As the saying goes, “adapt or die.” That has, without a doubt, been the case amid the COVID-19 pandemic. You must remember having to adapt to a hybrid work setup. What about having to procure IT hardware during the chip shortage? If you’re an enterprise tech leader, you have to adopt innovative strategies to survive these challenging times. You’ll also need to consider budgetary constraints, data security and privacy concerns, logistical issues, and other factors that always seem to exacerbate things. The key to successfully navigating any crisis is prioritization

Here at IgniteTech, we have vast experience working with the enterprise tech industry, and we’ve also had the opportunity to gain valuable insights from various customers. So we’re thrilled to share our 3 top priorities that you, as your organization’s technology leader, just can’t afford to ignore. These priorities have helped countless industry leaders survive recent challenges, and they’ll help you build a resilient enterprise IT and cloud strategy

Having said all that, you’ll want to put these recommendations at the top of your priority list in the second half of 2022 and beyond
 

1.  Improve Flexibility and Agility

The pandemic threw a lot of curveballs at us, and companies had to be flexible and agile. When they were, they maintained business continuity despite lockdowns, chip shortages, and other pandemic-induced challenges.

Let’s think about the accelerated shift from CapEx spending to OpEx spending. Christopher Gilchrist, a principal research analyst at Forrester, said, “​​The composition of IT budgets had to change during the pandemic.” He also added, “Upwards of 60% of organizations began accelerating the shift in IT spend from CapEx to OpEx…” Isn’t that a pandemic-induced revolution?

Solutions to Consider

This shift comes in different forms. While cloud migration is the default poster child of the CapEx to OpEx revolution, we can cite other examples. One is device-as-a-service, a subscription-based service that bundles endpoint devices (laptops, PCs, tablets, etc.) with other services (tech support, maintenance, etc.). 

We can say we’re heading back to normalcy, but can’t say we’re returning to the old normal. Rather, we’re approaching a new normal; we’re blending old methods with new practices. Be flexible enough to reach this new normal. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind as the world moves on to new technology.

Pro Tips for Tech Leaders

✅ Empower your employees by learning to say yes to popular requests 

✅ Establish an IT infrastructure that can readily support new practices, whether caused by a major disruption or popular demand

✅ Be determined to adapt to any upcoming disruptions and changes
 

2.  Streamline Cloud Cost Optimization Through Technology

For many, the cloud is the go-to solution for business flexibility and agility. That said, it doesn’t come cheap. The cloud will first attract you with its upfront cost savings. But think twice. Ongoing costs can make cloud solutions more expensive in the long run.  

It’s no wonder, then, that cloud cost optimization is still the number one priority among all cloud initiatives in Flexera’s annual State of the Cloud Report. It’s been holding that top spot for the 6th straight year. In the 2022 edition of that report, 59% of organizations surveyed picked cloud cost savings as the top cloud initiative. 

Solutions to Consider

Cloud savings also explain the increased awareness of FinOps. This emerging discipline centers around managing cloud costs. Companies realize now that cloud cost optimization is crucial to getting the results you want. In line with this, every cloud user has to do their part in managing cloud spending. Don’t let cloud technology become a money-drain for your business. Instead, use cloud tech wisely to help you move forward

On top of that, you’ll also need a combination of expertise and technology. It’s not enough to hire a trained professional to implement cloud cost optimization. This option is inefficient and not scalable in enterprise settings with hundreds — or even thousands — of accounts. 

In enterprise scenarios, you really need to employ technology to be cost-efficient in implementing FinOps. This is what Western Digital did. They incorporated a cloud cost optimization solution in their FinOps initiatives. And did it work for them? Yes! The leading storage provider now expects to enjoy up to $1M in annual savings

Pro Tips for Tech Leaders

✅ Leverage tech solutions that can accomplish tedious cloud cost optimization tasks for you 

✅ Focus on solutions that can really save time while delivering significant results

The big takeaway here? These types of solutions require very little effort on your part. IgniteTech’s Cloud Cost Optimizer can already help you slash 10% off your AWS bill in just 5 clicks and maximize your cloud initiatives as a tech leader. This solution is free as part of IgniteTech’s Unlimited program
 

3.   Meet Perimeter-Less Security Requirements

Traditional perimeter-based security is no longer effective or relevant. It used to be that employees were secure as long as they worked behind your ‘corporate firewall.’ That firewall was your organization’s perimeter defense, and it’s been compromised. 

These days, your employees work outside that perimeter from time to time. They also often access (public) cloud-based applications that are outside as well. Even inside, that perimeter defense no longer evokes the same sense of security. When you adopt non-traditional practices, why would you keep traditional security? To keep up with the changes, you need a different approach to network security.

Solutions to Consider

Perimeter-based security is obsolete, so your strategy shouldn’t count on you having a traditional perimeter to begin with. That’s what the Zero Trust model does. It requires all users and devices to be constantly authenticated and validated to protect digital assets at all times. 

The 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report showed a significant advantage for organizations with a high level of maturity in their zero trust deployment. Their average data breach cost was $1.76 million less than organizations that didn’t practice zero trust. Don’t waste resources combating avoidable security issues. Think about how you can adopt new practices starting today.

Pro Tips for Tech Leaders

✅ Accept the fact that new practices are here to stay and learn to adapt with them

✅ Incorporate zero trust in your cybersecurity strategies 


LOOKING FORWARD 

As you move forward in a business environment deeply impacted by COVID-19, it’s crucial to formulate technology-based strategies. Your enterprise IT needs to be robust and resilient to dodge — and survive — any difficulties it may face. You’ll also need your cloud strategy to align with your growing needs. If you can manage to achieve that, you’ll keep your business growing amidst all the turmoil. 

Focus on increasing your flexibility. Optimize your cloud costs. And move away from obsolete security. Follow the lead of others who have set these same priorities for their organization, and allow technology to be your launch pad to business growth

How does your organization score in these 3 areas? As an enterprise tech leader, how do you see your business world changing in 2022 and beyond? We’d love to hear your take on this!

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