As businesses race against time to keep operations going in the midst of a global pandemic where the “go to the office” work paradigm has abruptly shifted to a “work from home” model for non-essential workers whose jobs do not require physical presence, companies must re-think the allocation of ever shrinking IT budgets to adapt to the “new normal.” Indeed, with the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, the number of CFOs who say they plan to defer or cancel their planned investments is now at 67% — up from 32% in mid-March. According to PwC, technology remains a key target area for cuts, alongside workforce reductions.
Firms will never return to the pre-pandemic normal; employees will insist on home working and mobile flexibility and question the necessity of air travel and in-person meetings one IT leader told Forrester. The silver lining in all this is that permanent remote work could become one of the most feasible and effective cost-cutting measures for CFOs to undertake. In Gartner’s most recent survey of CFOs, 20% of respondents said they’d already deferred on premise technology spend, and an additional 12% planned to do so shortly. Gartner further noted that the trend of off-site work as a cost-saving method applied across the board, with 13% of CFO respondents noting they had already moved to reduce their real estate expenses.
But how can companies cost-effectively enable remote workers to productively, collaboratively and securely work from home? “By devising and executing a comprehensive cloud strategy across multiple platforms which provides a secure, highly available IT environment delivered wherever there is a network or internet connection,” said Jose Almonte, CTO of Outer Edge Technology.
Done Right, a Cloud Strategy Provides Companies with the Flexibility and Tools to Quickly Adapt and Operate in Ever Changing Work Conditions
The Cloud has become foundational to business transformation, differentiation, and competitive advantage. If you don’t already have a cloud strategy to focus cloud efforts on select business goals, you may be falling behind your competition. “Organizations that do not have a high-level cloud strategy driven by their business strategy will significantly increase their risk of failure and wasted investment,” said David Cearley, Gartner Vice President and Gartner Fellow. “A cloud strategy clearly defines the business outcomes you seek, and how you are going to get there. Having a cloud strategy will enable you to apply its tenets quickly with fewer delays, thus speeding the arrival of your ultimate business outcomes,” says Donna Scott, Gartner research vice president and distinguished analyst. Remarkably, however, most organizations do not have a formal cloud strategy, although by 2022, 70% of organizations are expected to have one. Businesses with such a plan have a more coherent approach to cloud usage, optimizing resources and costs. Gartner
What is a Cloud Strategy?
A cloud strategy does not mean that an enterprise must put all of its compute resources in the cloud. Rather, it is a systematic approach designed to leverage the benefits of the cloud when it is appropriate to do so for a particular application or suite of applications based on multiple considerations including business requirements, regulatory schemes and risk tolerance. As observed by Gartner, the process of safely and successfully exploiting the cloud requires buy in and coordination of multiple parts of an organization to develop a business-driven decision framework supported by best practice IT models that help standardize cloud strategies across the organization while remaining flexible enough to meet the unique needs of different use cases and business units. Notably, developing a successful cloud strategy requires expertize in and deep subject matter knowledge of the three traditional infrastructure models, public, private and traditional on premise to inform the analysis. Indeed, Gartner proclaims that:
A Strategic Shift to Infrastructure Brokering is Needed
A key issue for the modern infrastructure team is to determine whether and how private cloud computing should be used. This includes the use of:
- Virtual private cloud services from public cloud providers
- Exploitation of managed private cloud services supported by service providers
- The creation of dedicated on-premises private cloud environments
Related article: 8 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Be in the Cloud Now
Once you have a cloud strategy, Gartner recommends that you continue to evaluate it to ensure the cloud usage is primary, prioritized, and promoted. Cloud environments have significant benefits. They enable worker mobility, allowing teams to work off site securely. They increase stability by allowing you to add or remove resources easily without the cost and risk of investing in physical infrastructure. And they can reduce costs.
“In order to achieve these benefits, however, you need to have a full understanding of your current cloud and on premise environments as well as an understanding of the many different public and private infrastructure solutions and options available to choose from to create an optimum IT environment design to satisfy each customers’ unique requirements and objectives. Knowledgeable CSPs like Outer Edge that specialize in delivering IaaS and PaaS solutions can be invaluable resources in taking companies’ requirements and objectives and transforming them into scalable IT designs and cloud solutions which align with customers’ business requirements and cloud strategy,” continued Almonte.
Related article: Business Owner’s Guide to Outsourcing IT Requirements to the Cloud
Find Out How Outer Edge Technology Can Help With the Creation of Your Cloud Strategy to Boost Your Business
At Outer Edge Technology, we’ve been helping businesses in virtually every industry unlock the benefits of custom cloud computing solutions for years. We pride ourselves in being viewed as an extension of our customers’ IT departments and have helped our customers formulate and execute their cloud strategies since our inception. Whether you need IT expertise but don’t have the resources for a fully staffed IT department, or need help keeping up with the ever-changing IT landscape, we’re here to help.
The passionate and trustworthy experts at Outer Edge will guide you every step of the way – from cloud strategy and planning, to infrastructure implementation, all the way to maintenance and technical support.