2020 in review

2020 eh?...

Thinking back to the start of 2020 we remember Boris banging on about Brexit and how this year would be a "great year for Britain"... the chances are he wasn't factoring in a global pandemic and we still seem to be in a right old tangle with Brexit, something we will be keeping a close eye on.

Covid-19 keeps on disrupting the world, increasingly so with the new variant and the new Tier-4 measures that are right on our doorstep and has meant 2020 didn't go to plan for many businesses. In fact, most businesses with a plan had to change them - and change them fast.

We have seen the full spectrum of effect with our portfolio of clients; some thriving, the majority coping and unfortunately a few undergoing real stress.

Whatever the client circumstance, we have worked hard this year and are proud that we have been able to support all struggling businesses in our portfolio to re-group and keep going.

Just like you, we have had to be resilient and adapt. However, we are lucky to be in a business that doesn’t depend on a physical location for our income and working in a ‘digital industry’ meant that we were well placed to keep working with minimal effect. That doesn’t mean we have particularly enjoyed the ‘new normal’ of Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We do prefer face to face rather than video. A little considered fact is that we were lucky to have video conferencing, VoIP telephones and fast internet connections to cope with the demand. We are sure that if the pandemic had hit 10 years ago, ‘coping’ would have put a huge strain on the available technology. Small blessings…

2020 saw us increase our ‘big project’ activity, we count our blessings that by the time Covid hit we were already commissioned and working on 4 multi-month projects. Whilst we are unable to disclose much detail on 3 of the projects because of NDA’s (sounds very James Bond, but unfortunately not) we have made massive progress on our core CMS platform, Jolojo, that will continue to drive our ability to deliver bespoke development projects, increase usability for our clients, and render world-class page loading times for better results in Google.

Notable projects completed in 2020

The continuing evolution of functionality for East Sussex Highways, increasing the range of services that are now available on-line.

Creating a bespoke administration system for DB Domestics to manage their spares and repairs booking system, scheduling and engineer job management.

Administration system for Sevenoaks Football club. Functionality includes; User registration, ability to add and manage junior players, scoping for administrators and team managers. Team management, fee management and tons of reporting tools. This massively reduces the administrative overhead for managing a club with over 800 members.

Two data reporting tools integrating with SQL databases held in MS Azure.

Room booking system for the new Community Hub in Hellingly that integrates with the existing calendar functionality.

Contract management and service delivery for a large maintenance and installation company. Functionality includes the ability for the website to work ‘off-line’ and be installed as a Progressive Web App (PWA).

But that is not all, the Optimisation and Promotion team have been hard at work.

Notable digital promotion work in 2020

Working with over 40 clients over the year and undertaken website optimisation, content creation, social media management, social media campaigns, and paid campaigns.

‘Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics’ is an old Army saying, to this end we have been keeping all our clients up to date with what is happening in the industry (Google can be a fast-moving target) and have consulted and advised on many areas of website promotion, both immediate actionable and for future consideration

2020 number summary

In addition, we made over 2,000 updates to client websites, registered 40 new domain names and our servers delivered over 20,000,000 web pages. Before you ask, we have no idea of how much coffee we have drunk!

Looking forward to 2021

The old saying of ‘survival of the fittest’ will hold more relevance than ever in 2021. Government support for businesses and freelancers will have to stop at some stage and businesses that are relying on this will inevitably suffer once financial support has ended.

More worryingly, if businesses suffer then ultimately people suffer too. We rather pessimistically expect unemployment to rise, especially with the ending of furlough in April (although with recent extension this may change again).

So, B2B and B2C companies will need to keep bang up to date to make the most of the tough trading conditions and remain resilient, realistic and agile in their ability to see opportunities, effect change and remain in business and profitable.

We have no magic pill, but we do offer our full support, advice and experience to you all as and when you need it so we can plan, prepare and execute your digital ambitions together.

A famous Winston Churchill quote that we have used many times over the years;

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

We believe that this rings true today with the current world situation in the face of the once in a 100 years pandemic. We hope that the enormous efforts of the pharmaceutical companies deliver an effective vaccine. We hope that Governments have the ability to pay for and deliver the vaccine and we hope that this is fair on a global scale.

We hope that the general population does what it is told to and we hope that we can begin to get back to normality, see people again, have a hug, shake hands, watch sport, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and go on holiday.

We hope 2021 will be better than 2020!

We look forward to the challenges that lay ahead and the challenges you give us.

But most of all we hope that you stay safe. We can’t wait to see you as soon as we can in 2021.