The events of 2020 have stress-tested our business and operating models in ways we didn't plan for. According to the latest industry research from Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), 69% of organisations have sped up their digital transformation plans in some way as a result of the pandemic.
The good news is that our infrastructure has held up remarkably well. Cloud technology formed an important part of the response to the pandemic for more than 90% of decision-makers and some 40% described cloud’s role as critical.
A key benefit was the speed with which cloud computing could support rapid change. According to the research, 54% of decision-makers said cloud enabled a swift transition from office to home working, while 42% said that, thanks to cloud, they were actually able to continue with “business as usual”.
So it’s no surprise that almost 90% of organisations expect their adoption of cloud services to increase in the next 12 months. A third of business also expect to step up their digital transformation efforts next year, too. Perhaps being forced to speed up their digital transformation plans because of the pandemic — reported by two thirds of organisations — has given them a sharper appreciation of the value and urgency of digital transformation as well as the challenges that they face.
34% of organisations report a shortage of in-house skills is slowing them down and 15% mention that they have no partner help. These are surprising stats as working with the right implementation partner will not only let organisations plug these gaps in the short-term but also allow for skills transfer and mentoring to improve the overall level of skills in house.
A quarter of organisations admit they don’t have the right organisational culture to support digital transformation. This is one of the most common barriers to change. It’s not just about having visionary leadership to see the possibilities but also having measures in place to reward people at all levels for being willing to take risks and innovate. It’s also about having an effective approach to change management that helps people overcome their natural resistance to being taken out of their comfort zone.
Over half of organisations found it difficult to provide IT support to employees working remotely. The answer is to choose cloud solutions that can truly run anywhere, with no need to install anything on users’ devices, and which allow users, devices and the applications themselves to be managed remotely.
Four in ten businesses feel their remote working solutions are not as secure as the office. The risks of letting employees use personal devices and internet connections to access sensitive company information and systems are well documented, so organisations clearly need to choose cloud solutions that are secure by design for all users working from any location.
Two fifths of organisations said a lack of funds was hampering their digitisation efforts. Cloud solutions need to be affordable, with clear and predictable pricing, and should be able to demonstrate a strong return on investment to give decision-makers confidence when deciding how to invest scarce resources.
What does the road ahead look like?
With challenges like these ahead, nobody would approach cloud adoption and digital transformation without a slight quickening of the pulse and a healthy dose of trepidation. It’s clear from the research that you have to do it — but it’s not the kind of trip you should be undertaking without an experienced guide.
That’s where we jump in. Here at Ancoris, we liken the digital transformation journey to white-water rafting: there’ll be some rough water, but having someone who’s done this hundreds of times before, who can steer you clear of hidden complexities, and who can help you make the very best use of Google’s technologies – now that’s a very valuable person to have in your boat. Our work with customers like Rentokil, eir and Play Sports Network demonstrates how we take on that role, becoming a trusted partner and guide for the organisations we work with.
As you reflect on what 2020 has brought, what 2021 might have in store, and what you should be doing about it, you can find more insights about how to re-shape your IT strategy in the CIF Digital Transformation in the COVID era whitepaper — simply click on the download button below. Or come and talk to the experts in our Digital Transformation team about your specific challenges and the opportunities that are open to you.