Building a Cloud-Enabled Work Infrastructure | Deloitte US has been saved
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The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, no doubt, but it has provided opportunities for companies to modernize their business infrastructure (in some cases just to survive), and therefore, accelerate their cloud adoption. That accelerated adoption is underway. Cloud spending increased by 11% in Q2 2020 over the same period last year.1 Companies that move quickly to follow the cloud adoption trend will have the opportunity to rethink how they operate—and to reshape their business to use cloud as a competitive differentiator.
That reshaping starts with companies moving forward in their cloud journeys from deciding on a horizontal multicloud strategy to building a vertical (full-stack) multicloud solution. Companies must also rethink their security posture—especially vis-à-vis what needs to change in a remote-centric, cloud-centric working environment that will test infrastructure security across a more distributed network. Finally, companies must also embrace new development operations and ways of working—to get applications, and new releases, into production faster and with flexibility given tremendous uncertainty. To do this, organizations will have to coordinate across business and technology leadership to implement effective business transformation with sound technology, security, and operations strategies.
Moving from strategies to solutions
Most medium-to-large organizations have at least a nascent cloud strategy, and some companies are already well on their way in implementing it. They’ve selected their cloud providers, determined which workloads to migrate, and started to understand interoperability issues. For those who haven’t started down the path, the road is paved.
It’s time to put those strategies into action. The next challenge for companies looking to thrive, not just survive, in a post–COVID-19 world will be to manage cloud complexity and build on their strategic foundation by configuring the appropriate tools, software, and technology to deliver and manage an IT infrastructure to power the future.
To deliver that infrastructure, companies will need to do three things:
Companies that take these steps could see significant benefits, such as the elimination of operational redundancies, improved insights into their data, and enhanced ability to govern that data. They could also achieve more flexible IT resource consumption models and more effectively manage costs.
Security in the new, mobile workspace
Because the pandemic has forced companies to abandon physical infrastructure and embrace remote work and distributed infrastructures, security concerns become obsolete in some areas and heightened in others. To address shifting security concerns, companies must change the way they approach security to implement a more federated model across distributed work infrastructures. They must:
Those companies that embrace federated security will be able to increase their situational awareness, better manage attack vectors, and enable more dynamic threat intelligence and remediation. They will also be able to manage their security across an ever-shifting threat surface area. With this comes improved system interoperability, collaboration, and information-sharing.
DevOps and new ways of working
Security isn’t the only concern in managing a newly distributed workforce and workplace. Companies that migrate to the cloud will need to find new ways of working—especially in terms of core infrastructure and application development to remove development bottlenecks and get new releases out faster.
For many companies, DevOps is one solution. DevOps encourages better communication and collaboration, and when combined with cloud, it is a force multiplier that enables companies to better meet performance demands and customer satisfaction goals. However, when implementing DevOps, companies must focus just as much on the cultural change required to live by DevOps principles as on the technology behind it.
To implement DevOps effectively, companies will need to:
With effective DevOps, companies can align development activities better across full-stack product teams. This will help them react and respond quickly and focus on work that provides tangible, quick value. Development teams can also share knowledge in real time to enable better organizational knowledge management with automated, standardized, and repeatable processes that speed up development, free up workers to focus on more value-added activities, and enhance governance and the end-customer experience.
There will be a postpandemic world. It won’t be anything like the world that came before it, but that actually presents tremendous opportunities for companies that tackle its challenges successfully with technology-enabled business transformation to support the future of work. To meet those challenges, companies must double down on their technology modernization strategies and focus on building full-stack, cloud-enabled business solutions that are secure and enable collaboration and cohesion, no matter the location or device. They must embrace new ways of working that enable faster, better application development to be able to shift developer strategies as business needs change. Those companies that can navigate these layers of cloud complexity will modernize their businesses and most likely thrive. For those that don’t, if they are able to survive, infrastructure modernization will remain a future obstacle, with an even wider competitive gap to tackle.
If you’d like to read more about the future of the cloud-enabled work infrastructure, check out this new Deloitte Insights piece.
1 Angus Loten, “Cloud spending hits record amid economic fallout from COVID-19,” Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2020.
As the chief cloud strategy officer for Deloitte Consulting LLP, David is responsible for building innovative technologies that help clients operate more efficiently while delivering strategies that enable them to disrupt their markets. David is widely respected as a visionary in cloud computing—he was recently named the number one cloud influencer in a report by Apollo Research. For more than 20 years, he has inspired corporations and start-ups to innovate and use resources more productively. As the author of more than 13 books and 5,000 articles, David’s thought leadership has appeared in InfoWorld, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, Gigaom, and Lynda.com. Prior to joining Deloitte, David served as senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners, where he grew the practice into a major force in the cloud computing market. Previously, he led Blue Mountain Labs, helping organizations find value in cloud and other emerging technologies. He is a graduate of George Mason University.