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As many of us become accustomed to wearing masks, socially distancing, and greeting each other with elbow bumps rather than a handshake, it’s not just our behaviours that have had to change to cope with a world that’s navigating a deadly pandemic. Our technology stacks and the way essential services are delivered have also had to change at pace.
We recently hosted the first of our #RightCloud webinars – a series of interactive discussions – where technologists from across Australia and New Zealand discussed how they’re transforming their technology strategies and strengthening their stacks to contend with the new and varying challenges that have arisen this year.
At the frontline of this technology shift is the Australian Department of Health’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), Daniel Keys, who provided insight into how the department was put in a position where it had to send its more than 5,500 workforce home in a matter of days when initially dealing with one of the largest health crises ever.
“This year, the health industry has gone through 10 years of digital transformation in a matter of months. At the same time, we’ve had to stand up testing centres and mental health clinics, distributed PPE (personal protective equipment), and expanded services like telehealth, which, until this year, was largely used intermittently in regional and remote areas. Combined, this has all added another layer of complexity to how we support the technology requirements of the department.”
This year, the health industry has gone through 10 years of digital transformation in a matter of months.
Pre-COVID-19, it was common for projects like this to take months to finalise. Now, however, timeframes that were previous barriers for projects have been thrown out of the window. Large institutions and organisations are moving at a pace many thought impossible.
Danny Elmarji, Dell Technologies’ Vice President, Pre-Sales, explained how amazing it’s been to see how quickly customers have adapted.
“Many accelerated projects weren’t planned for this year. IT teams have been critical in the orchestration, design, and rapid deployment of new solutions.
"We’ve seen customers re-prioritise their IT spending as they look at how they can reduce costs and optimise how IT projects are delivered.
“Now, we’re seeing customers spending more on resiliency, especially as people become dependent on these services. More critical programs and systems, which are ready to go to protect data and ensure it’s not being used maliciously, are a top priority. People are thinking about air gap solutions [two systems that are not physically connected], automation, cybersecurity, platform capabilities, and intrinsic security.”
Large organisations have worked at pace and achieved high levels of productivity this year. Many wish to maintain these high levels and results moving forward according to Mark Iles, Tech Research Asia's Industry Analyst.
“Speed has become a competitive advantage. It’s no longer acceptable to take three months to write the scope for a project anymore. The models for how we deliver IT services have to change.
“Working out the details as we go has become the norm, although it does require a higher tolerance for risk. Gone are the days of long, overly complex and rigid RFPs (request for proposals) and that’s a positive.”
The actual savings you get are minimal compared to the speed to market, flexibility, and opportunity to change structural issues in business. Cloud can be a catalyst for change.
At the heart of all this are complex multi-cloud strategies. Cloud computing has solidified itself as an operating model and an enabler for organisational change and transformation. For Daniel, cloud is an opportunity for operational change.
“The actual savings you get are minimal compared to the speed to market, flexibility, and opportunity to change structural issues in business. Cloud can be a catalyst for change.
“Rapid change happened during COVID-19 because decisions were made – we were able to make calls and not have ‘death by committee’. We were empowered.”
The IT sector has done significant work this year to simplify the scale of computing resources and empower businesses to move at pace. For Danny, this has helped businesses and the sector to thrive during the pandemic
“As we close out 2020 and start planning for 2021, we will see continued implementation of multi-cloud strategies which will provide the best platform for each individual circumstance. With that comes the challenge of managing workloads across multiple clouds. As a result, we will see an increased spend on governance and cybersecurity initiatives."
Learn more about embracing the complexities of multi-cloud and edge computing and hear from Mark, Daniel, and Danny as part of our first-panel discussion.