During the pandemic, many CIOs and tech leaders were entrusted to do as they must to ensure business continuity that would keep customers and partners engaged – and there are some heroic tales of efforts in this regard.
In a bid to quickly adapt to the demands of a pandemic which left millions of workers confined to their homes, many organisations’ IT teams rushed to deliver point-in-time solutions to what, at the time, felt like a short-term problem. They’ve bought into solutions like Microsoft Azure, Office 365.
Simultaneously, revenue became a much bigger constraint for most organisations. In recent conversations with the Chief Information Officer of a customer in the banking sector, I was told that cost reduction is now their number one priority.
With barely a moment to sit back and enjoy their success in allowing their organisations to quickly adapt to their new, IT-enabled work-from-home reality, IT leaders are now confronted with the need to improve efficiency.
They’re facing a pandemic tech hangover. In fact, in research by independent analysts ADAPT, featured in our ‘RE:IMAGINE the Future of IT’ research report, reducing costs shot up the priority ranks from number seven to number one in CIOs’ lists of priorities.
A hangover businesses can ill afford
Many CIOs are experiencing first hand finding how quickly implemented platforms can get away from you on a cost basis without adequate rigour around them. They’re often also having to contend with duplication issues, integration issues, and interoperability challenges.
I’ve seen many instances of people bringing in technologies which overlap with their existing investments. As one example, a customer whose staff at their call centre in India were no longer able to do their job during COVID-19 due to an inability to work from home, had to quickly set up a call centre in Australia instead. One customer quickly implemented Zoom, despite already having access to Microsoft Teams.
For these technology leaders, the efficiency challenge is one that is primarily framed in the context of COVID-19. But for many more, it was on the to-do list long before the pandemic.
As our research partner ADAPT reports, broad sections of the Australian c-suite, including the CFO and CIO, have consistently said that during 2019 and into early 2020 improving operational effectiveness ranks amongst their top business priorities.
The reality that many CIOs are now facing is that legacy tech is both inflexible, more costly and a barrier to greater performance.
Efficiency in focus
Efficiency means getting the most out of your technology investments, while having the flexibility in your IT infrastructure to meet your needs. It’s about achieving the right balance between what you need today and in the future, and what you’re paying for.
It’s also about keeping track of what you have – an increasingly difficult challenge. Even within Microsoft Azure alone there are multiple levels of availability, performance and price points. This demands a thorough understanding of workloads and the ability to analyse and determine the best approach – or using tools that can support that.
The focus should be holistic – how you get the best efficiency across platforms, while balancing this against other priorities like performance. It is efficiency that will enable organisations to make the strategic investments they need to improve performance in key areas as we recover from the pandemic.
In ADAPT’s research, many tech leaders signaled that they plan to prioritise technology relating to customer service and engagement during their pandemic recovery, with 71 per cent of respondents considering this as business-critical.
No time to turn away from technology
A hybrid approach is a critical component of efficiency. It allows the portability to move workloads within public and private cloud environments and between platforms to where it is most efficient or cost effective.
Cloud services, data centre modernisation and managed services are also taking centre stage as organisations look to streamline processes and secure the technological foundation to minimise cost, complexity and management overheads. Tools like NetApp’s Cloud Insights are giving organisations greater visibility into infrastructure and applications, helping them to monitor, troubleshoot and optimise their public and private resources, while Cisco’s Workload Optimisation Manager is able to adjust infrastructure resources at every layer of the stack to efficiently ensure application performance
So too is automation, as IT teams look to get more capability for less by automating repetitive tasks within their remit. For many, the unexpected nature of the pandemic saw a sudden influx in business backlogs. Digital strategies such as the implementation of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) can reduce the likelihood of such backlogs and accelerate the road to business recovery, boosting employee responsiveness and morale along the way.
Harbour IT has supported customers across industries including finance, automotive, and infrastructure, to meet these challenges for nearly two decades. We offer a combination of a best-in-class private cloud infrastructure that’s highly available and elastic, secure and accredited with the performance and scale of Microsoft Azure public cloud – a proposition we call ‘Cloud Power with Private Peace of Mind’.
Our hybrid practice enables us to put in frameworks for customers so that they can easily move workloads flexibly on and off-premise as needed, whether for data sovereignty reasons, as with some of the financial institutions we serve, or cost transparency and control purposes.
Get practical guidance with Strategic IT Review workshops and real customer insights
Today we’re helping our customers drive efficiency in their organisations through RE:IMAGINE, a content series focusing on the three most important pillars of digital transformation today: The New Workplace, Efficiency & Optimisation and Performance & Scalability.
We and our vendor partners will provide the data, insights, guidance and partnerships needed to deliver meaningful and efficient digital transformation in your organisation in the coming months and years.
To help IT leaders establish a smart, simplified and secure hybrid IT environment, you can request:
- A RE:IMAGINE Customer Immersion Session recording with Scope, a leading disability provider. We discuss how Scope used a combination of procurement, professional services and managed services to gain a highly tangible ROI at a time when business continuity was critical.
- A personalised Strategic Review of your IT environment in partnership with Microsoft, NetApp and Cisco to provide practical guidance on how you can get more from your existing IT infrastructure and ensure it’s fit for purpose, with cost management and IT optimisation strategies.