Patrick Navarro, Executive Vice President and Head of Cloud at Jefferson Frank, shares his expert advice for business leaders on surviving the COVID-19 crisis with the help of cloud technology
The uptake for cloud technology has been on the rise for some time, with Gartner recognising it as one of the most disruptive forces in the tech market. Recent events haven’t deterred businesses from moving their infrastructure; if anything, they’ve highlighted the importance of the cloud and accelerated digital transformation.
Now that the initial rush simply to enable remote working is slowing, businesses are looking at ways their cloud solution can help them both survive, and in some cases, thrive, in this uncertain period. The phrase “new normal” is something we’re accustomed to hearing now, but we’re yet to fully get to grips with what it will mean.
Thankfully, as organisations around the world try to adapt and pivot in a way that can satisfy a demand in the market they service, having a flexible and agile digital platform to back them up becomes even more essential. This is where the cloud comes into its own, for a variety of reasons.
It seems crazy to think that there was a time where you’d need to calculate just how much computer power you’d need in physical terms. You’d need a place to store racks of servers, with any that were unused being a waste of physical space and, more importantly, money.
In the current climate, where resources are finite, it seems implausible to spend on physical infrastructure that could potentially go unused. Cloud platforms will allow you to flex up and down according to demand, even to the point of being able to switch off areas completely when they’re “out of office,” allowing you a cost-optimized solution, as well as something that can grow at scale as your business progresses through these choppy waters.
Imagine your digital solution that automatically flexes to cope with spikes in demand without having to expand or manage your infrastructure? If you’re looking for a lean way to carry out your enterprise computing, the cloud is the most cost-effective way of achieving it.
Perhaps more than any other area of tech, the cloud benefits from a genuine enthusiasm and passion from the professionals working within it. That means each product has a selection of experts, influencers and thought leaders who are willing and able to share best practices to help spread the word and make sure others fall in love with it in the same way they have.
In fact, we recently put together a business continuity white paper to help our own customers optimize their AWS platform to get them through this current crisis. We were able to gather the thoughts of industry-leading experts who were happy to help their peers out, providing businesses and their digital teams with a valuable resource.
The cloud is full of passionate individuals who want to make the world they work in a better place for all. This inclusive approach means that no matter the level of expertise within your organization, you’ll be able to reach out to people who genuinely want (and are able) to help you.
If your digital infrastructure is based in the cloud, then the likelihood is that you’ve already embraced the collaborative ways of working that are now being adopted by the remote workforce. The cloud allows your data to be stored remotely, meaning no matter where in the world your colleagues are based, they can access it securely and in real-time.
That comes with a benefit further up the chain too, as that access to information means there’s no waiting on emails being sent, or having to rely on other parts of the world getting into the office for updates – you can see everything immediately and make decisions based on accurate, up-to-the-minute data. The world is moving so quickly now that time is critical, having that immediate visibility of your entire organization is a huge positive.
While we proselytize about the benefits that cloud computing can bring, it’s still important to remember that this is a hyper-sensitive time for cybercrime. Many businesses have expanded their digital footprint almost overnight to enable remote working, making them even more vulnerable to those who seek to exploit this growing attack vector.
Of course, the cloud is also now accepted as a much more secure alternative to traditional physical servers. When your data is encrypted and stored remotely, by people whose sole job it is to protect that, then it naturally becomes more secure. Data breaches are no longer just an embarrassing faux pas, they can put your reputation in serious jeopardy. This isn’t the time to taint your brand, this is when you need to shine the most.
So, at a time when e-commerce is at an all-time high, the cloud lends itself to be the safest way to trade, as well as the best way to store your precious business data. With the right cloud infrastructure in place, you’re never gambling with your security no matter what business risks you might take.
The cloud is king
There hasn’t been an unpredictable time for businesses in my lifetime. Finding the right tools to get you through the new way of working will be essential, but when you need to adapt in ways that are sometimes difficult to visualize right now, the cloud is your perfect companion. It’s secure, agile and flexible enough to grow and scale as your company responds to this crisis; all you need to do is make sure you’re getting the most from it.
Use the resources available to further educate you and your digital teams, and embrace the benefits that the cloud brings, especially in this uncertain time.
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