In recent months, we’ve seen a massive organizational shift toward a remote workplace due to COVID-19. With employees being driven to their organization’s remote infrastructure to continue their day-to-day tasks, having the proper infrastructure in place can truly make or break a company’s ability to survive.

The sudden and rapid shift to remote is a case study in preparation: organizations with customer and employee-centric infrastructure were able to successfully adapt to their new, forced environment, while many other organizations with legacy infrastructure or lagging business continuity plans scrambled to adjust. This demonstrates that it has never been more critical for organizations to implement solid infrastructure across the entire spectrum, from cloud and on-premise data centres, to hardware and bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) and with network security layered throughout.

Infrastructure is a major driver in keeping a company moving. If employees aren’t able to have instant access to files or work from secure networks, bottom lines are impacted. As the importance of infrastructure rises – especially in remote scenarios – so too does the role of IT in implementing technology that meets business need and that today’s tech-savvy users expect.

In an increasingly digital and ever-evolving landscape, here are some trends we are seeing around infrastructure today:

Flexibility and agility are key to business continuity

As a company’s most critical operations revolve around technology, it’s imperative that the necessary infrastructure is in place to support dynamic workloads and organizational needs. It’s equally important that infrastructure is agile and able to adapt to accommodate unforeseen circumstances rather than remain static. COVID-19 has unfortunately demonstrated that the reluctance to upgrade resources in a timely fashion, compounded by a tendency to implement the least expensive solution, can be detrimental to business continuity.

As users become more technologically-savvy, the expectation of user-friendly infrastructure rises

The modern employee has likely been using technology outside of the workplace for quite some time, and expectations have already been set by the best-designed, easiest-to-consume services of everyday life. This means organizations are now competing with the ease of use of these services and applications while still needing to provide security for critical business data. Infrastructure that can eliminate additional login screens, solve latency issues and automate the provisioning of a service – while also maintaining data security – will set organizations up for success moving forward.

A hybrid approach of data centres and cloud storage is driving the future of infrastructure

Data centre managers face the challenge of needing a budget-friendly storage capacity with flexibility for future workloads as well as analytics, security, compliance and business continuity. A hybrid cloud solution provides an innovative approach to meet these demands by leveraging both cloud and on-premise storage solutions. This offers a more strategic approach to high-volume data management for organizations because the data storage is flexible, scalable and always available. Where VPNs or strictly on-premise data storage solutions are susceptible to outages caused by natural disasters and hardware failures, hybrid cloud storage is unaffected by these problems.

Network security should fit into every equation

The forced remote environment has allowed network security to show its mettle in facilitating organizational infrastructure – or highlight gaps where attention is sorely needed. When it comes to cloud and hybrid environments, many organizations remain unaware of the shared role that IT departments and cloud services providers play in data protection controls. Although SaaS applications and public cloud for workloads have been widely implemented, these environments remain among the least secure. In addition, cloud security training is less comprehensive than in any other security training area. These are critical vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited.

Now more than ever, organizations must build IT environments that are agile, manageable and future-proofed while keeping costs down and operations running smoothly. The key is having a solutions provider to help transform IT infrastructure into a strategic business driver, so organizations can stay focused on long-term, innovative projects rather than day-to-day operations.

To learn more about how CDW Canada can provide you with the tools and expertise to assess your current IT infrastructure, help you plan your move to the cloud or manage your on-premise and cloud-based infrastructure, visit cdw.ca/datacentre.

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