Hike in data demand from home working is expected to continue - MTN
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DURBAN - SOUTH African communications company MTN SA said on Tuesday that the demand for communication services would continue to increase as more and more businesses adopted the work from home concept.
MTN SA spokesperson Leigh-Ann Chetty said that over the past year MTN Business had witnessed an increased demand from its customers, particularly for data, voice, cloud and security offerings.
“As most businesses allowed their employees to work from home, the demand for data and strengthening security measures became mandatory to all businesses. Working from home relies heavily on remote access to (the) company’s network, cloud accounts and video-conferencing tools. Without adequate security and cloud storage capabilities, company resources become vulnerable,” said Chetty.
The business said the pandemic and lockdowns had highlighted the critical role played by telecoms sector across the world as employees work from home making businesses obliged to keep their employees connected to ensure business objectives were achieved.
Chetty said the demand for MTN Business’ Cloud and Security services had increased over the past year. Increased data demand did not only come from small businesses and private businesses, but also educational institutions such the University of South Africa (Unisa), which had partnered with MTN Business to offer their students data bundles in order to access educational resources.
The Covid-19 pandemic had changed how the world worked and it had definitely changed how businesses interact with their customers. Chetty said the introduction of nationwide lockdown by the South African government over a year ago and the temporary ban of non-essential products and services earlier 2020 had forced consumers to look for safer and more convenient shopping habits, which includes online shopping, it said.
“We, therefore, saw an increase in customers utilising our own online retail channels, these include our website (wegotu.mtn.co.za), MTN App, MoMo App and MTN Chat platform. Although face to face and in-store still remains relevant, we anticipate self-service channels to continue getting attraction post Covid-19,” said Chetty.
A study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released on Tuesday found that preference to occasionally work from home was nearly universal, and South Africans were no exception, according to a survey of 209 000 people in 190 countries by BCG and The Network. South Africa was said to have also emerged as one of the countries that would fully embrace remote work, with 44 percent saying they wanted to work fully remotely compared to a global average of 24 percent.
Principal and Recruiting Director at Boston Consulting Group in Johannesburg Rudi van Blerk said the pandemic had significantly changed how people think about their work and mobility preferences, because many had to transition to remote work basically overnight.
“Workers and managers alike have seen that flexible work models are possible and, in fact, desirable, with only 4 percent of South Africans saying they would want to return to working completely on-site at an office after the pandemic,” said Blerk.
South Africans in digital, knowledge, and office jobs in particular, many of whom were already working remotely, wanted more workplace flexibility on a permanent basis and would even consider going fully remote. Marketing and communication are said to lead the charge, with 62.5 percent saying they would move to a fully remote mode of working.