Flexible IT solutions have become more important than ever as businesses seek to adapt to a post-pandemic world, says Jonathan Bowl of Commvault and COOLSPIRiT’s Damon Robertson
Enterprises everywhere are evaluating the many hard lessons learned over the last 12 months. In the wake of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, firms were forced to initiate remote working models at scale and switch to serving customers via online and mobile channels.
By leveraging advances in digitisation and other technologies, many organisations were able to pivot their operations at speed and respond to the unfolding crisis. As a result, the adoption of digital technology accelerated at a meteoric rate – so much so that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said last April, “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in the space of two months.”
As the global economy adapts to what McKinsey is describing as the “next normal”, enterprises are now considering how to realign their operational structures. Enlightened by the experiences of the past year, they’re looking to enable organisational innovation and boost operational resiliency to provide a foundation for long-term success. To achieve this vision, they’re preparing to step up investment in digital transformation and future-proof their business capabilities.
Top tech strategic priorities for 2021
Business and IT leaders are looking to move beyond the initial knee-jerk reactions of the last year and enable a secure, scalable, and resilient infrastructure that will flexibly support multiple objectives as they navigate the uncertainty ahead. Emerging from the lasting impact of Covid-19 now depends on having the ability to sustain an “anywhere” operations model that allows for business to be accessed, enabled, and delivered wherever customers, employees, and business partners are.
To ensure the business can adapt fast to rapidly changing situations, organisations are pushing ahead with digitalisation plans that will make it easier to access the real-time data needed to make better, more informed decisions. Distributing this intelligence across the business is crucial so that processes and routes to market are adjusted fast and in-line with changing customer or market behaviours.
As an enterprise’s business and technology strategies become increasingly entwined, IT leaders will need to ensure that the architectures they put in place are engineered and optimised for success.
Driving down cost and risk
As organisations reset and return to normal, IT leaders are paving the way for new initiatives. During this crucial “holding” time, controlling costs and minimising risk will be key as business leaders rethink business models and prioritise where digital transformation efforts will need to be focused.
Initiating a backup database represents a fast and practical way to identify immediate cost-saving opportunities. More often than not, this can generate significant operational savings as IT leaders leverage this single view to eradicate duplication, identify static workloads, decommission obsolete servers and applications, and conduct end-to-end file optimisation. All of which drives further server, software, and operational savings across the estate and effectively prepares the way for better and more efficient cloud utilisation.
Covid-triggered changes in workplace practices means the enterprise’s shift to the cloud has accelerated in recent months, presenting new challenges around compliance, data sovereignty, and information management in the process. Added to which, the move towards remote working has introduced enhanced opportunities for external threat actors looking to launch ransomware attacks.
To counter these threats, today’s modern backup solutions now feature AI-driven file behaviour pattern analysis that triggers automated responses as soon as the early stages of a ransomware attack are detected. By combining encrypted backups with alerting, anomaly detection, immutable backups, and air gaps and data isolation support, IT managers and CIOs will be able to ensure the enterprise’s data stays secure and compliant while being always available to those that need it.
Boosting digital transformation
IT leaders will be striving to remove legacy cost and complexity, while driving further innovation and efficiencies that will support the digital agenda of the business. As the enterprise becomes increasingly distributed, infrastructures will need to flex in order to support new technologies and ways of working. Disaster recovery solutions and data protection strategies will have to be evolved in line with the proliferation of applications that are being migrated to high availability cloud and hybrid environments.
As organisations transform how they use and manage data, IT leaders will need to ensure they have adequate strategies in place to ensure a flexible and scalable approach to cloud data protection, backup and recovery. This is critical because fuelling digital transformation isn’t just about the adoption of new technologies. It also requires the intelligent operationalisation and orchestration of data across highly converged infrastructures in a manner that delivers a seamless experience for users, customers, and partners without compromising security or privacy.
With big changes on the horizon, unified data management is set to rise up the list of priorities of IT managers as they help business leaders drive an enterprise digital transformation agenda designed to deliver lasting change. With data representing a critical enterprise asset, and business continuity a must-have, storage platforms will need to be agile, optimised, and scalable enough to meet evolving data requirements with ease.