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HOW TO SOLVE THREE KEY IT CHALLENGES FOR 2021.

If nothing else, 2020 has proven that IT today needs to offer the agility, scalability and resilience for businesses to survive and thrive. So, as we approach the new year, many of us are reflecting on our successes and opportunities for improvement, whilst also planning how best to move forward. Clearly digital efforts will continue to accelerate and consolidate over the year ahead to address future demands. And for almost every firm, this will involve cloud technologies.

Of course, the cloud itself is not a new concept – 93% of all UK businesses were already using it before the pandemic in one way or another*. And rather than simply being viewed as an end goal, the cloud serves as a fundamental tool in enabling organisations to overcome business challenges whilst remaining competitive. Here’s a reminder how…

Simplifying IT management

As technologies rapidly evolve and require an ever-expanding skill set, it’s widely acknowledged that workload is a top IT challenge. IT teams are balancing the management of an increasing IT estate along with the maintenance burden of existing IT infrastructure – all whilst responding to changing business demands. This leaves very little time to focus on driving innovation.

Easy to control and manage, the cloud can help alleviate this pressure that IT teams face. Cloud services can be set up without needing to be physically on site, and as there’s no physical infrastructure, services are quick to deploy, change and scale, whilst also giving control of your requirements. And by their very nature, cloud services benefit from perpetual updates, freeing up the IT team to focus on more strategic value-added projects.

Keeping business secure

Today’s predominantly flexible workforce presents evolving data security challenges. At the same time, phishing attacks are rising exponentially, so safeguarding your business should remain top priority.

Centralised, cloud-based security services offer real-time threat protection, using automation, machine learning and IoT telemetry to provide speedy remediation, with visibility enhanced across the entire estate. For further reassurance, the major cloud infrastructure providers such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon have invested heavily in security and already have the highest levels of accreditation, ticking boxes for even the most demanding frameworks. As a result, companies using the cloud alongside a modern ‘Zero Trust’ approach to security inevitably have the edge over their on-premise counterparts.

Controlling the costs

Many organisations are now consuming multiple cloud services, so concerns around cost control are understandable. Yet, as part of a long-term strategy, significant savings can certainly be achieved. It’s essential to assess your overall business strategy in order to determine the right options for your business.

For example, deploying cloud services reduces capex outlay, improving crucial cashflow and reserves, particularly critical during uncertain economic times. Businesses choosing a cloud-first strategy also benefit from the choice between consuming variable resources month by month, offering greater flexibility, or using a fixed price plan for easier longer-term budgeting. Further savings can be made through the rationalisation of licensing, data storage and hardware costs and, over time, hardware depreciation will be eliminated. And finally, with the inherent resilience of cloud services, the cost and impact of any unplanned downtime is minimised.

On-premise versus the cloud

The summary below highlights some of the key challenges posed by a traditional on-premise approach and identifies how moving to the cloud can help resolve them.

A cloud-first culture

Looking ahead, the modern workplace must become more agile in order to meet the challenges head on, drive productivity and gain competitive edge. For some organisations, moving to the cloud may seem daunting, so it’s important for IT and business leaders to champion this change and address any cultural resistance. With the right technology partner supporting you on your journey, you can benefit from a tailored solution that simplifies IT, reduces costs and drives your business forwards.

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