Following the much-postponed Digital Construction Week 2021 and with the prospect of facing the surge of Omicron in the New Year, Thomas Lindner, Associate Director of Consulting Services at Nittygritty, reflects on what has changed and what will never change when enabling creative companies with technology and what you should consider in 2022 to avoid ‘letting a good crisis go to waste’ by taking full advantage of what becoming cloud-native has to offer.
As technology optimists, we have had our heads in the cloud for over a decade with Nittygritty running serverless and cloud-native for over a decade. Ever since, we have been persuading our customers to follow us in adopting collaborative ways of working by reviewing their need for information technology infrastructure on premise. As a managed service provider of almost 20 years, we are equally committed to serving the designing, engineering, constructing and operating industries, regardless of where they choose to host their company data. Keeping your company data safe, providing an increasingly proactive support service, and achieving productivity gains by managing business information better remains and always will remain at the heart of what we do, irrespective of latest technological developments.
Digital Construction Week 2021, a focal point in the calendar for those driving digital transformation in construction, was postponed by 6 months due to ongoing disruptions from Covid-19. Despite this delay, the world of cloud-native ways of working accelerated at unprecedented speed. Not because of our power of persuasion, but because of significance change of circumstances: digital transformation by force majeure. What was indeed truly fortunate was that the technology necessary to support the change so the forced change of working culture was relatively easy to deploy. If a global pandemic had struck only 5 years earlier, the ramifications would have been far greater with internet connectivity, video conferencing and remote accessing technologies being far less advanced, if existing at all. Considering these silver linings, what has changed and what is here to stay? Firstly, gone are the days when we must explain the advantages of a more digitally connected workforce where there is ease in accessing shared data set from anywhere allowing for better accommodation to the variety of domestic and professional scenarios. Secondly, the hybrid workplace has not only saved the day throughout the global pandemic and kept us productive, it also has proven its intrinsic value contrary to fixed assumptions derived from the industrial age, when productivity could only ever be guaranteed when one arranged one’s office to resemble a factory assembly line. And finally, at last, the workplace caught up with the technology already present in our personal lives, where streaming services (Spotify, Netflix), video chatting (Skype, WhatsApp) and online communities (Facebook, Minecraft) have already become common place. Not because it wanted to, but because suddenly had to.
Despite the personal and professional hardship, compounding with the never-ending news cycle of yet-another-variant of the latest calamity, what stances and approaches do we believe are the most likely to win over others? What other opportunities can be found that this global pandemic has sparked? If you have embarked on your cloud migration, then consider doubling down on it by reviewing your working processes and company structures to become leaner and more efficient. Avoid copying and pasting the old folder structures into the cloud and explore different approaches to allow for working more efficiently. There are cloud-native ways of working which only deliver business improvement when culture change is a natural part of the digital transformation process. If you find yourself with a raft of modern SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions whether it be for brain storming, mind mapping, task management, resource management, or video conferencing then take a step back and review your technology stack and combine tools, which may otherwise be doubling up and costing you unnecessarily. Software has already overtaken hardware to become the biggest technology expense and it is worth the effort to consolidate and optimise what you already have at your disposal to achieve better outcomes. If you have arrived in the new world of external sharing and super teams with a raft of external members working on your company-own systems, it is important to remember that your company data is no longer protected by a firewall surrounding your office on-prem infrastructure. Instead realise that your business information is only as safe as the most compromised individual and their respective endpoint devices. Cybersecurity always becomes top priority once you recover from a significant breach, not too dissimilar to the need to maintain social distancing once you fell ill with a viral infection.