Turning pandemic panic into long-term transformation

by Alan Prescott Brann - Business Development Director, iomart

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For many CIOs, the start of the Covid-19 pandemic prompted the best laid plans to be put aside. A rapid shift in the way we work meant any long-term planning had to be ditched, as the rush to get home workers set up took precedence. As we near the end of the year, it’s time to take a step back and address how your transformation plans can adapt to and align with what’s happened, as you look forward to 2021.

Cloud will have a big part to play in this. Many of you will have used some cloud services to support your lockdown processes. Now you need to work out how you optimise what you have and what else you need to do to keep moving forward in a world where the old ways of working will be a distant memory.

It’s important to assess the performance and efficiency of what you’ve moved to the cloud. If you moved a lot of workloads, does it make sense to keep them there or will you move some back over time? Was this just an interim solution or should you make this move permanent and if you do, is it just for the workloads that you moved or should your entire infrastructure be cloud-based? Which cloud providers should you use – one of the big three, Microsoft Azure, AWS or Google Cloud – or do you choose a managed cloud services provider that can deliver a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud approach?   And how do you make sure everything is secure?

The analyst firm Gartner has forecast that remote workers will make up 48% of the UK’s workforce in 2021. It says spending will be focused on collaboration and content platforms, security and unified communications. “Before the pandemic, most organisations moved their digital strategies forward at a steady pace,” says John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner. “The way forward in 2021 is for organisations to increase, rather than decrease, the speed of their digital business initiatives and fund those initiatives by diverting funds from other areas of IT.”

In order to make the right decisions for the future there are a number of things to consider:

  • How are cloud services being used and by whom?
  • Can users access the applications they need quickly?
  • Could you build in more efficiency?
  • How does your use of cloud work alongside your on premise infrastructure?
  • Are there other services like virtual desktop infrastructure that will help your employees access your corporate network more reliably?
  • How do you control access?
  • What security policies should you have in place?

Most organisations were not set up to support working from home on the scale that we have seen. The task now is to ensure that resiliency, security and efficiency are built in to the new technology environment that’s been created as we move forward into a new decade.

Global CIO Institute

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