Telstra report finds cloud ‘only option’ for many post-Covid – but business continuity must be paramount

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Organisations are accelerating their digital transformation initiatives as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – but increased or reallocated budgets will mean a recalibration of IT strategy.

That’s according to a new report from Australian telco Telstra exploring adaptive infrastructure and business continuity post-Covid.

The report, which polled more than 120 business leaders across four continents and was put together alongside GlobalData, found almost two thirds of respondents believed Covid-19 had changed their organisations forever. 93% of respondents said they were accelerating the adoption of cloud services, while 97% of respondents in Europe and North Asia saw cloud as ‘the only option.’

Yet it is not simply a case of turning the dial up and ploughing ahead with current strategies. The research found approximately one in 10 businesses, pre-Covid, did not have a business continuity plan – yet many of those who did were not acounting for unexpected global events such as pandemics.

As regular readers of this publication will be more than aware, plans to migrate to the cloud may be accelerating, but these come with caveats. Jeremy Snyder of DivvyCloud advised that organisations were excellent at enabling their employee base to work remotely, but less good at cleaning up after themselves, while Utsav Sanghani of Synopsys noted the importance of proper processes to save initiatives from falling flat. Telstra has come up with another interesting statistic: almost 70% of respondents believe Covid-19 has increased shadow IT behaviours.

The benefits of cloud-based software during this pandemic, such as video and collaboration tools, are inescapable. 98% of those polled said there would be ‘an increased reliance on video conferencing’ to replace face-to-face meetings as part of the recovery process.

As a result, Telstra has outlined a five-point process to follow when the economy reopens:

  • Develop a better business continuity plan: Businesses should not only widen the scope of their plans, but firm up risk calculations, and beef up their data analysis to identify hidden patterns within data sets. Interestingly, more south-east Asia and Australian businesses were judged to have made ‘significant’ preparation compared with US counterparts
  • Embrace digital tooling for remote working: Areas such as service management and provisioning will become automated as businesses move more workloads to the cloud and a streamlined IT strategy is taken. Again, APAC (71%) is further ahead on a security strategy for remote working
  • Ensure secure collaboration: Platforms which combine messaging-based communications as well as team and project management are more likely going forward – but again, don’t forget the security element. ‘Businesses should consider vendors that have granular access and privacy controls, and the ability to audit user actions’, the report notes
  • Consider cloud as the only option: As businesses update their continuity plans, a multi-cloud strategy is the report’s recommendation. Remote IT management and contact centres are seen as quick and easy wins with an expanded cloud deployment
  • Prioritise adaptive networks: The majority of respondents across all regions see updating their WAN strategy as either a high or very high priority. This may be a forgotten but vital step – as a distributed workforce will create issues for the enterprise network

You can read the full report here (pdf, email required).

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

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