Reset & Thrive Your Business

What’s Next?

Reset & Thrive Your Business (01) - What’s Next?

  • 21 luglio 2020
  • 4.34 minutes to read

As businesses slowly get back to Work in the post-pandemic world, they face a new set of challenges as they look to answer the question on everyone’s mind: “What’s Next?”

As lockdown restrictions ease and leaders consider how to best navigate through this time of change, they have a lot of work ahead of them. Each will need to find the unique mix of resilience, innovation, and flexibility that is best for their company, employees, stakeholders and their customers. And they will have to work fast: 47% of CEOs say that by January 2021, at least 90% of their workforce will have returned to their usual workplace. That is just six months away. Still, many organizations are now caught in the difficult time of making proper decisions towards transformation while protecting their business for any future disruptive scenario to come – with transformation being the key to protecting the future of the business.

There is no playbook for the return to a post-pandemic world, although many business leaders would love to have one. However, there are some challenges that everyone will learn from. Leaders who choose to confront those challenges and commit resources to get back to business will be ready for the road to recovery. It will be a long road, too: more than half of Fortune 500 CEOs surveyed predict economic activity will not return to pre-pandemic levels until Q1 2022. And they will have limited resources to help them through this next phase: less than one in five expect capital spending at their company to exceed 2019 levels this year.

IT professionals will play a significant role in paving the road to recovery for their organizations. Many of the challenges that leaders face will have a technological solution that they will have to find, implement, and maintain. Let’s take a look at what IT professionals, and the businesses that support them, can expect in the coming months.

Common Truths

Some companies were more prepared than others to face the sudden shift to remote work at the outset of the pandemic. Those that had already started their Digital Transformation journey were more equipped to handle the initial challenges than those who had not.

Regardless of their previous state of transformation, one thing is true now, as everyone is working on getting back to business: half of the workforce will be working across a new landscape, where they balance the office, home, and work on the go.

To return stronger, all companies will need to think about the types of scalable solutions they need as they move forward into the unknown – solutions that answer the challenges that were exposed during the rapid shift to remote work: the growing need for data security, cloud spend management, optimization, and backup and recovery in case of emergency. These solutions should provide a way for companies of all types to meet the challenges that most are experiencing now.

Initial Challenges

Many companies were overwhelmed when they had to move to remote work overnight. These growing pains stem from the initial need to transform urgently and without warning, as an emergency response to the lockdown. These companies were caught off-guard, and had just weeks (sometimes days) to create solutions that many businesses spend months building.

These businesses were forced to focus on immediate challenges: how do we get our business working again? How fast can we adopt new solutions, so we don’t face any business disruptions again?

Others, who were more prepared because they had started their Digital Transformation before the pandemic, were able to react but they were working with limited resources. For them, the challenge is to keep the momentum going and make permanent changes that address immediate needs.

Future Data Center

Even as companies wrestle with the realities of the pandemic, many have continued their shift to the cloud. The investment is worth it, especially since it creates an infrastructure that will accommodate the pandemic-related changes in the workforce. The stark increase in remote workers put significant stress on IT resources – but shifting employees back into the office will stress other parts of your IT infrastructure. Consequently, the data center and infrastructure need to keep pace with the changes.

For this reason, IT teams are faced with a range of challenges regarding cloud spend. As your business begins to ramp back up, keep the following questions in mind to ensure that your strategy and spending stays on track.

  • What is your hybrid cloud strategy?
  • How should cloud investments be allocated?
  • Are you optimizing cloud spend, ensuring a lean transition?
  • Are you keeping track of your cloud investments, and how are they performing?
  • Will your old licensing models still work in the current ecosystem?
  • Can your cloud solution – and the licenses that accompany it – continue to scale with business needs?
  • Could you benefit by combining licenses and vendors?
  • What support options can help eliminate downtime when we are more data-dependent than ever?

Asking these questions will help your IT team ensure that they are continuously optimizing the business’s cloud environment. With much of your workforce working from home on a regular basis, it is essential that your cloud solution is not only available, but fiscally and operationally efficient.

Shifting Governance Challenges 

Business policies written pre-lockdown, especially those covering security and remote work, need to be continuously reexamined for validity. For instance, there may be some confusion about which rules should be followed by remote workers, and which should be followed by office workers. It’s a combination of the IT , security and executive team to ensure a comprehensive strategy that works for everybody.

With the surge of new devices on networks, and with people using corporate devices outside of the traditional company network, risk has increased as well. IT will need to examine their expanding network with additional scrutiny in order to protect company data.

A Complex Future Workplace

The past six months have brought many new changes to the workplace. Any patchwork solutions that were put in place to cope with recent challenges need to be reviewed with an eye toward a more resilient future workplace. Do the cloud solutions that were put into place provide the kind of scalability a business needs in times of crisis? Are they flexible enough?

All leaders will need to find ways to cut through this complexity. Only then will they see the forest through the trees and make the right decisions for their companies. Organizations that had no transformation plan in place before the pandemic are facing higher levels of complexity right now, however, since their networks were subject to rapid, ad hoc development. With licensing issues, vendor sprawl, and problems with visibility, they will need to address complexity first and foremost.

Many are still grappling with core issues like which employees should remain remote, and which should return to the office. Depending on the choice that your team makes, your IT team will have to put a varying degree of focus on enablement, adoptions, and change management. In addition to this, think of any IT initiatives that were put on the back burner at the start of lockdown. What needs to be done retrospectively to catch up?

Our remote workplace solutions can help answer all of these questions - and especially answer those that make considerations across a whole service portfolio, from infrastructure and licensing to cloud spend management and optimization.

Looking Ahead

As companies find their footing in the post-pandemic world, their horizons get wider and they can finally begin reaching their critical goals that will help them thrive through turbulent times. Whether it is remote work, optimizing resources, or managing costs, SoftwareONE can help. Our solutions will help stabilize your business when needed, build resilience and responsiveness, and continue to help your business innovate.

Want to learn more? Read our next post in this series, where we will take a deeper dive and address how to kick off your digital transformation strategy.

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