Adam Ratliff: 4 minute read

What can we expect from 2021?

Reset. If 2020 was the flashpoint, then 2021 will be the reset and 2022 will be the start of the new world. Restrictions will continue into the start of the Spring, before being eased in the Summer, and then re-introduced at the end of Autumn. 

2021 will be a year in which the hatches should be firmly secured to begin with, before setting sail at a cautious pace. It is a time in which to begin to navigate our way out of these troubled waters, planning for the future, and life outside of COVID-19.


January to April

  1. Restricted living through lockdowns
  2. Scaled up vaccinations
  3. Homeschooling

It is January and we are living through these restrictions.

It is a continuation of the restricted living that we have all come to know and accept. It is the loss of our fundamental freedoms that has been so frustrating. Frustrating in the sense that we can understand why, yet it does not soften the blow of being unable to see our loved ones.

For everyone at OLM, we have seen the time as a humbling one. Humbling in the sense of seeing the trust that has been placed in us by our customers. By staying true to our core, we pivoted as an organisation, with everyone working from home before the end of March.

We have continued to offer flexible working arrangements to our team, with many juggling work and homeschooling. It is something that has not resulted in any let-up to the quality or quantity of the work that we produce.

Over the course of 2020, we completed 81 seamless updates to our ECLIPSE platform, with no rollbacks. This has been applied to more than 200 ECLIPSE environments at no cost to our customers.


May to August

  1. Easing of restrictions
  2. Future planning
  3. Start of hybrid working

‘Spring may not be the end of the pandemic, but it certainly should be the beginning of the end.’
Covid: How close is the light at the end of the tunnel?, BBC News

The quote above was added in conclusion to a BBC article, released around the same time as the first vaccine was approved. One month has passed since then and three vaccines have now been approved. The Winter will be tough, yes, but as we meander into the start of Spring, the situation will begin to improve.

Restrictions will continue to be in place across the year. They will frustrate but as the months move on and the vaccinations continue to rise, frustrations will reduce. We anticipate that members of staff will begin a phased return to the office to create a new hybrid working paradigm during this time.

Whilst we believe in technology and software as the light guiding us forward into the future, we equally appreciate people. OLM is a close-knit family, one that works hard, whilst also enjoying letting its hair down. It is a unit that in 2021 will celebrate its 30th year in operation and we are keen to share this with the team and our clients.

We look forward to continuing to develop our award-winning software in a manner that is agile. The Summer will be a time for reunion. In our eyes, it will be a time for teams to see each other once again, whilst continuing to work in an agile manner and develop the best software possible to our customers.


September to December

  1. Restricted living through lockdowns
  2. A continued push for vaccinations
  3. Return to home working

The Winter will see a return of restrictions, whilst winter vaccinations take place.

The Winter is traditionally a time in which delays run hand in hand with the NHS. Cancelled operations and delays are headlines too often associated with the Winter. Add a global pandemic and you can see why there will be the need for further restrictions once again.

Homeworking will in all likeliness be the predominate arena for most people once again during this period. We anticipate teams being able to come into the office for meetings but only where appropriate and home working will remain the primary office for many.


Planning for 2022

Throughout the year (2021) the focus will be COVID-19 and vaccinating enough people for society to move forward once again in order to reconnect. We will not wake up one morning and find ourselves once again in 2019. A return to complete normality will take years.

This does not mean that we should bury our heads in the sand and forget about the future. The future should always be planned for and with the correct software set-up, you can continue working seamlessly from wherever you are.

We designed our ECLIPSE software platform not for the pandemic but for the future. When we set out on the journey to completely re-develop our underlying technology set, many said we were crazy.

Thinking of the customer first is not crazy. We made the choice to invest in ECLIPSE and build it from the ground up. By doing so we have ensured that throughout this time, disruption has been minimal. We have been able to continually release updates, with no downtime required for customers.

Thinking of the future should be a constant, as the world can change in an instant and you need to be ready.


A Final Thought

Whilst we all wish that we could flick a switch and end the pandemic, we cannot. It has happened and claimed the lives of many before their time. Our focus is on the present and ensuring that those who are vulnerable have access to vaccines and treatments as quickly as possible.

We are responsible for ensuring that the lights remain on for our customers. We take this position seriously, as we have done so for the last 30 years. We are proud of our achievements but refuse to rest on our laurels. We will continue pressing forward and bringing all those who work in health, social care, education and the wider care sector, the most suitable software tools for their needs.

The present is as important as the future right now. We have a means in which to escape from the situation and that is in the form of a vaccine. It is being distributed as quickly as possible and whilst that is happening, we have time to think about the future and what we want that to look like.