3 Steps to Recover and Rebuild Your Business
SPONSORED BY NUTANIX
The pandemic continues to rage across numerous areas of the globe — and the outlook is certainly worrisome. But a silver lining can be found in business, where digital transformation has accelerated significant change, creating opportunities for organizations to work more effectively, innovate bravely, and optimize costs.
Over the past year and a half, technology has become a lifeline for business survival, helping organizations sharpen their priorities around business continuity and customer engagement. They’ve adopted new processes and technologies that will serve them now and well into the future.
In the U.S. alone, 70% of full-time workers began working from home during the pandemic, giving employees a better work/life balance, reducing the strain and costs of commuting, and helping businesses reduce costs associated with employees working on-site. In healthcare, telehealth took hold, helping to reduce healthcare costs for millions and enabling faster, more convenient access to care. Online banking services are now the norm, and in 2020, U.S. retailers reeled in $861.12 billion from ecommerce, a 44.0% increase from 2019 numbers. According to McKinsey’s Global Survey of executives, companies in all sectors made huge leaps forward — 3-4 years, in fact — in digitizing customer and supply chain interactions, and internal operations. The question is, what comes next?
The road to recovery after the prolonged economic downturn has C-Suite executives focusing on a handful of critical priorities. Now that we’ve made it through the initial crisis, we’re entering a phase in which business activity will slow. Many business leaders are holding off on new projects because they anticipate a recession, during which they’ll need to fight for market share, reduce costs, and improve productivity to ensure business resiliency. Those who successfully weather the recession will then begin making targeted investments to accelerate business growth, recovery, and to enable innovation.
Through every stage, the cloud will be a key enabler. Let’s look at three essential aspects of recovery, and the key components of a cloud platform that can support these efforts.
- Reinvent the workplace. The “work from anywhere” workplace inspired by the pandemic is here to stay. According to a global survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 78% of business leaders expect remote work to increase from pre-pandemic levels after the pandemic, and 57% say their investments in the digital workplace have improved business agility. The number of U.S. employees working from home permanently is expected to double in 2021 from 16.4% to 34.4%. Additionally, the freelance/contract economy is booming: Upwork reports that 36% of the U.S. workforce freelanced during the pandemic, contributing $1.2 trillion to the economy.
Another factor contributing to the remote work trend is a changing workforce demographic. In 2020, Generation Z made up 24% of the workforce, and their expectations for flexible working environments are high. It’s no wonder 30% of business leaders plan to significantly increase investments in enabling remote work.
An imperative for creating a productive hybrid workplace is achieving full parity between the remote and in-office experience. That will require the ability to rapidly provision and deprovision users, devices, and applications on-demand. Devices will need to be highly secure to prevent data loss and unauthorized access to sensitive company data and resources, while being accessed remotely. Legacy apps will need to be “SaaS-ified” and delivered securely over any browser on both Windows and non-Windows devices, as many workers will be using their own personal phones and devices to access them.
To satisfy all these requirements, organizations will need to adopt hybrid cloud platforms that are scalable, flexible, and deliver rapid time-to-value, by enabling IT to deploy virtual desktops & applications quickly while being cost-effective. In this way, they can keep remote workers productive wherever they are, and business humming along.
2. Accelerate and sustain growth. According to Accenture, 78% of CXOs are looking to cloud-based technologies and platforms to accelerate transformation, and 80% expect them to help mitigate business risk. A vast majority (87%) view the cloud as critical to achieving corporate growth goals. Businesses also understand that it will require a mix of public and private cloud resources to facilitate business growth. In fact, recent surveys conducted by Uptime and Gartner found that IT leaders prefer hybrid and multicloud operating models.
Many businesses maintain a hybrid cloud model due to regulations and existing investments in business applications. For example, Walmart’s hybrid cloud supports nearly 23,000 point-of-sale systems, as well as 1.7 petabytes of data. The retail giant is planning an augmented reality app accessible via the public cloud to help employees navigate backroom stock. And Google Payments is using its own public cloud offering in concert with AWS to enable greater scale, reach and speed to market with services that deliver a seamless digital experience.
However, hybrid cloud environments can produce waste. Idle resources and overprovisioning, along with orphaned volumes and snapshots, are expected to lead to $2.6 billion in public cloud waste in 2021. And with the introduction of new technologies such as automation and AI, 42% of core skills required to perform existing IT jobs will change by 2022, requiring significant investment in reskilling. Add to that the high cost of vendor lock-in, and expenses associated with the hybrid cloud can quickly spiral out of control.
The trick is to find the right mix of public and private cloud, and on-premises resources, for true business transformation. This requires a platform that supports choice and flexibility, and the ability to preserve existing IT investments by enabling a secure hybrid multicloud environment.
3. Reignite innovation. As businesses emerge from recession, innovation will be an imperative for sustained growth. But innovation requires IT and the business to work in unison for the benefit of the company, its employees, and its customers. How do you make this happen? Data.
Data is the key to helping every line of business within an organization thrive:
- Finance leverages data insights to optimize costs and improve security.
- Marketing analyzes the market and customer data to predict behavior and buying patterns, to create targeted, relevant marketing campaigns that help customers make informed decisions.
- Sales uses data to gain in-depth customer knowledge and provide personalization, become trusted advisors, and rally resources to meet customer needs.
- HR uses data to improve recruiting, employee retention, and career development.
According to Salesforce, 51% of high-performing businesses use data to extend the value chain and fuel new business opportunities. But with so much data, the challenge is how to harness and analyze it, and put it to use to drive innovation and growth.
Data is growing at a rate of 20-30% annually, doubling every three years, and 80% of it is unstructured in nature. It’s also highly fragmented and difficult to manage. Businesses need to unify data management for better visibility and faster insights.
To extract the maximum value of their data and generate new sources of revenue, businesses must build and deliver a modern hybrid cloud platform that’s powerful, agile, and elastic, with the ability to spin up an environment in minutes. This provides users the flexibility to access data via cloud-based or on-premises apps, with a high degree of automation, to minimize the time it takes to mine data for insights that fuel innovation. All of this must be delivered in a highly secure environment to reduce the risk of data loss or corruption — or valuable business information falling into the wrong hands.
Get a Head Start
Disruption happens, and no one can accurately predict when it will occur. But putting in place the infrastructure to recover and rebuild quickly will be critical, separating the winners from the laggards. In a world in which the workplace is rapidly evolving, sustained innovation and growth determine success, and data is the new currency, organizations who adopt an agile, secure, and cost-effective hybrid multicloud infrastructure will be better prepared for whatever disruption the future brings.
Embark on your hybrid multicloud journey with Nutanix to accelerate your recovery.