5 minute read
The COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to impact the way society and businesses function, but what we have to be careful of is that the changes are not negative.
Looking back at March 2020, it’s fair to say not many of us were prepared for the life-altering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) found that 40% of businesses said they had plans in place based on previous epidemics, however, only 66% said they were successful.
Almost overnight, business continuity plans were rapidly scaled to ensure operations could continue under the most extreme circumstances.
For some, who’d already begun their digital transformation journey, this meant scaling up existing resources already in place to enable remote working and accelerate the shift to a more digitally orientated workplace. But for the majority, a completely new way of working was thrust upon them. The cloud empowered remote working like never before and enabled a shocked economy to continue functioning.
Gartner recently estimated the global spend on public cloud services will increase to almost $500 billion in 2022, up from $214 billion in 2019. But the question now remaining is how effective our decision-making during that period was.
To ensure businesses could continue to operate, decisions were rightly made quicker than they would’ve been in a normal world. However, these tactical rather than strategic decisions might not have been best for the long-term health of the business.
With some semblance of normality returning, businesses can now take time to look at their operations and consider whether the cloud is being used to the best of its ability. There are optimisation opportunities that ensure the greatest levels of resilience, security, efficiency, and profitability.
The question businesses should always be asking themselves is whether the cloud is working most effectively for the organisation.
This is a tricky process.
Any business that has undertaken a digital transformation will see benefits. Some areas might be marginal, while other aspects of the cloud could revolutionise your business. But are you seeing the maximum benefits available? Are you getting the greatest Return on Investment (ROI) and making the cloud work for you in the best possible way, or simply accepting what you’ve achieved?
Previously, you’d have had to invest in IT servers and hardware to run a business efficiently. The cloud removes this necessity. This not only lowers the required investment but encourages flexibility. While scaling up operations is made easier with the cloud, it’s also a radically simpler process to scale down as there is no irreversible investment in hardware.
This is not necessarily a new business model, but it is always worth reminding ourselves occasionally of the benefits. You no longer have to consider investment in IT resource a sunk cost but take into consideration what can be scaled down. Are you spending money on unnecessary software licences or security software, or even using the right type of cloud storage? These are the questions a business would not have had to ask pre-cloud, but now there is an opportunity to continuously optimise to improve efficiency and profitability.
In partnership with Centrality, Vodafone works with businesses to understand their needs, whether they’re on their first steps adopting Microsoft 365, or they’ve fully migrated to the cloud and need to review and optimise their environment. Using advanced artificial intelligence data analytics systems, we can work with you to check whether the cloud is being used to the best of its ability.
Every business wants to operate as effectively as possible, but circumstances change. What might have been relevant two years ago, might not be today. Asking questions and scrutinising the data, is the best way to stay in the know.
Some businesses might find they’ve over allocated resources and investment in certain areas. What a business is paying for and what that business is using might be two very different answers.
This could have a negative impact in two ways:
Our services not only enable visualisation of the resources being used most effectively, but also provide the support to scale up and down depending on that insight and future forecasts. This is the value in the cloud that not everyone is taking advantage of.
What the cloud offers is flexibility and agility, but we must make sure we’re periodically reflecting and evaluating our operations. Vodafone Business and Centrality have the tools and expertise to help ensure investment is being effectively distributed to best empower business. It starts with asking the right questions.