We’ve learned a lot over the last few months, helping our clients respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and support a surge of new remote workers. Assisting a wide range of organizations adapt their enterprise networking and unified communications and empowering over 20,000 workers to start working from home has provided Cerium with some useful insights. As we transition from crisis-response mode and start considering what comes next, this is an excellent time to reflect on lessons learned.
The Cloud Shines
The most significant conclusion we’ve drawn from our experiences is that organizations that adopted cloud technologies prior to the onset of the pandemic were in the best position to weather the storm. Leveraging the cloud provided them with the agility to deal with the increased demand for remote services and quickly pivot to deliver critical services to a dispersed workforce with minimal disruptions. Dependable cloud technologies offered unparalleled scalability, availability, and security for keeping remote workers connected and productive.
The Business Landscape is Shifting
For many organizations, the pandemic is changing the definition of “business as usual.” The pandemic accelerated the shift to telecommuting and the trend is likely to continue long after social distancing is in our rearview mirror. Tobin Solkey, Cerium Networks Senior Solution Architect, worked closely with a broad spectrum of our clients to help them deal with the fallout from the pandemic. According to Tobin, “One of the big takeaways I’ve had is that working from home has worked. There had been a perception among many high-level managers that working from home wasn’t really working. However, during this pandemic working from home has not only proved it works, it has saved many businesses.“
As mobile workers and distributed workforces become the norm, cloud-based platforms are quickly becoming an indispensable strategy for meeting user demands and delivering critical services. As organizations move from near-term survival mode and position themselves for the new normal, embracing the cloud offers them a host of benefits for keeping workers productive, whether they are back in the office or on-the-go.
Unified Communications, a Gateway to the Cloud
Many organizations choose to begin their journey to the cloud with unified communications (UC) and collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Teams. These applications offer a flexible migration path to the cloud, provide immediate benefits, and quickly prove their value to workers across the entire enterprise. Cloud-based communication and collaboration tools can be easily integrated into existing workflows and eliminate the heavy lifting for adding or removing users and integrating innovative new services for a dispersed and agile workforce. More than just a short term solution, migrating to cloud-based communication and collaboration can help organizations prepare for the long-haul.
Getting to the Cloud
The unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19 have created a sense of urgency accelerating cloud adoption. However, you shouldn’t get caught up in the hype. Moving to the cloud is an important strategic initiative that requires thorough consideration and extensive planning to achieve successful outcomes. Migrating from legacy infrastructures, security and compliance, budget constraints, and corporate culture can pose barriers to cloud adoption. To help manage the challenges of cloud adoption, many of our clients are taking a hybrid approach as a stepping stone to a full cloud platform. Hybrid deployments combine the best elements of cloud and traditional on-premises systems and enable organizations to maximize the return on their existing technology investments while moving to the cloud at their own pace.
Foundation for a Digital Transformation
Cloud services have demonstrated immense value helping organizations navigate the effects of COVID-19. The cloud has proven to be a cost-effective approach for delivering resilient, reliable services with the flexibility and scalability to respond effectively to the unexpected overnight shift to remote work. More than just a short-term fix, cloud computing represents the future. The cloud will provide a strong foundation for facing the challenges of the new world as we work toward recovery in the post-pandemic future.
Regardless of where you are on your digital transformation journey, Cerium can help. With a consultative approach for accelerating your journey to the cloud, our cloud specialists are ready to help you tackle your toughest cloud projects. Leverage the lessons we’ve learned, helping our clients move to the cloud and begin realizing the benefits of cloud computing.