No one could foresee what 2020 had in store, but Australian businesses adapted and made it work. There were even those with the ingenuity and agility to thrive. Now it’s time to learn, build on successes and prepare for uncertainty on the horizon.
The new mission for IT leaders and IT pros is to enable their businesses to do the following with confidence and resilience:
- Scale Out
You may have already been on that path pre-Covid and now it’s time to get back to it, even as we’re still dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. This year can’t just be about recovery and gap-filling, because time and technology march on.
4 Focus Areas for IT in 2021
1: Re-Assess Priorities
Pre-Covid, common infrastructure priorities spanned region, industry sector and company size. Everyone was dealing with data volume growth. Many wished for new consumption models and flexible solutions to suit actual usage requirements. Cost management with a shift to opex was a common thread.
In 2020, the focus was on rapidly adapting to a world suddenly gone remote, and rapidly increasing digital capabilities. But seamless access to data and applications was a priority even before that. Cloud usage was already on the rise amid a growing realisation that a Hybrid Cloud model creates greater balance, savings and efficiencies. In 2019, Gartner was already forecasting exponential growth in cloud services and as-a-Service over the next few years. Digital transformation that was already needed, was sped up. We all felt that.
It’s been almost a year since Covid-19 hit Australia and the focus is shifting to priorities like supporting a hybrid workforce vs a remote workforce, resiliency vs capacity, operational efficiency, securing data, and continuing to meet the increasing demands being placed on infrastructure with IT agility and speed. What are your new priorities?
2: Identify Right-sized Solutions for Australian Businesses
Size matters, when it comes to IT infrastructure because it impacts requirements and budget availability. But mid-size businesses rely on business-critical applications as much as the largest of enterprise organisations do. They have ramped up to handle remote work, conducting business online and adding digital services and options, just like the largest of conglomerates have. Some were quicker to market with pivots and innovations, thanks to their smaller size and agility.
This is a critical point here in Australia because global vendors tend to talk about solutions for “mid-size businesses” by the standards of larger markets. Depending on the segment definition, even large Australian companies can fall into the mid-size category.
Look for solutions that offer the kind of resiliency, low latency, high performance and cost-effective storage the “large enterprise” category enjoys. Prioritise right-sized, next-generation options for BC/DR. Demand flexible options, pricing and consumption models designed for mid-size use cases.
[For help Reimagining midrange storage for business resilience and success in the digital era, Register Now for an IDC and Hitachi Vantara webinar scheduled for THU 25th February.]
3: Enable a Hybrid Workforce
The phrase “support a rapid move to remote working” does not begin to explain all that Australian organisations had to do to make remote work, work.
Now we’re almost as quickly evolving to support a hybrid workforce that still hasn’t finished changing. Will employees come back to the office full time? Will most split their time between the office and home? Will your business go completely remote? What processes and tools do you need to embed good employee data management practices regardless of where they are working? Decisions that are made now are subject to change, depending on Covid19, the vaccine rollout, and your own organisation’s implications like leases, costs and productivity requirements.
Customers and employees still expect to be able to access data, applications and services in the quickest way possible, with as few bottlenecks as possible to ensure efficiency and productivity.
The challenge will continue to be one of complex data management, as you determine where and how best to store and protect it, while making it as accessible as it needs to be. Progressing your hybrid cloud infrastructure is the way forward to supporting the new hybrid model.
4: Make Australian Companies more Resilient
Dealing with a pandemic, through shutdowns, lockdowns, quarantines, remote work and border closures, has revealed to many C-suites and IT teams that their business continuity plans need work.
Australian IT teams must be on a mission to better prepare their organisations, with wide-ranging contingency plans for continuous operations, data access and protection. Now that you’ve observed pandemic situations where people were not allowed to enter the workplace – or the data centre – you must prioritise business continuity measures that can be managed remotely.
It’s no longer necessary for organisations to be satisfied with two-site DR architecture. Thanks to technological advances in storage-based data services, including active-active storage clustering and highly efficient long-distance replication, there is a better way, even for mid-size organisations that have requirements for always-on operations but don’t have large enterprise budgets.
3-data-center (3DC) architectures dramatically improve protection against permanent data loss and corruption of data, provide the foundation for much faster system recovery and can even mitigate the need for recovery.
IT infrastructure priorities evolve but one thing hasn’t changed.
Australian businesses need strategies and technology partners to help them achieve real digital transformation, so they can continue to progress and innovate.
To hear from IDC and Hitachi Vantara on how you can reimagine midrange storage for resilience and success in the digital era, Register Now for our IDC Analyze The Future Webinar scheduled for 4pm AEST on Thursday 25th February 2021.
To discuss your infrastructure and storage needs, contact Hitachi Vantara.
About Adrian Johnson
A 20+ year IT industry veteran, Adrian Johnson is Vice President and Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) at Hitachi Vantara. Based in Sydney, Adrian is tasked with fostering Hitachi Vantara's partner ecosystem in support of the digital-led transformation of organisations across the region.
About Hitachi Vantara
Hitachi Vantara, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., guides our customers from what’s now to what’s next by solving their digital challenges. Working alongside each customer, we apply our unmatched industrial and digital capabilities to their data and applications to benefit both business and society. More than 80% of the Fortune 100 trust Hitachi Vantara to help them develop new revenue streams, unlock competitive advantages, lower costs, enhance customer experiences, and deliver social and environmental value. www.hitachivantara.com.