The Cloud: Navigating tomorrow, with today’s lessons

The Cloud: Navigating tomorrow, with today’s lessons

Written by Staff Writer

12/05/2021

By Brian Timperley, CEO and co-founder of Turrito Networks

 

It’s no secret that organisations underwent a sudden and dramatic change during the global pandemic of 2020. The change was necessary, sudden, and at scale. But the transition from traditional models of working and technology frameworks isn’t over – it has only just begun. 

Companies may have pivoted and adapted at speed, but they still need to realign company culture, people, and models. This is the time not to rest on the proverbial laurels of the past – as well earned as this rest may be – but to optimise them, translate them into sustainable solutions, and to streamline processes and operations.

 

The Move to Virtual Business

This move shifts internal gears up a notch, from a company focusing on the essential ingredients required for a virtual business, to transforming into a virtual first business. It’s a move that most companies are making as they proactively look towards operations that run end-to-end with virtual technologies instead of making half-hearted investments into the occasional virtual toolkit. Cloud and other virtual technologies have often been left for last as organisations eye one another’s processes to see if the spend is worth it. 

Turns out that it was. And that now the virtual first company is leading the way with agility, scale and growth, particularly those companies that took the plunge long before pandemics and lockdowns, it’s all hands on virtual decks. But what are the essential building blocks that can help organisations take the right steps down the long road to digitisation and virtual optimisation?

 

Investing in Essential Digital Solutions

The first is to invest into virtual essential solutions such as cloud-based email services. Every company needs email and it makes sense to use a secure cloud platform that allows for users to access their emails from anywhere, in a trusted space that minimises maintenance, admin and expense. These platforms are far more cost-effective than traditional on-premise servers and infrastructure, and they’re a solid place from which to make a deeper dive into digital.

 

Moving to The Cloud 

The second step is to unpack exactly which services are critical to move to the cloud, and which are not. It’s difficult to determine essential cloud-based investment versus unnecessary and this can present a significant hurdle for companies that are uncertain about digital and its value. Thanks to the past year, there has been a massive change in the mindset towards digital – companies rapidly recognised how critical it was to have basic services and systems in the cloud. Now is the time to look at the services rapidly moved to digital and to optimise them, looking at how they can be improved to deliver even greater value and what connected systems would benefit from a digital overhaul.

 

Adopting A Technology-First Approach

The third step is to overcome the internal challenges that come with digital and transformation – people, process and culture. Yes, there has been a global mindset change when it comes to a technology-first approach – everyone has to get on board the digital train – but this has to evolve internally to the organisation as well. There’s the assumption that culture and technology would evolve to fit one another over time as people and processes adapted to radical changes in approach and system. However, culture has been sidelined over the past year as people have been thrown into digital environments with little to no induction and plenty of expectations. 

While there are no ideal world answers to the challenge of ensuring that people and culture are engaged with digital and virtual, it’s important to focus on ways of connecting to people, and connecting people to one another. Working from home is not an ideal solution for a lot of employees – some love the hum and bubble of the office – so you need to constantly invest into a culture that’s as fluid and adaptable and transparent as possible. This will not only allow for issues to rise to the top, making it easier to address them, but it will smooth the way for the business as it explores the future of digital.

Today it’s clear that many of the concerns that people had about digital were misplaced. The disconnect that digital introduced to corporate culture was only one side of the story – people embraced digital, they engaged with the business, and they adapted far faster than organisations anticipated. Disruption happened, but so did growth and agility and remarkable innovation. Complexities surfaced, but people engaged and found solutions that had long-term value. Digital first may have been thrust on the business, but it turned out that business was perfectly capable of handling it.

 

Enhancing New Systems

Moving forward, the final step is to focus on shifting old perceptions and enhancing new systems. Consider appointing culture champions throughout the company who can engage with the corporate culture on an individual and business level, and who can keep people engaged with the reality of working in a digital world. And stop seeing culture as a battle – instead position it as a learning landscape where individuals and organisations can learn from the lessons of the past year, and use these lessons to transform how they engage with one another in the future. This way, the virtual first business isn’t a distant dream blocked by complexity and culture, but instead a shared goal that allows for the company to evolve, intelligently.

 

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