Prioritising technology innovation and infrastructure today is the key to unlocking post-crisis growth for tomorrow
The pandemic speeded up the adoption of digital technologies by several years. To stay competitive in this new business and economic environment requires new strategies and practices. The old ways of thinking about IT infrastructure are no longer effective.
A McKinsey global survey on how COVID-19 pushed companies over the technology tipping point and changed business forever found that respondents recognise technology’s strategic importance as a critical component of the business, not just a source of cost efficiencies.
Companies that executed successful responses to the crisis reported a range of technology capabilities that others did not – most notably, filling gaps for technology talent during the crisis, the use of more advanced technologies, and speed in experimenting and innovating. To stay competitive in this new business and economic environment, the survey found, requires new strategies and practices.
Digital customer interactions
McKinsey’s survey noted that, during the pandemic, a massive number of consumers moved to online channels, with companies and industries rapidly shifting toward interacting with customers through digital channels. Respondents reported similar accelerations in the digitisation of core internal operations including back-office, production, and R&D processes, and of interactions in their supply chains.
Cloud, networks, and modern infrastructure
"While the future remains unknown, it is clear that technology will continue to be the central player in hybrid working environments, changing how companies operate and deliver value to customers, preparing businesses for future upheavals, and even helping to make the workplace more conducive to maintaining the health and well-being of employees." Gregg Barker, Business Unit Manager: Product, Tarsus Distribution
Different industries and markets will follow different paths and speeds into the future, but all will exist in a much more digitally connected world. A KPMG Advisory report states that it is critically important to know how the digital backbone of a hyper-connected world – devices, cloud, network, and modern IT infrastructure – underpins their ability to deliver this change.
Three key focus areas
The report suggests three key focus areas for technology executives:
Remote at scale: Shifting the mindset to work from anywhere will require SMBs to ramp up automated online workflow capabilities.
Cost-optimised delivery: Building a hybrid cloud environment to expand capacity where needed.
Resilient agility: Embedding security, performance, and resiliency in the infrastructure stacks to prevent downtime of systems serving customers.
To keep businesses running and employees and customers connected, KPMG found, that SMBs will need to continue to focus on strengthening their digital backbone using cloud-native solutions, anywhere connectivity, hybrid multi-cloud architectures, and automated and secure delivery chain with the speed and flexibility to meet rapidly evolving business needs.
Companies can get started by defining the additional infrastructure and network capabilities and solutions they need to keep the business running and their users productive. This includes determining the network capacity, security, performance, and resiliency requirements to enable remote working. In addition, they will need to set priorities for operating critical infrastructure and network components.