Have you started walking down your local high street counting ‘for rent’ signs, and wondering which businesses will soon be back to serving customers? Have you begun thinking about the practical elements of how your own specific team is going to return to the office? Is your inbox full of cold emails, guaranteeing support with ‘the new normal’? These are all signs of the same thing. In the words of McKinsey Research, the mindset of the world is shifting “from resilience to return.” While resilience is all about shoring up and getting through the crisis, including focusing on issues such as cash management, or difficult decisions regarding employment, the return phase is about turning that corner. To make the return phase of the pandemic effective, McKinsey argue that companies need “an enterprise-wide ability to absorb uncertainty and incorporate lessons into the operating model quickly.”
But, Where are These ‘Lessons’ Coming From?
To make this happen, businesses must emulate the most resilient model of all, one where despite the worldwide tragedy, growth is being forecasted instead of depreciation. According to Gartner, while IT spending in general is set to take an 8% drop year-over-year, cloud services are on track to grow 19%. SaaS businesses don’t need telling about the benefits of relying on the cloud for power, performance and speed. But now it’s time to take that logic even further, broadening the use of virtualization and the cloud to previously physical elements of your organization such as virtual training, sales enablement, demos and POCs. Here are three reasons why.
Transferring Infrastructure Costs
There is no doubt that the decoupling of hardware and software has made business more agile over the past few years, and in many ways has removed the reliance on physical infrastructure. Despite this reality, many organizations still don’t have a solution for replicating more complex virtual environments anywhere, which stopped business in its tracks when COVID-19 attacked. With a cloud-based virtual labs solution, infrastructure cost for a whole new area of the business can be checked off the organizational to-do list. This provides a way to pivot quickly away from roadmaps for legacy updates (too costly and time consuming for the current business paradigm) to on-demand provisioning for advanced networking – real-world scenarios that mimic production networks in granular detail.
Realizing True Time to Value
In many ways, the world hit the pause button when the coronavirus hit the headlines. Now that global lockdown restrictions are starting to lift, the pace of change can feel frustratingly slow. The word ‘cloud’ has always been synonymous with speed, and if you’re being held back by social distancing measures, travel restrictions and office politics, remember that on the cloud, business is running as usual. Adopting more cloud infrastructure services now also means that you have your finger poised on the ‘go’ button when the economy starts to recover in earnest, and are best placed to serve the needs of your customers and their customers in turn. Not only is your customer service ready for any request from potential buyers in need of a quick solution right now, but you’re also available and in great shape for the inevitable ramp up when it happens, whatever that might look like. After all, on the cloud – it all looks the same.
So that’s how to take cloud lessons to heart. But what does the second part of the McKinsey advice, to “absorb uncertainty” really mean in practice? In part, it means that your organization, and the people within, have a whole lot of fear right now. Intelligence and innovation are a great route to calming that fear, and showing your employees that you’ve adapted to the post-pandemic world. You won’t find smart solutions in greater measure anywhere other than the cloud, with flexible business models and unbeatable scale enabling organizations to forge ahead with new ways of working. Dramatic layoffs or furlough agreements have changed the make-up of many office environments, and customers and employees alike are tentative about the future of the organizations that they rely on. The opposite of uncertainty in this case is growth. Signing agreements with new customers, meeting sales targets against all odds, providing training to reassure staff that they are part of the future of the company – these are goals to put high on your post-COVID-19 roadmap. Making them happen might sound easier said than done, but strong virtual training labs environments on the cloud can meet each of these goals, and all while your competition is still tying up its laces.
It’s Time to Get on the Train – this Journey is Already Beginning
Here at CloudShare we ourselves saw 31% year on year growth at the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic, showing that remote virtual training labs are already supporting businesses in becoming more resilient against the impact. As we move into the recovery stage, we predict that this is just the start, and that organizations will continue to look for ways to remotely support growth, contributing to the expansion of cloud services throughout the business world.
If your current plan is to wait around for training and sales enablement to return to the pre-Coronavirus reality, ask yourself – is your competition being that patient?
For more information, or to schedule a demo – reach out to one of our virtualization experts.