The Covid-19 outbreak triggered a wave of disruption that is transforming the way businesses operate and how people go about their everyday lives. For business owners and IT directors, the speed at which events have unfolded over the early months of 2020 will have dramatically increased workloads, as companies quickly shifted towards a heavy reliance on remote working.
Since formal lockdown and social distancing measures were introduced by governments around the world, many businesses have been forced to conduct complex and critical operations such as payroll, sales and HR, remotely, no easy task for organisations with hundreds or thousands of employees. Additionally, team meetings are now regularly being held by videoconference, increasing the risk of data breaches and security concerns.
Digital resourcing is also an issue affecting many companies which have relied on on-premises working models. One recent poll of business decision-makers from private equity group Leonne suggested that at least a third of companies feel they lack the IT infrastructure for long-term remote working. This infrastructure includes having cloud systems in place for storage and secure exchange of company data. The research also suggested companies do not have the necessary digital skills or resources to operate efficiently during the crisis.
Despite the chaos, with jobs and company revenues at risk it is essential that every business moves quickly to embrace this new working model. It is now vital that employers give the relevant access to company data, videoconference applications and workplace collaboration tools for every employee, to enable operations to continue as usual. Cloud is the enabler of this new way of working.
For far too long now, many businesses have been reluctant to embrace a public cloud working environment, often due to suspicions that on-premises IT was more secure. A recent survey we conducted of 750 executives with responsibility for cloud infrastructure revealed that on average, only 45 per cent of IT infrastructure is running in the public cloud. Interestingly, respondents said that number is expected to increase to 76 per cent in the next five years. Additionally, 70 per cent of respondents say security concerns restrict their organisation’s adoption of public cloud, despite increasingly sophisticated security solutions available.
The Covid-19 crisis means that many organisations need to recognise that full cloud adoption is an important way to stay productive during a very difficult time. With the pandemic pushing so many workers out of offices, there has been a rise in widely dispersed networks, and security has become a key concern for CIOs and IT decision makers. It is therefore important to recognise that support exists to help with the move to cloud securely.
Chris Hill is the regional vice president of public cloud for Barracuda Networks
This article was originally published in the Summer 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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