Business recovery and continuity after COVID-19

Blog 13th August, 2020

NetApp COVID-19 Business Recovery and Continuity Blog Image

It was Charles Darwin who quoted: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Change is inevitable, and change has been forced on us all recently. I remember when I started out my career in IT back in 1998 and we were facing a different uncertainty at the time, a computer bug dubbed “Y2K” which if not corrected, would bring about the digital apocalypse when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000. I remember being told then that “you can never be too prepared”.

So were we prepared for the impact that COVID-19 would bring to our lives and the way we work and do business? I like to imagine what would have happened if COVID had hit in the Y2k era, before mobile data and home broadband could sustain a video call quality enough for a Zoom meeting (or even owning such a device that could deliver that capability!). In the days before social media and 5G conspiracy theories, before smart devices, before the cloud! and yes, even before the first Blackberry.

It would have been a very different picture with the levels of lockdowns we have seen. No home school via Google classroom, No creative Zoom backgrounds, no virtual digital events, just isolation, and virtually no business continuity at all.

But we did learn something from those days, and we haven’t forgotten about the need for business resilience. In fact, it’s possibly the one thing that has driven the evolution of IT infrastructure over time the most. It has evolved to become the cloud and software-as-a-service, moving rapidly away from on-premises data centers.

At the same time, we have also noticed that some things never change, like for example the explosion in data growth, and the increasingly sophisticated threats to that data.

Digital transformation has only increased the amount of data under threat as well as making the surface area of attack more accessible, make it effectively more difficult to recover from such an attack. One thing remains true throughout the ever-changing landscape of business and technology, and that is to be able to adapt to change, we need to be agile.

So what is agility anyway? To be able to move quickly and easily, and the ability to think and understand quickly. From a business perspective, it’s increasingly becoming associated with being able to fail fast and fail often. This is one of the key principles that make agile businesses so successful.

Data plays the most important role in an agile business, In today’s agile world, with agile apps, on agile infrastructure, creating ever-increasing data, it’s more important than ever for businesses to really understand their data. This is the only way to truly attain business insight, to make sense of all the available information across all your data repositories, run it through an intelligent process and present the result in a way that is easy to understand and consume and enable data-driven decisions.

This is the very nature of agility and will allow organisations to continue to adapt to change while keeping on top of the things that never change. It will also play a role in business recovery as we adapt to the ‘new normal’ which has been forced upon us by COVID-19. It has accelerated the business response and adoption of enterprise transformation – whilst exposing current weaknesses in multiple environments.

This puts pressure on technologists who must deliver high performing digital experiences when their organization is on its shoulders. They need the data-driven insights to be able to deliver. 80% of organisations (according to IT Brief) say that they feel held back from delivering optimal customer experience due to lack of visibility and insight into performance of technology stack.

Harbour IT and their partnership with NetApp are helping businesses to reimagine the possibilities and enable powerful strategies that drive business performance and personal success.

Using a combination of technology and services, Harbour and NetApp are driving business experience, efficiency and empowerment through:

  • Insight: Data-driven insights to make the right decisions for your business
  • Process: The right infrastructure and culture to enact change
  • Partners: The strategic support to implement transformation

Reimagining organizational structure and technology adoption will strengthen business resilience and help create new revenue. In fact, 80% of revenue growth is predicted to come from digital offerings – IT leaders need to invest in enablers of this capability such as a hybrid integrated multi-cloud platform, agile ways of working and intelligent automation while continuously optimizing on cost and having mechanisms to put the appropriate workload into the appropriate cloud, all while supporting what may be a forever changed mobile workforce.

Quote of 2020: “You’re on mute”

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