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Hope in frightening days: How Cloud Solutions Are Getting Companies Through the Pandemic

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First published on Executive People, November 25, 2020.

 

Cloud solutions of all kinds are benefiting from the current working environment  as companies eagerly search for fast and efficient ways to adapt to new ways of working outside office walls.

This advance of cloud solutions was also noticed by Gartner. In their report on CFO performance during the pandemic, they indicated that CFOs who, despite the economic climate, were willing to invest in their digital transformation, are likely to be about 1.4x more likely to have an advantage over those that didn’t, coming out of the crisis. Now that the second wave for the Netherlands is in full swing, it is time for senior management teams to give even more urgency to resume the digital transformation and to further expand the new way of working.

When we look at the way companies navigate through the pandemic, we see innovation in areas where we previously saw little or no movement. Canalys found that there has never been more investment in cloud solutions than during Q1 this year, an increase of about 34% with a total value of $ 31 billion. They also reported that many companies are looking extra critically at (new) investments in light of the crisis. Companies do not want to rely on current, legacy systems and are looking for new solutions to bring information and processes together so that different departments can better work together to improve efficiency and final results.

According to Morgan Stanley, only 20% of workloads can be found in the cloud. Which is a striking figure considering finance teams themselves indicate that they want to get to 44% by the end of the year. So, how do we get there?

Technology develops according to the needs of the user. The technologies that proved so indispensable during the pandemic (cloud, 5G, Wi-Fi and much more) have drastically changed the way people communicate and collaborate with each other in recent years. Although many companies use cloud solutions for certain business units, that use is often limited to a specific application or department. It is time to take a broader view: the cloud is no longer 'just' a storage place for data. The cloud is your second office: a place where people work, meet, collaborate on shared documents and process the aforementioned stored information in financial reports or company presentations.

Connection, be it with colleagues, customers or external partners and stakeholders, is the keyword during the pandemic. Companies are forced to look for ways to work better together in different locations, within different departments or even different time zones. There are several questions that need to be answered to enable the company-wide implementation of smart solutions. How do new solutions contribute to the way of working? What is currently not going well, and how do we do that? Once those questions have been answered, teams will be better able to implement cloud technologies to best address company pain points quickly and efficiently, to circumvent any underinvestment or neglect of other IT systems or solutions. 

The cloud enables companies and their employees to work faster, smarter and more focused in clear workflows. When things have to be adjusted quickly due to unforeseen circumstances such as now with this second wave, the structure is already there, the data is in the right place and employees know where they stand.

The pandemic not only shows how IT can streamline various processes. It is now also clear how departments can work better together to improve workflows that will yield a lot for the company now that the crisis seems to be lasting longer than expected. Investing in solutions that enable employees to work flexibly and adapt to unforeseen circumstances remains the key to success.

 

For the latest news and information, visit the Workiva Newsroom.

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How cloud solutions are leading companies during COVID

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