The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to light problems that companies only knew existed four months ago. And many of them are learning hard lessons from this crisis.
Businesses are slowly resuming operations and at some point things will return to normal … hopefully. The health crisis has shown that some companies are doing better than others. And nine times out of ten, it is thanks to the cloud that they have been able to adapt to the rapid changes imposed by the pandemic. But many other companies have learned hard lessons from this epidemic. And it will be useful for the other crises to come, undoubtedly inevitable. In the past four months, more than in the previous two years, they have been able to measure the advantages of the cloud, but also its limits. These are the three most significant and regularly mentioned lessons:
The cloud is more important than we thought. Many companies have adopted the cloud to run their operations after the fact, often even after their deployment. While most IT companies have given the cloud some attention, reduced budgets and a general lack of understanding have not fostered best practices or the use of technology. During the pandemic, employees were sent home to work remotely. The increasing use of public cloud providers and the very high demand for remote, also geographically dispersed, workers to access systems hosted in the cloud have highlighted the need for operational tools and skills. While self-healing capabilities have proven to be critical in solving cloud scaling operations, companies lacked the tools to automate self-healing processes, and / or skills to implement them.
APIs are missing
Businesses should implement API strategies as soon as possible. Data integration, which has always been welcome, has become imperative in a period of rapid change. In addition, businesses must share services that are able to link behavior to data. These two problems are solved by exploiting well-secured and well-managed APIs. Some systems have APIs, such as those provided by SaaS providers. However, for the majority of custom cloud-based business applications, there is simply no API providing access to system data and services. Consequently, integrations must use unique processes that will not be able to adapt to new business needs in the context of the pandemic.
Extending cloud security to remote workers is more difficult than previously thought. This is the other lesson from the crisis. Even though cloud security teams were already taking care of some remote workers, companies quickly discovered that the home network that employees connected to had nothing to do with the corporate network. Problems with VPN, virtual private clouds, encryption and legal compliance around data suddenly emerged, as cloud security began to suffer from certain vulnerabilities, following the remote work of the majority of staff. Security teams were simply unprepared for such a situation. They worked quickly to establish new policies, trainings and take advantage of better technologies. The reality is that, for most companies, the risk of a violation has gone from 0.0001% to 0.2% in a matter of weeks.
If we want to be positive, we can say that we will probably be better cloud users and that we will be better at implementing them when the crisis is behind us. Ultimately, as long as we are able to learn from our mistakes, everything will be fine.