‘Working from home’ has become a new reality, as organisations have adapted to critical safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, organisational behaviour will continue to shift, not just in the way people work, but also how organisations think about their IT and application landscape. For instance, we are already seeing that existing trends, like remote working and cost reduction, are accelerating. One of these trends is the adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), cloud infrastructure and application services.
COVID-19 has suddenly made it clear that cloud services are essential for business continuity, especially now that we are dealing with unprecedented uncertainties and physical 'lock downs', and organisations need to support their employees remotely for an extended period of time. As many employees work from home, organisations are forced to look for video web tools, messaging programs and other collaboration software. But also processes such as finance, HRM and facility management need tools that work in the office but must also remain secure and usable outside the typical office building setting. As a result, many organisations are re-evaluating their stance on cloud solutions, and many who were hesitant to shift are clearly seeing the benefits. In fact, many large organisations are working to eliminate existing internal barriers to cloud adoption, and globally, we see both small and large organisations in all industries showing a significant increase in cloud adoption over the past months.
The COVID-19 pandemic is already accelerating cloud adoption, not just as a technological shift, but also as an operational model. Some countries have had more early adopters than others, but IT experts and analysts believe it is highly likely that we will see a new cloud-first model become the global standard very soon. While the shift to cloud solutions has been prevalent in the commercial world, the shift within B2B software solutions seemed inevitable, it was just a matter of timing. Some experts expect that the global COVID-19 pandemic will result in a faster cloud adoption curve – compressing a 10-year time frame to only 2-3 years.
For organisations still hesitating to take the first steps towards the cloud; below are the most common reasons for other organisations to migrate:
- Time and cost savings: The cloud eliminates infrastructure costs, including servers and storage. Without physical storage, organisations don't have to worry about hardware becoming obsolete, needing upgrades, or having to be repaired over time. The cloud also saves organisations time and money by eliminating the need to download, install and configure environments. This means your IT department has less assets to monitor and fix, and more time to focus on your core business needs.
- Scalability, security and connectivity: Organisations can easily scale a cloud environment based on usage, and achieve rigorous security standards at a fraction of the cost of in-house (on-premise) environments. The cloud also provides the easiest way to connect the latest technologies and apps to your business software through a broad set of APIs.
- Flexibility and futureproofing: The cloud provides maximum flexibility to respond to changing market conditions. You always have access to the latest releases and updates of the applications you use in the cloud and stay up to date with the latest developments.
Planon customers who have moved to the cloud in recent years have reported drastic savings and improvements in areas such as speed and security.
Pieter Reijalt, Project Manager IT at Ahold Delhaize in the Netherlands, reported to us ‘Bringing the solution to the cloud significantly reduces our Total Cost of Ownership and ensures this solution stays future-proof by continuous updates.’
Karlo Porter-Price, IT & Information Manager at The Open University in the UK, told us ‘The project has proven that cloud is indeed a cost efficient, good performing, secure and future-proof alternative to an in-house installation.’
We are all facing major challenges, but there is also an opportunity for leaders in their field to drive their organisations and to innovate as we all try to adapt to the 'New Now' in our daily work. As uncertainties around transitioning to the cloud continue to disappear you can take advantage of the momentum and start prioritising IT initiatives that can benefit most from a cloud migration. A transformation from your IWMS environment to the cloud should be at the top of your list, if you haven't taken this step already.