Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 43 - Page 39

CIO OPINION co-location facilities and classic outsourcing. Some watchers suspect that the journey to enterprise cloud is only 20% completed. Quite understandably, CIOs and others have elected to operate on a ‘horses for courses’ basis where workloads are matched to deployment models based on risk levels, information sensitivity, intellectual property, performance needs and other concerns. But I believe that the current pandemic is an event that will see a significant tilt towards broader cloud adoption. The world has changed After COVID-19, it seems unlikely that we will go immediately back to a reliance on cities, crowded roads and transit systems, offices, galleries and stadia that place individuals cheek by jowl with others. Remote working will surely rise and that makes cloud an even more attractive proposition than ever before. Organisations will need to re-think operations, processes and Business Continuity, and they will re-engineer business models as they adapt to new realities. In retail for example, shoppers will want “ I BELIEVE THAT THE CURRENT PANDEMIC IS AN EVENT THAT WILL SEE A SIGNIFICANT TILT TOWARDS BROADER CLOUD ADOPTION. different experiences from crowded shops and high streets. That may mean broader pavements, longer shopping hours, limited numbers of people in-store and new ways to pay without cash. As Mark Kleinman, Professor of Public Policy at Kings College London, has written: “Almost overnight, many of the benefits of large, global cities have become vulnerabilities. What was previously greatly desired – crowds, proximity, connectivity, openness – everything that contributes to what economists call ‘agglomeration benefits’ and urbanists call ‘vibrancy and vitality’ – is now feared.” We don’t know exactly how big such changes will be or how long they will persist but it seems likely that they will mandate unprecedented organisational flexibility. If they hadn’t already realised by now, companies will need to be more flexible, adaptive and agile, so that the next time there is a massive interruption to ‘business as usual’ there can be no excuses. Already we see companies that have been anchored by legacy systems failing to move fast enough and respond to the new realities of virtual business. And this in turn will complete the tectonic shift in favour of cloud computing. Reasons to move on cloud now Of course, there are many ways to deliver flexibility, but the cloud is a perfect vehicle in lots of ways. INTELLIGENTCIO 39 39