Make your technology assets work harder – how can businesses get the most out of their cloud investments?

The pandemic accelerated digital transformation and many businesses accelerated their digital transformation and transition to the cloud at the start of the coronavirus crisis to gain efficiency, enable remote working and reduce costs.The increased regulatory scrutiny around data and user privacy has also caused business leaders to make sure they really understand their risk profile in terms of Data Sovereignty, control and regulatory requirements across different markets. As businesses are emerging from the pandemic, CIOs and CTOs are increasingly looking to understand how to transition to the new ways of working in a way that supports existing regulatory requirements and the long-term objectives of their business. Now that things are starting to get back to normal, business should take a step back and take a closer look at the mix of on-premise, cloud and hybrid cloud solutions that they are using to ensure they are getting the most out of their pandemic investments.

Here are a few tips on how they can achieve this. 

Tip 1: Choose the communications architecture that fits YOUR needs. The cloud can streamline and strengthen your communications and collaboration infrastructure. By combining disjointed communications tools into an all-in-one, cloud-based solution that offers collaboration and mobility, businesses will be able to be more agile, scalable while also controlling costs, which are key priorities for business leaders. Cloud technology also helps with operational efficiency as organisations can outsource functions which are out of their domain. Nevertheless, there is no one-size fits all approach to cloud communications, and only by offering flexibility can organisations best achieve their business goals. This means offering the option to choose their own path, whether this will be using public, private cloud or a combination of both.By focusing their investments on what fits their business model best and scaling their existing solutions, organisations will be able to maximise their technology investments, while ensuring they have the right infrastructure in place to meet the changing market needs. 

Tip 2: Ensure your cloud infrastructure can support your long-term hybrid working strategy. To cope with the pandemic many businesses were forced to make unbudgeted investments to support a vastly remote workforce. With hybrid working becoming increasingly prevalent across organisations, businesses have to identify the challenges within their company in order to make sure that their teams have long term solutions that allow them to work efficiently and effectively no matter where they are. According to recent research by Forrester, 70% of UK organisations now support remote employees, compared to 31% before the pandemic, while 86% plan to permanently adopt a remote working policy or have already done so.

With remote working already in place in many organisations, it is now the right moment to take a step back, re-evaluate what can be scaled up or replaced and assess if your organisation’s technology assets can effectively support the business objectives. Understanding the infrastructure and applications that underpin hybrid working better will help technology leaders identify gaps where they need to focus their investments but also to better understand what they might need in the future.

Tip 3: Ensure your investment priorities are closely aligned to your business objectives. The next step is to ensure the technology strategy you have in place can effectively support your organisation’s business objectives. If you are planning to increase your workforce by recruiting more remote workers, for example, are your existing collaboration capabilities scalable enough to support a larger workforce? As companies move to hybrid setups, they’ll need to ensure they focus their technology investments in the appropriate areas. For instance, when it comes to hybrid working, there are three key areas for innovation that need to be considered: business continuity, customer experience, and internal communications and collaboration. While these are all interconnected, ensuring the business has the right technological capabilities in each of these areas will be essential for transitioning successfully to a hybrid working model and maximising ROI from existing investments. Businesses also need to make sure they are offering flexible tools that do not compromise on data security or compliance. This further highlights the need for flexible technology solutions that cater to different business needs. For instance, a distributed cloud model can support the next stage of customer lifecycle management by addressing all hybrid deployment types. While, an on-premise solution could be preferred for critical business applications that contain highly sensitive information. 

Tip 4: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Another step to maximise cloud investment is to understand that businesses don’t need to do it all on their own. Organisations are looking for simplification and integration within a single platform and this can be offered by partnerships that bring expertise and integrated technology capabilities to the table. A technology vendor can also assist with the migration to the right cloud path by understanding the intricacies of a particular usage model and can help businesses do more with the solutions they have and migrate to new ones at a pace that’s right for their business. 

Investments into the cloud made during the pandemic have a lot of potential and present opportunities for businesses to improve their agility and enable more productive ways of working. But if the communications platform put in place isn’t providing the functionality needed to grow and meet new challenges, now is the right time to pause and re-evaluate what is in place and needs to be optimised. With the right help, businesses can figure out their key investment priorities to scale and support their long-term objectives. Ultimately making the most out of their existing investments will increase ROI and create more efficiencies across the business. 

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