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2021 promises to be a year of economic recovery across Canada. This Microsoft post offers six ways that small and medium-sized businesses can speed up their recovery.

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking

2020 provided Canadian businesses unwilling or unable to digital transform all the evidence they needed of the risk of lagging. In a year when lock-down orders forced all employers to embrace remote working, organizations who lacked modern workplace cloud-based tools and enterprise security faced disruption and closure.

If you view technology as an operational weakness, not a strength, you can rewrite that story this year with these six recovery tips.

1. Don’t block your own recovery

Some decision-makers resist remote working and demand to manage people in person, believing that their oversight keeps employees productive. Analysis such as Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ of Microsoft Teams may help them feel better. If employees can produce comparable results, where they work simply does not matter. In fact, collaboration hubs like Microsoft Teams can work like a charm and unlock big benefits, including the costs savings and time recovered from needless commuting.

Screen grab of Hilary Zaborski and Sharon Shoenborn from their “Helping SMBs build business resilience” session from Microsoft Canada’s Future Now 2020.


2. Get expert guidance

Small and medium-sized business decision-makers defining their digital transformation strategy may want to tune into some recent presentations from recovery experts. Microsoft’s Future Now 2020 featured a bunch of inspiring sessions now available on demand. Browse all Future Now 2020 videos on demand here.

Future Now 2020 small and medium-sized business sessions

“Helping SMBs build business resilience” with Sharon Shoenborn and Hilary Zaborski discussing why digital transformation is more urgent than ever.

“Managing change through uncertain times” with Avery Swartz and Hilary Zaborski discussing the change in work dynamics and how we support communities.

“Living your culture in crisis” with Carolyn Byer shares Microsoft’s five-year cultural journey to create a purpose-driven mission.

“Lessons from the frontlines – In conversation with Shared Services Canada” with Lisa Carroll and Sarah Paquet chronicles how governments managed this year.

Illustration of three people, stylized.


3. Improve your business resilience

Organizations that succeed in times of change have one thing in common: they are resilient. Discover how Microsoft solutions can help you strengthen resilience in people, teams, and your broader organization. Download The Future of Business Resilience ebook

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4. Take advantage of free workshops

Microsoft Store offers free digital versions of its popular workshops for professionals. Every small and medium-sized business can take advantage of these workshops to build their technical skills and knowledge. Learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams, the secure collaboration hub, and other solutions like Microsoft 365, LinkedIn, Power BI, and more. Browse Microsoft Store free digital workshops for professionals

5. Embrace digital skilling and certification

Microsoft Virtual Training Days offers free Fundamentals classes and exams for non-technical professionals and Specialty classes for IT pros, in English and French.

Encourage every employee, not just your IT team, to take a free digital skilling class and to get Microsoft-certified. Employees who get technical training benefit from improved confidence and capabilities, which benefits the entire organization.

Microsoft subscribers, get the most value out of your solutions today!

  • All Dynamics 365 users can access Dynamics 365 Fundamentals
  • All Power BI users can access Power Platform Fundamentals
  • All Azure users can access Azure Fundamentals

Azure Fundamentals – Master the most important cloud concepts and strategies. Enable digital transformation, collaboration, innovation, and better security. Unlock the world’s most transformative technologies with Azure.

Dynamics 365 Fundamentals – Become a digital transformation expert. Discover how to design intelligent systems using advanced analytics, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality.

Power Platform Fundamentals – Discover how to drive digital innovation and automation. Connect all your data to analyze business performance. Build custom apps and automate workflows. Learn what Power Platform can do for you.

6. Step up your cybersecurity

Last, but certainly not least, make sure you keep cybersecurity top of mind. Cybercrime represents a clear and present danger to all Canadian organizations, big or small.

Start by upgrading the PCs you use to Windows 10 to help protect your organization from phishing and viruses. Learn more about Windows 10 security features

Then learn and teach your employees how to better detect and protect your business from attacks. Microsoft published the Keep your business moving securely series to help small and medium-sized businesses learn how they can practice business self-defense.

Keep your business moving securely series

  1. How to work remotely, for everyone who needs to stay productive from home
  2. Eight remote working essentials to stay productive
  3. Your security checklist to help protect your employees working from home
  4. Empowering Canadian healthcare teams with new remote working tools
  5. Secure remote working solutions for government agencies
  6. Secure remote working for human resources teams

If you need support

As always, Microsoft Canada is here to help. Microsoft Canada offers customers diverse options to get support. If you don’t have an IT company already, you can also get expert assistance from Microsoft’s vast network of certified solution-providers. Over 12,000 companies in Canada participate in the Microsoft Partner Network. Find one that suits your needs and wants at Microsoft Canada’s solution provider search tool.