It was, of course, already beginning to happen: the need to access applications, services and data from both inside and outside of the office. The intervention of COVID-19 meant that accessing the company’s IT resources remotely went from business useful to business critical.
Fifty years in two paragraphs
The first computers were so large that their operators sat “inside them” as the vast cabinets filled rooms and furniture was slotted into the remaining space. Over the following years these vast machines shrank yet remained confined to computer rooms (purpose built and environmentally controlled). Indeed some, like the early Cray super-computers “became” furniture as they were surrounded by a bench seat (that housed power supplies and cooling pumps).
Specialised computer rooms gave way to ever smaller, ever more powerful office-friendly servers until eventually even the need to have applications and hardware inhouse became optional; initially through off-site, hosted computer systems and now with the option of (almost everything) being available as a cloud-based service or provision.
The sudden change
This steady evolution became a sudden revolution for many almost overnight as offices became inaccessible and working from home a necessity.
The good news is that the technology to make it happen, to make it work and to keep it secure exists. However, most companies did not have all the technology that was needed (and much of what was available disappeared off the shelves in weeks). Many compromises had to be made in order to get things done and so the solutions put in place by many businesses were rushed expediently rather than planned strategically. Sooner or later, and preferably sooner, such compromises need to be revisited and reassessed; the temporary fixes and connectivity workarounds need to be configured robustly and all matters relating to security and best practice properly nailed down.
The technology cocktail
The information technology used by almost all organisations is now truly hybrid; a dynamic mix of owned, leased, subscribed, hosted, on-premise, cloud, desktop and mobile. This approach is flexible, agile and highly capable; hybrid solutions can be designed to fit current requirements and altered as and when those requirements change, or a new solution component is preferred.
NOW IS THE TIME TO REASSESS WHAT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY YOUR ORGANISATION NEEDS, HOW IT SHOULD BE MANAGED AND THE MEANS BY WHICH IT SHOULD BE ACCESSED.
- • RESOURCES
What do you need? The software, services, network, servers, laptops and desktops that support your business.
- • RESIDENCE
Where should those resources be based? On your own premises, hosted by a third party, in the “cloud” or travelling with the user.
- • RELIABILITY
Which applications and services are vital and must always be available?
- • RESILIENCE
How robust are your system and data defences? Is your data, and access to your data, strictly controlled and adequately protected?
- • RECOVERABILITY
What’s your Plan B? How would you recover your data or quickly replace a user’s mobile device? How would you recover a file deleted six months ago and now needed?
We have already reengineered and reorganised our own IT, data and voice systems in very short order. We have helped many of our customers change both where and how they work by efficiently deploying tailored hybrid solutions that enable them to continue working.