous elements. These factors led to a huge rise in online criminal activity such as phishing and data theft. Thankfully, the world also saw a corresponding rise in skills and people to help combat these unsavoury elements. We have more InfoSec and Digital Security resources than ever before, though vigilance will always remain key.

The difficulties found us challenging ourselves

When the country announced national lockdown back in March, many people worried about the immediate future. No one had any idea what to expect or how to handle it, and businesses were no exception. The challenges, therefore, lay in learning how to think creatively and in an agile manner. While this was always a cornerstone of what we did, we found that we suddenly had to apply it in very different ways.

Starting immediately, we decided that trusting in our company culture would accomplish the most. Doing so let us handle the incoming crisis in a way that treated everyone the same. What’s more, it prompted our staff to fight harder for one another and for our clients, sometimes making the more difficult long-term decisions instead of the easy ones. To that end, Adept has managed to keep our doors open, without any retrenchments or negative remunerations. What’s more, we were able to accommodate many clients in difficulty, and we discovered that we received as much compassion and assistance as we gave out.

The challenges, thus, were able to provide a very valuable lesson in business operation. Being pushed to expand our boundaries and do things that we wouldn’t consider during “normal” times has been an experience that pointed out what we can do without, what is absolutely essential, and where we must place our priorities in order to ensure our continuity. In addition to this, we discovered that our staff are not just people, but entire families. We were proud that they stood by us as we did by them.

The greatest take-home lessons from 2020

We spoke to a number of our colleagues and asked them about what they gleaned from the challenging times faced. The summary below contains the most powerful lessons they learned.

  • Working remotely is not only possible but very viable in most cases
  • A good company culture fosters enough trust to allow people to act independently with less oversight
  • Challenging situations help you learn to accomplish more with less
  • Many people will show their true colours in times of crisis
  • Appreciating what we have goes hand in hand with making the most out of it
  • Doing your own research using multiple sources is a great way to boost your personal productivity

We’d like to thank our incredible colleagues, all our treasured clients and all our amazing suppliers for helping us through the most difficult year in recent memory; may 2021 be lightyears better for us all!