IT managers are now at a very critical point in history from a commercial point of view: their decisions on how and where to invest will be put under review as never before, just as employees, customers and partners turn to technology to get a response to the challenges they face.
But innovation will lead to a smooth outlay of budgets in the face of disappointing results. Expectations about what is or will be normal have changed in many respects. The way companies operate has changed enormously compared to just six months ago.
In this period, the spotlight on technology and its ability to adapt and succeed in a changing environment have never been so numerous. Employees live, work and interact with each other in completely new environments, while having to manage children and online teaching.
A technology strategy that is adapted to current circumstances must accompany this change, as observed by Mauro Bonfanti, Regional VP Emea of Pure Storage.
No more 18-month cycles
For IT managers, Bonfanti says, this means forgetting the traditional investment manual. The classic cycles of eighteen months, between budget development and procurement based on a capital expenditure model (CAPEX) and updates requiring business interruption, are no longer in line with current operational needs, which require changes in plan often
Investment should focus on flexible consumption models with infrastructure that supports the highest levels of flexibility and variety of options, enabling teams to quickly implement and scale new projects and applications.
Moreover, as economic uncertainty increases, budgets are bound to shrink as never before. For IT managers this can create great difficulties when it comes to getting new projects or new infrastructure approved by CFOs.
The advantage of adopting a flexible-consumption model is that companies can avoid betting that often accompany changes that require intensive capital use; on the contrary, they can actively pursue modernisation projects that are at low risk of cost growth, budget exhaustion or vendor lock
It is not yet time to liquidate the premise
In the moments of change, Bonfanti notes, the difficulties of planning expenditures and IT infrastructures in time are added. For IT managers it is easy to incur excessive provisioning or, on the contrary, insufficient, or focus on the wrong solution for the business transformation that you want to get.
Research shows that cloud migration remains the top priority for many digital project leaders thanks to the ability of the cloud to scale, simplify data management and reduce costs.
Although the current situation may have accelerated this trend towards the cloud, this is not the only option. Companies give priority to simplicity, agility and flexibility: features of the cloud that exist also on-premise. Today more than ever, therefore, there is still a need for a hybrid approach to IT.
While it is true that cloud architecture can allow companies to extend their IT strategies, move applications forward quickly to another level and maintain large datasets, on-premise resources continue to play an essential role in business operations.
For business leaders who look forward, who are willing to incorporate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and deep learning into their strategies, on-premise infrastructures remain valuable: they help to better exploit data by allowing to feed mission-critical applications that cannot reside
By making l’on-premise exactly like the cloud, companies have the option to leverage public or private clouds alongside their on-premise infrastructure depending on the workload and business goals. By using a flexible-consumption model, customers can meet the changing needs of their business.
It is important to stress that this hybrid approach does not need to weigh particularly heavily on the budget. In a flexible-consumption model, where the infrastructure is scaled on demand, the TCO is reduced.
Suddenly, critical technologies become accessible and accessible to companies of all sizes regardless of the level of turnover. This, in turn, frees capital that can be invested in other areas of the business.
Towards a new technological order
Whether retail, industry or financial services, all business leaders must align their business strategy with their technology, and this becomes easier when the benefits are such as to eliminate risks.
One of the constants is the affinity of these managers to carefully analyse financial expenditures by reducing them wherever possible. The new order of technological deployment must therefore be flexible.
Flexibility allows for greater control over the use of liquidity and capital in the short and long term in the context of data storage and options for possession rather than subscription.
This is the backbone of a fast decision-making process and the ability to overcome competitors on the market through product innovation.
Whether it’s a customized retail-based shopping or a deep learning application in autonomously driven vehicles, companies of any size should have the opportunity to compete and quickly create on demand applications. Ultimately, only flexible-consumption models can provide this level of accessibility and risk aversion.
The current situation caused by the pandemic must not be seen as a catalyst for change, but as a stimulus accelerator towards greater efficiency of IT spending and the growth of digital services.
However, despite this focus on digital projects, many companies do not have the capital to undertake a significant review of their IT.
CFO and business leaders are also increasingly aware of the limitations of their budgets and will be easily inclined to invest only in the face of guaranteed returns.
As a result, IT managers need to look at a different way of managing their technology environments. The flexible-consumption models, thanks to a limited TCO, the speed of integration and their agility, are perfectly suited to the many challenges of today’s operating environment and will undoubtedly become a pillar of business supporting the workloads at the basis of future innovation of the