Managing Business IT through Lockdown and Beyond
Covid-19 and the 4-C-Able Future: Cloud, Continuity, Cybersecurity and Costs
Managing business IT in the face of Covid-19 lockdown, and its subsequent alert levels are challenging. Business as we know it has changed. Whether it was on the cards or not, your workforce became remote overnight and, to some degree, workloads have migrated to the Cloud.
Where does that leave your IT strategy? Adapt or … you know the rest.
Survival relies on a solid plan that considers the 4 Cs of the foreseeable future, namely the Cloud, business Continuity, Cybersecurity and lowering Costs. Any change in one affects the remaining three, so it’s crucial to look at them holistically.
No more umming-and-ahhing about cloud migration. Cloud computing has proved its worth throughout this crisis. Considering predictions that say lockdown restrictions may not completely ease until 2021, the Cloud is a necessity to enable complete WFH (Work From Home) capabilities.
Be warned. There’s a right way and a wrong way to move to the Cloud. Rushed migrations increase the chance of data loss, misconfiguration, and data breaches.
Right now, many companies are sitting with a patchwork quilt of makeshift solutions that “do the job”. Suffice to say, that’s not sustainable or secure. What’s more, is that these businesses are probably also missing out on the real cost-saving benefits of the Cloud.
It’s not too late to “get cloud right”. Adjusting your existing IT strategy to accommodate cloud deployment requires a good foundation.
- Evaluate the way your business used to run and devise a clear picture of how you’d like it to run in future.
- Note the changes required
- Decide on what you’ll retain and what’s no longer necessary
- Make a definitive list of what you will need to back up
- Plan what software, hardware, storage and accessibility you’ll need
- Plot who will have access to what and to which degree
Having these points ironed out will drive better continuity, cybersecurity and cost-related decisions.
Business Continuity (and Disaster Recovery)
At the risk of stating the obvious: Cloud enablement allows you [and your workforce] to work from anywhere, at any time. Work doesn’t have to stop when your office doors are closed.
Nor does business come to a grinding halt when, well, life happens. The Cloud lends itself so easily to business continuity and disaster recovery. You have numerous options available to suit your architecture and needs. You can deploy an entirely cloud-based or hybrid BC/DR solution (if, for example, you’re looking for an affordable second site).
If you need any further evidence of the Cloud’s resilience, look at the worlds’ leading back-up, archiving, UPD (Unified Data Protection), and DR (Disaster recovery) software. Each is available almost exclusively via the Cloud. They make meeting recovery time and recovery point objectives effortless.
Some virtualisation services are so advanced that the physical infrastructure equivalent would obliterate your budget. Here’s why. Any cloud service is only as good as your user experience—so CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) have to ensure that usability and reliability are nothing short of amazing. The onus lies on the CSP to deploy (and maintain) the best hardware, configuration, back-up and redundancy. You waiver the risks and get all of this in a neat, affordable, fixed monthly subscription fee.
Security is any company’s greatest concern. The Cloud used to carry a lousy security rep but no more. With widespread adoption and ever-changing needs, cloud security solutions have evolved.
When enabling a remote workforce, you will primarily need to consider visibility, access, control, and compliance. These factors will greatly influence your decisions around Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas), SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) or Iaas (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). In turn, the delivery method will guide your choice in a cloud security platform or provider.
“Centralised” should be your motto: centralise your apps and data so that you can ring-fence and centralise your security. You will simplify and simultaneously enhance your monitoring, web-filtering, traffic analysis capabilities.
The cost-saving benefits of the Cloud were attractive before lockdown—more so now as we tighten our belts in anticipation.
Costs can run away when you adopt one service here and another there as different needs arise. That sort of reactive behaviour also increases security risks, so consolidation and centralisation, again, come to the fore.
As mentioned in the beginning, review your current IT assets against your objectives to determine what you need. See where one app can achieve the job of many to reduce workloads, required storage space (more savings) and better manage costs.
The flexibility of cloud services allows you to scale up and down as needed. This is particularly useful at a time where, perhaps, only essential employees are working in any case. You only pay for what you use.
Making it Work – The 5th C: Competence
If you really want to leverage the best that the Cloud has to offer, then you’ll want experts in your corner. No matter the size of your current IT team (or if you have in-house support at all), Cloud enablement requires specialised skills.
It’s worth collaborating with a managed service provider that understands business as well as the intricacies of network architecture, design and implementation. You want a successful roll-out from the onset; streamlining operations, lower risks and spend.
Numata can take the hassle off your shoulders entirely or work in tandem with your team. We offer fully outsourced and co-managed IT services.