Do you have more remote users to support with less IT budget?
Insights•5 minutes read
Do you have more remote users to support with less IT budget?
Learn how your multi-cloud can be optimised to support your organisation when your employees have embraced a flexible work schedule.
May 24, 2021
The workplace is looking different now
In the world of business technology, two things have become evident from the pandemic.
Firstly, many employees have opted for a flexible work schedule and are unlikely to come back to the office five days a week in the future. Because of this shift, IT must maintain remote access for all employees. Secondly, as the world continues to economically recover, IT budgets are going to get tighter for some time to come.
In the spirit of looking for opportunities amongst challenges, how can we reconcile these two expectations?
The concept of remote working, where employees have access to the tools, applications and data they need from anywhere, is not new. Technology vendors have been predicting and promoting it for the best part of two decades. In fact, working from home has crept up slowly over the years as bottlenecks to domestic internet access and the adoption of collaboration technologies have become more widespread.
While the sudden requirement in March 2020 for almost everyone to work from home came as a shock, in fact, Gartner estimates that around 30% of the workforce were already set up to do so. After some very fast footwork from ICT teams, the majority of workers in many industries reported that they were able to work just as productively from home as they were in the office.
This has led many organisations to look at traditional workplaces and IT resources in a new light. Instead of pushing to get everyone back under the same roof again, many have extended the ability to work from home in the future. The workplace looks very different now. As the global recession from the pandemic bites, this could well entail minimising real estate costs.
Implications of WFH for IT
The implication of dramatically increased user locations for IT was that enterprise resources had to be available via the internet from anywhere. No longer just the prerogative of traveling executives or salespeople, more white-collar workers now need to have resilient, high-performance and secure connectivity to core business applications from remote locations.
Acceleration of cloud migration was already happening over recent years, but there’s nothing like a global crisis to get even the wariest of businesses to finally take the plunge! Rapid flight to the public cloud at the beginning of the pandemic was seen as an effective solution – both for placing workloads in reach of remote employees and for boosting services to support online sales activity and customer service delivery.
Australian technology leaders showed their worth during the outbreak of the pandemic, with ADAPT finding that 61% said their Business Continuity Plans worked, and half saying they had increased cloud workloads by over 50% to enable a remote workforce. As discussed in a previous article, this rapid flight was intrinsically risky and costly. With the potential of reduced IT budgets in the next year or so, optimisation of public cloud usage is essential. So too is optimisation of your entire multi-cloud environment – covering infrastructure on your potentially more compact premises, at hosted locations and in private clouds.
It is now likely that CIOs will be asked by the business to model an IT environment whereby the majority of the workforce will continue to WFH for an extended period. At the very least, the ‘new normal’ is increased flexibility for employees as to when and where they will work
More for less
Tightening of operating expenses is inevitable after the pandemic, and IT will come in for its share of cuts. The challenge will be: how do you operate and deliver core resources to more locations for less operating expense, negligible capital expense and a potentially lower headcount?
Why multi-cloud fits the bill
Cloud technology will inevitably have to go some way to overcoming that the dual challenges of reducing operational costs and taking enterprise technology resources to dispersed users. Cloud technology can indeed be a significantly cheaper way of running your IT assets, as long as you ensure you are maximising savings on an ongoing basis. This calls for expert optimisation.
Cloud is perfectly designed to enable workers to do their job from anywhere, at any time, on any device. A complication is that working remotely on multiple devices per person has security implications. Traditional security measures like firewalls and VPNs will no longer be enough. This is not limited to system access – it is more about access to individual files and devices. In many cases, people BYO devices or share corporate devices with other family members. IT departments need to ensure they have the appropriate tools and procedures in place around remote management, monitoring, wiping and retrieval of company sensitive data – even when its consumed on a non-company device.
Importantly, there is no such thing as one cloud strategy for all. The vast majority of organisations have and will continue to adopt a multi-cloud policy, combining a mix of private, public and hybrid cloud with a varying measure of SaaS applications. Achieving flexibility, scalability, resilience, user reach, reduced costs, security and compliance will necessarily involve a multi-cloud solution. A mix, moreover, that will continually evolve as technology advances and the needs of the business – and its customers and users – change.
Multi-cloud management is critical
At Interactive we employ a ‘hive’ of highly experienced cloud management professionals – enabling us to audit, optimise, secure and manage multi-cloud environments on behalf of our customers.
The Interactive approach is multi-cloud centric and we are dedicated to landing the best cloud solution for each of our customers. However, there’s no denying we have passionate, highly-skilled – no matter your cloud. We have experts in AWS and Azure on our team ready to assist you and find the best strategy to fit your business.
The result is ongoing potential for cost savings and risk minimisation – leaving your team free to innovate business technology, rather than just operate it.