Hope and Resilience: A New Years Message from our CEO
By Kevin Pickhardt | January 11, 2022
I wish a very Happy New Year to all of our partners, customers and friends on this first month of 2022!
As one year welcomes the next, millions of people are taking this time to reflect on the past year to assess what was and to envision the year ahead to make choices on what can be. So, I take this moment to share some of my thoughts with you.
Most anyone would describe 2021 as anything but a normal year. I heard one commentator referring to this past year as a ‘lost year’, but I believe 2021 challenged us to be more alive and more aware than most years. With so many unknowns between the pandemic, the impact of social distancing on work and life, the challenges of global supply shortages, the impacts of fires and natural disasters, unprecedented cybersecurity threats, and so much more sent our way, it is easy to feel lost and destabilized. However, the challenge to each of us has not changed. Each and every year, and each and every minute, our challenges are the same – to grow in resilience as individuals and a society. That is, to accept whatever life presents us and expand our ability to respond in the healthiest way possible.
I believe this is what it means to be human, to live a good and meaningful life. Any living being, individual, organization or society measures its health by its ability to adapt. Witness the adaptation of the virus to find ever new ways to accelerate its growth. We are no different, needing to assess the world as it is and choose actions that accelerate growth. This is why 2021 presented us so many opportunities to be more alive and more human than most years. It asked us to become more alert to changes around us and more adept at choosing healthy responses.
This is true for Pharos as well and how we serve in the world. While our customers’ fundamental needs changed little this past year – they still needed to create environments in which employees can work effectively and efficiently from wherever they may be, optimize the use of assets (the most valuable of which is time), and ensure a secure and safe work environment for their employees and customers they serve – the way those needs present themselves changed considerably.
The new hybrid workforce (working from home, the coffee shop and elsewhere) has become a longer-term reality, not the blip we once anticipated. This accelerated digital and cloud transformation from a vision of the future to today’s reality. Zero infrastructure and zero trust networks are becoming widespread – even mandatory in the Federal Government. There is more pressure than ever to act and adapt quickly and decisively.
In 2021, Pharos worked to support our customers facing these challenges. We significantly increased our investment in our safe, zero trust, global cloud printing infrastructure, enabling our customers to serve their end users better while reducing the time and cost burden on IT to manage the growing complexities of the new hybrid reality. We welcomed more clients to our cloud printing platform than in any other year, improving their employee experience and saving them time and money. We adapted our technologies to be zero touch so that employees can feel safe in shared workspaces. We developed a corporate at-home printing solution that can simplify remote printing without losing the security and tracking required in today’s cyber-threatened workplaces. In short, we listened to the new problems that our clients are experiencing, and we adapted our services and technologies to meet them.
In a time of significant reductions in office printing, we experienced a strong year of growth serving our current clients. Printing may have declined, but as one client put it, printing remained a ‘dial-tone’ service that must be supplied to workers – even if in ever new ways.
Even as the omicron variant of COVID threatens renewed closures and worker shortages as we begin 2022, it also may usher in a final, and less severe, wave of infection. We will adapt – because that is what healthy species do. I look into the coming days with great optimism – because I look at the people around me, my Pharos colleagues, and those of you we serve and I see the hills we have climbed together. I know that there is no mountain too high for those committed to climb it.
Thank you for the faith you show in Pharos, and the choices you have made to make us part of your journey. We will, in 2022, strive every day to earn the great honor you do us by being a part of our journey.
We wish you health, happiness, faith, and resilience in this New Year!