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Planning for Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World

By: Ernest Sampera on June 10, 2021

As vaccination rates continue to increase, businesses are finally able to start looking beyond immediate challenges and focus once more on long-term strategy. This is especially true for leaders charged with developing digital transformation plans. After spending a year and a half scrambling to implement solutions quickly, it would be comforting to think that companies now have the luxury of time to consider their next steps. However, the post-COVID world will require them to push the boundaries of what they once thought was possible if they’re going to remain competitive in the years to come.

Why the “New Normal” Represents a “New Possible”

For all the talk of a return to normalcy, many organizations find themselves in a very different position than the one they were in prior to the pandemic. In fact, one of the biggest changes has to do with the companies themselves. According to a McKinsey Global Survey of executives, a large portion of them made the equivalent of three to four years of progress in their digital services and operations in the span of a few months. In a very real sense, then, they’re not the same organizations they were at the beginning of 2020.

While these rapid changes may not come as a surprise given the extenuating circumstances of the pandemic, it’s worth noting that the same survey found that executives were consistently surprised by how quickly their companies responded to those pressures. In many cases, companies reacted 20 to 25 times faster than expected, with the transition to a remote work environment providing the most stark example.

One of the enduring lessons of the COVID-19 crisis, then, should be that organizations are capable of achieving significant digital transformation goals when they are a top business priority. Forward-thinking leaders need to keep this in mind when developing their post-pandemic digital transformation plans. The old complaints of big changes creating too much of a shock to established practices or of infrastructure limitations constraining ambitions are ringing hollow in the aftermath of the past sixteen months.

Building a Post-COVID Digital Transformation Plan

Organizations can no longer afford to take a conservative approach when forecasting their future technology requirements. As the economy returns to full capacity in the months ahead, ambitious new competitors will surely emerge from the long period of disruption seeking to capitalize on opportunities. Companies that make the investments in technologies capable of adapting to shifting consumer demands will have an advantage over those that lean on their legacy infrastructure.

Expanded Digital Services

Even before the pandemic, organizations had come to regard digital services that provide a better customer experience as a key competitive differentiator. That trend will no doubt continue now that consumers have shifted even more strongly toward online and mobile-based services. Previous increases in these trends have proven to be quite sticky, so companies that fail to invest in the capacity needed to meet growing demand could miss out on tremendous opportunities.

From an infrastructure standpoint, that means hosting applications in an environment where they will have direct access to essential cloud services and reliable uptime. During the pandemic, organizations that hosted their servers in a colocation data center equipped with intelligent monitoring and remote hands support had a much easier time reacting to changing circumstances than those saddled with the burden of managing outdated and inefficient on-premises solutions.

Flexibility to Scale with Demand

While most indicators point to a robust economic recovery, there will undoubtedly be some bumps along the way, especially as the pandemic continues to surge in other parts of the world. Even as organizations position themselves to rapidly scale their digital services, they also need to be cautious about overextending themselves in the event of a sudden downturn. Transitioning away from the high capital expenses of an on-premises data solution to the more manageable operational expenses of a colocation data center can provide the flexibility needed to navigate uncertainties.

Migrating servers into a colocation facility that provides full transparency into power and bandwidth utilization makes it easy to scale services to match the ebb and flow of market demand. And with direct on-ramps to cloud providers, organizations can easily build hybrid cloud environments capable of expanding vital capacity whenever it’s needed. Even if it becomes necessary to add a new server or expand infrastructure footprint to an extra cabinet, colocation customers will still save significantly on power and cooling expenses due to the facility’s more efficient data center design.  

Remote-First Infrastructure

A sizable percentage of companies are expected to maintain a primarily remote workforce even after the pandemic. For some, the decision is about saving on the cost of office space, while others see it as an opportunity to expand the scope of their workforce to incorporate talent from around the world. That decision comes with some significant security concerns, however. With more employees accessing applications online, organizations need to ensure that they’re building up their cybersecurity capabilities to protect their sensitive data.

Digital transformation plans focusing on securing the remote workplace also need to consider how to safeguard physical infrastructure from unauthorized access. Transitioning vital servers away from largely empty office buildings into a well-protected colocation facility can provide greater peace of mind in terms of managing access. In addition to protecting infrastructure with multiple physical and logical security measures, colocation customers can also use infrastructure management tools to monitor and control who has access to critical assets at any given time.

Put Your Digital Transformation Plan into Action with vXchnge

As an award-winning colocation provider, vXchnge is well-positioned to make your digital transformation plan a reality. Our data centers deliver robust connectivity to the world’s leading cloud platforms and are backed by 100% uptime SLAs. You’ll retain full visibility into your deployment thanks to the in\site DCIM platform, which allows you to easily monitor power and bandwidth utilization over any time period, manage data center access in real-time, and review compliance information instantly.

Our colocation services and the in\site platform helped multiple companies adapt to a fully remote IT solution during the pandemic, which was why we received a 2021 TMCnet Remote Work Pioneer Award. Talk to one of our colocation solutions specialists today to find out how vXchnge data centers can put your digital transformation plan into action.

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