#StayHomeStaySafe: Why Cloud Makes Sense When It’s Closer to Home
Australian’s are once again getting ready to pivot their ways of working with many offices planning a socially distanced, partial return to the office.
Some of us already had flexible work arrangements and remote access systems, but only for some people, some of the time. Before Coronavirus, 71 percent of Australian businesses had a flexible workspace policy, though only 53 percent took that to mean letting staff choose where they worked from.
In the midst of the pandemic, we found ourselves enabling most – if not all – staff to work remotely all of the time. IAG had 97-plus percent of staff at home; ANZ Banking Group 90 percent; Macquarie Group over 98 percent; Westpac around 85 percent – and the list goes on.
IT teams overcame enormous challenges to achieve this. We saw what would otherwise have been years of digital transformation work condensed into a matter of weeks, just to keep businesses functioning and online.
The question is: where to from here? Forward-thinking business leaders know we won’t return to all of our pre-pandemic ways.
Early numbers reflect this new reality:
- LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index found 63 percent of Australian professionals to be “confident they will continue to be offered [remote work] opportunities in the future.”
- An internal survey by NAB found 80 percent of staff currently working from home ”want to continue to have the flexibility to work remotely in the future.”
- Almost half of Australian small businesses will now make remote work their new ‘normal’ (Zoho).
It’s clear: organisations are listening. A ‘happier medium’ in our ways of working is emerging.
The era of Hybrid Working is here.
It’s time to step back, look at what we’ve learned and make choices about what’s important to us.
You might be heading back to the office but your cloud should stay at home.
Cloud came into its own in this crisis. It helped people meet, stay connected, and to securely access corporate applications. More than half of organisations say their cloud use will be higher than originally planned this year due to the pandemic.
It also highlighted the importance of using Sovereign Cloud services
A Sovereign Cloud not only resides locally in Australia but is also owned, governed and managed locally, with controls in place to ensure customer, operational and management data is not accessible from outside Australia. Clouds that are run or operated by non-Australians from offshore, even though an availability zone may exist in Australia, are not considered a Sovereign Cloud, nor are clouds that are ultimately owned by non-Australian companies.
So why choose a Sovereign Cloud to address post-coronavirus challenges and navigate future ways of working?
There are a few key reasons:
Insurance to operate.
COVID-19 challenged – and changed – our reliance on globalisation.
Early in the crisis, the hardest-hit businesses were those with systems and functions located offshore, where local laws and lockdowns prevented staff from getting to work. Faced with immediate capacity losses, Australian companies scrambled to set up or scale up domestic operations to cover the shortfall.
Globalisation won’t be viewed in the same light again. Having self-contained functions and systems in Australia, closer to users, is now a big advantage. It’s also an insurance policy against things that happen outside our borders – and therefore outside of our control.
As businesses moved everyone to remote work arrangements, latency became everything. Capacity control outside of the corporate environment is much harder to establish and maintain. When everyone is remote, there are a lot more variables in the end-to-end connection. Performance monitoring and bandwidth optimisation can only achieve so much.
This underlines the importance of performant cloud services out-of-the-box. Again, it makes sense to run in a cloud that is as close to end-users as possible.
Securing the future.
Business leaders are sold on the cloud because it works in times of crisis. This also means important security conversations about running in the cloud are now being had. Many services in the crisis were temporarily free. Many are also likely to be short-term responses to ongoing operating challenges.
Some of these crisis workarounds might not add upon review and may need to be replaced with more secure alternatives. Choosing services that reside in Australia means they meet a high bar for security and privacy by default.
Talk to Macquarie Cloud Services.
Here at Macquarie Cloud Services, we’ve embraced Hybrid Working. We also know that uncertain times can be challenging not only managing current demands but readying for increased cloud demands.
This crisis has shown the resilience of businesses to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. As businesses bed down changes and make new ways of working permanent, it makes sense to choose the most performant, secure cloud services available to support this shift.