Digital transformation is nothing new. Since 1995, some organizations began to adjust to the way it alters technologies, workflows, and infrastructures. The concept of a remote workforce is also nothing new, and like digital transformation, some companies changed, while others haven't.
In 2020, both trends accelerated in ways that impacted those who prepared and procrastinated, no matter the organization or enterprise's size. COVID-19 caused the initial jolt, and now businesses need to take immediate action because of two outcomes that could remain permanent:
• Alterations in employee productivity, customer demands and cybersecurity measures
• The ability to stay competitive in your industry
In our recent webinar, THE INFRASTRUCTURE IMPERATIVE: Augmenting and Optimizing Your Remote Workforce to Enable a Digital Workplace, we looked at some of the digital workplace changes and discussed solutions.
Kelly Morgan, Research Director, Data Center Infrastructure & Services
Tony Bishop, SVP Growth, Platform and Marketing, Digital Realty
Kelly showed participants recent 451 Research connected to the COVID-19 outbreak, the remote workforce adjustment, and the resulting business outcome. Through their network of 60,000 enterprises, 451 Research surveyed CIOs and IT leaders about the impact of a fully-remote workforce.
The fact that 70% of respondents listed an immediate and impending disruption of access to clients or prospects is sobering. All disruptions listed in 451’s findings can undermine the core elements of an organization’s ability to function, including:
- Supply of parts and materials
- Access to services
- Customer demands
- Strain of IT resources
- Employee productivity
Kelly also pointed out the strain of IT resources goes well beyond the typical factors in a remote workforce. Since the pandemic forced families to work from home, you also have spouses and children using apps and digital bandwidth.
The sudden shift to a more digitally transformed workforce impacted strategic plans, including:
- Hiring staff
- New products/services rollout
- IT hardware/software refresh
- IT infrastructure buildout
- Geographic expansion
- Strategic partnerships
Another key finding was that the end of pandemic restrictions didn’t equal an end to challenges or changes.
Note that in conjunction with permanent changes to travel plans, remote employees, workforce reductions, and more, there are cybersecurity risks that will exist beyond the duration of the pandemic.
As a result, new investments are needed to support the changes in this modern digital ecosphere. That means IT infrastructure will need to adjust along with it. Kelly highlighted four key areas where the work will have to be done.
Data exchange quickly rose to the top due to the increase in device usage and the associated increase in the data necessary for optimization and analysis. The areas underneath it fall in-line with the need to optimize data exchanges with a new and advanced IT infrastructure.
How you make those changes will determine your position within your industry. The priorities breakdown into three areas – data, infrastructure, and intelligence.
UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSE AND IDENTIFYING THE SOLUTION
Tony pointed out that enterprises need to view this as a "today and tomorrow" situation, and it breaks down like this:
A Pervasive Datacenter Architecture Blueprint allows you to augment compute capacity, optimize network performance, and evolve to a digital workplace.
This is achieved in three simple steps – rewiring the network, optimizing data exchange, and implementing hybrid IT controls.
Ready to take your next step? Learn more and find out how some of our customers successfully evolved their IT infrastructure to meet the demands of a remote workplace. If you missed it, you can view the entire Infrastructure Imperative Webinar right now.