Whether you are a large-scale enterprise or a small business, business growth is a top priority in all sectors of the South African economy. The incorporation of ICT in the growth strategies of business enterprises of various sizes has become an absolute imperative, with the various technological applications making everything from executive activities to retail and sales faster, more efficient, secure, and user-friendly. Growing business with Microsoft Surface has proven to be a valuable, multi-faceted product offering from Microsoft.
Not only is business growth necessary for the sustainability of businesses themselves, the growth of the business sector as a whole, as well as individual companies and enterprises is a priority for South Africa's push towards the large-scale creation of jobs and the alleviation of poverty for the close to 35% of the population that is unemployed. This rate is even higher depending on which definition is used to measure it, and if we look at it broken down by province, the poorest provinces are usually those with a larger proportion of the population living in rural areas, such as the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
The range of Surface devices makes office-bound, remote, and hybrid work possible by allowing for the reliable, secure, and remotely accessible storage and tracking of real-time processes – from information updates by employees in the field to executive decision-making and communication to individual transactions in the retail sector – and every business process in between. From business development and growth strategising, R&D to design, manufacturing to distribution, wholesale to retail, there is a Microsoft Surface solution for your business.
As the demands of consumers, whether they are individuals, governments, schools, hospitals, or other business partners become more sophisticated and complex, understanding the target market of your enterprise and employing the right tools to understand and reach them can make the difference between a dying or thriving business.
Research, development, innovation, and change are the driving concepts behind a "growth mindset" for businesses, as the name of the game is ultimately the provision of better quality products, greater functionality in products and services, and an overall improvement in the consumer experience. Whether it is in the use of a product, the uptake of a service, or the customer's engagement with an enterprise, technology can enable better outcomes and add significant value to interactions between businesses and consumers alike.
According to the theory of a "growth mindset" originally proposed by Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck, intelligence and skills are not static attributes that individuals are either born with or without. Instead, she proposes that these attributes are malleable and variable over time, given the right environment and positive guidance or interaction with leaders, teachers, and peers.
In the context of business, positive leadership and effective communication are of course key variables, but of equal importance are the tools and technologies that people can access and learn to use to their full potential. This is where innovative technologies – from devices to applications – come into the picture of growing business with Microsoft Surface. No matter what is required by an enterprise or its employees, the Surface family of devices and applications offer solutions that unlock productivity, collaboration, participation, and innovation that drive businesses to greater gains in their competitive advantage in the respective markets they engage in.
One of the greatest advantages humans have over other species on our planet is our ability to communicate rapidly and accurately through language, and our innate propensity to work together and cooperate to achieve common goals. In the business environment, the wrong set-up, ineffective leadership, and a static – or fixed – approach to work are just about guaranteed to stifle and constrain the true potential of your businesses' greater asset: Its people.
With the multi-functional, highly adaptable, and user-enabling features that are standard to the Surface family of devices and applications, business leaders can transform their teams – and the ultimate success of the business – by encouraging creativity and innovation, building and communicating common goals, and making working activities and tasks as flexible and dynamic as the lives of employees.
Beginning in 2019, Microsoft has been introducing a rather extensive range of new devices in the Surface family, built for flexibility, portability, connectivity, and ease of group communications to meet the needs of the changing landscape of business and the rapidly unfolding shift to the knowledge economy and the 4th Industrial Revolution. The range originally consisted of the Surface Laptop Go, released in October 2020, the Surface Laptop 4, released in April 2021, and the Surface Hub 2S, released in 2019.
Launched in 2021 was a variety of new devices which can be viewed on Microsoft's website. For the purposes of this post, we will narrow the focus to the Surface Pro 7+, Surface Go 2, Surface Laptop 4, Surface Hub 2S, Surface Laptop Go, and the Surface Book 3, as devices that are adaptable enough to fit with practically any business activity in any sector. With so many options to choose from across the Surface range, it might seem tricky to find one that's right for you. The solution would be to have a powerful machine that is lightweight, easy to transport, and packs a punch...something that is anything but ordinary. The new generation of Microsoft Surface devices ticks all those boxes and are the fastest machines the tech company has ever shipped.
One of the greatest achievements of Microsoft in the development of the Surface range is that it combines the portability of lightweight devices such as laptops and tablets with the computing power and storage capacity of the traditional large desktop PC. This capacity was instrumental in keeping a wide range of societal sectors – from business operations, government programs, and the provision of healthcare and education – functioning during the rapid decentralisation triggered by the global pandemic in 2020.
As the world recovers after the pandemic of 2020, the vast majority of managers, executives, and employees have indicated that they place great value on the flexibility and ease that came with remote and hybrid working arrangements. The pandemic proved that we possess the technological capabilities to retain working arrangements such as these, and demonstrated the many benefits that come along with it, such as flexibility for workers, a decreased need to commute and waste time travelling, lower costs to both businesses and employees and increased productivity.
Over the last three years, Microsoft has commissioned a number of studies on the multiple impacts and improvements on the world of work made possible by products such as the Surface family of devices and the applications that have been developed to support secure, remote-yet-connected working arrangements. These studies, the Total Economic Impact (TEI) studies conducted by Forrester Consulting consisted of a total of 11 studies, all related to the measurable increases in ROI for companies that are adopting the Microsoft Surface range of devices and applications.
The TEI studies focused specifically on network security, modernising and securing endpoints, securing access to and use of Cloud applications, and the regulatory compliance and threat intelligence of the widely used Microsoft 365 Office suite of applications.
The issue of secure input, access, and shareability of information is at the core of the functioning of remote and hybrid work teams, and these studies provide ample evidence of the security of organisational and personal data, often of a highly sensitive and strategic nature, provided effectively by Microsoft devices and applications.
Growing business with Microsoft Surface devices and the range of powerful and sophisticated applications that empower workers is the latest addition to the improved functionality and usability made possible through Microsoft's product offerings for decades. With all Surface devices enabled to run Windows 365, Windows 10, and Windows 11, your enterprise's workforce has access to the whole range of well-known Windows applications, as well as innovative new applications such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Azure. These applications, accessible via the Surface family of devices give teams the portability, adaptability, connectivity, and security necessary to do their work from practically anywhere.
The transformation of the business environment that has been evolving for at least the past decade was radically sped up by the decentralisation of operations necessitated by the global pandemic and lockdown conditions starting in 2020. Businesses had to adapt to this new reality by investing heavily in the ICT capabilities their workers could use for the uninterrupted continuation of business – and life – during a period marked by high levels of uncertainty, societal upheaval, and a multiplicity of highly unpredictable variables and possible outcomes.
Ways had to be found over and around these problems as fast as possible, as doing otherwise would disproportionally increase the risk of social, economic, and political unrest and volatility with serious and far-reaching implications for present and future social stability and progress in all sectors of society.
Even as the world starts returning to normal, with restrictions being eased and no more lockdowns being likely, the remote and hybrid work model in practically every sector is here to stay. Businesses that fail to grasp that the environment within which business is being conducted has shifted to being almost exclusively online and decentralised will not be able to keep up with the new evolutionary path laid out for them. To remain in business, stay competitive, increase productivity, and establish and maintain your enterprise's relevance and accessibility to your target market requires that new ways of doing remain in operation and develop or evolve in tandem with technological advancements going into the future.
To do this, businesses must make use of the best tools and innovations that are available now, and adopt new developments as they happen, or face the inevitable reality of lost opportunities, losses in revenue, and the loss of the most skilled and talented employees they have, as all of these will increasingly migrate to those enterprises and sectors that fully embrace the all-encompassing shift towards remote accessibility, secure communication, collaboration, convenience, innovation, and growth that the digital domain makes possible. Product offerings such as the Microsoft Surface range of devices and applications are at the forefront of this digital business domain, and therefore offer the most appropriate solutions to address your enterprise's needs and requirements now, and into the future.