Digital disruption has always been disruptive — the keyword is disruption. The disruption transforms how companies move forward and how they do business. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic majorly impacted the world; it disrupted how companies operated whether they were embracing digital transformation or not, shuffling the list of company priorities and causing significant budget changes.
Per IDG, “In the beginning of 2020, 59% of IT leaders expected their IT budgets to increase over the next 12 months while only 7% expected a decrease in budget.” However, in 2020, COVID drastically changed IT budgets and shifted pre-determined plans. IDG also reported that today, the top 3 priorities for IT still align with Pre-COVID prioritizations, with:
- Cost control — 45%
- Improving IT operations — 38%
- Redesigning business processes — 37%
The lengthy pandemic is proving that while it makes sense to put some projects on hold, companies should continue to press on with their strategic transformation initiatives to ensure continual growth.
During these trying times of COVID, many organizations realized that legacy systems could not answer this global crisis call. There is still a need to become more nimble and increase operational efficiency while continuing to transform. The transformation will drive great agility to respond to future unknown disruptions that COVID will continue to bring. Also, switching from traditional CAPEX financial models to an OPEX or hybrid model will allow companies increased flexibility by doing more within their IT budgets with less.
2020 was a year of unpredictability that brought a vast amount of change. This change brought refined focus to digital transformation journeys, which have become critical for businesses. COVID shortened the allowance for error when using the new currency of the modern digital era, e.g., data. Data allows a company to bring new products & applications to market, leverage data to respond to customer demands quicker, increase time to market, and finally drive more revenue-generating business initiatives. Traversing the new digital world operating with data currency has led to a mass exodus of critical workloads from legacy data centers into the cloud, allowing them to accelerate the digital transformation journey.
Many companies accelerated their roadmap in 2020 due to demands of faster change and cost reductions. The public cloud has always been the place where transformation is pioneered. That is why COVID accelerated many business migrations to the cloud — for scalability, resiliency, and global accessibility to customers. With strategically positioned cloud environments, remote workers can access work environments as if they were sitting in their local office, while all workloads are hosted in the cloud. The redundancy, elasticity, and distributed model that comes with the cloud makes workloads more resilient than many running in an on-prem data center. Cloud workloads also mean that businesses can scale their resources on-demand based on utilization and scale costs up/down in-line with demand. These balancing acts were not possible with traditional on-prem CAPEX hardware.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many businesses’ digital transformation plans and moved them to the cloud earlier than anticipated to drive required innovation. Many disciplines were formed in 2020 that laid a foundation to be leveraged in 2021, like fiscal responsibility. This new financial model has made cloud more necessary in the company years with the flexible pay scales and pay-as-you-go models. This financial model is supported by the ability to scale on-demand a reliable and secure environment that you only pay for as you use, varying significantly from the traditional CAPEX investments of old. Combining the cloud benefits with the new OPEX cost model unlocks businesses’ ability to do more with their data than ever before and speed up releases of new products/features to their customers to meet customer demand. COVID shook the world and forced many business changes, but not all change is negative. If you haven’t yet embraced your digital disruption, then it is time to start looking at adopting a digital transformation strategy.