COVID and the next wave of digital transformation
Nathi Dube, Data Engineer, PBT Group
The onset of COVID-19 caught those businesses still undecided about transitioning to the cloud off-guard. Most businesses were simply not ready to work in a distributed way with much disruption taking place over the past 12-months. Fortunately, this has been the catalyst to embrace digital transformation projects that better support business operations.
Those businesses who had previously invested in, for example, Microsoft and Amazon technologies found it easier to adopt new infrastructure like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services in the cloud. Inevitably, this has resulted in the popularisation of hybrid models where businesses can maintain their existing on-premise infrastructure investments while leveraging cloud environments in a phased approach.
Going the cloud route does not mean ripping and replacing everything already in place. Instead, by adopting a cautionary approach and carefully managing the evolution into a cloud-first operation, businesses can save a lot of money. For instance, those businesses who had already implemented Microsoft 365 prior to the pandemic, just needed VPN technologies to enable employees to work remotely and access on-premise infrastructure.
Business leaders have come to appreciate the importance of embracing new technologies even if they do not fully understand them yet. This is where partnering with the right service providers becomes important as they will provide the necessary guidance on how strategies must evolve especially as many countries are preparing for additional waves of COVID-19 infections.
New normal survival
Additional impetus behind the need to move to the cloud is the rapid rate at which technology is evolving. COVID-19 has brought with it a new focus and awareness on the need to adopt certain technologies to survive in the new normal.
Decision-makers must continually be on the lookout for those technologies that have the potential to advance the business. They can no longer afford to ignore the cloud and the associated benefits it brings especially with the uncertainty of market conditions putting everything in flux.
New entrants into the market are fully cloud-based and do not have to worry about converting legacy infrastructure. They are more agile than incumbents with more established businesses looking for potential acquisition targets to remain at the forefront of cloud developments.
Of course, migrating completely to the cloud will take a lot of time. It requires significant education amongst business leaders and need experienced partners to help guide businesses on a journey relevant to them. The C-suite must understand the benefits to be had from the cloud as well as how the infrastructure and technologies can be used to prepare for a new operating environment.