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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News & Articles

August 19, 2020 |

Navigating the Post-COVID Cloud

The novel coronavirus has fundamentally changed the way businesses operate. Cloud computing is at the center of this shift.

COVID-19 has made one thing abundantly clear: Business as usual isn’t possible. As social distancing measures have taken shape and work-from-home policies have gone mainstream, cloud computing has emerged as an indispensable tool, fueling demand for online desktops, videoconferencing services, and workload migration projects. It’s a trend that isn’t likely to abate anytime soon, and cloud-assisted remote work could very well become a permanent part of the business landscape.

“”There’s a growing recognition that organizations can and must operate differently going forward,”” observes Jeffrey Kaplan, managing director of THINKstrategies, a strategic business and IT consulting firm.

Jeffrey Kaplan

Operating differently doesn’t just mean a heavier use of clouds, however, says Michael Goldstein, president of technology consulting firm LAN Infotech, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rather, he stresses, it’s also about a more strategic use of the technology and the way it impacts everything from the devices workers use to the software that connects people and fuels e-commerce.

“”We’re entering a new era of business and clouds,”” Goldstein says.

As a result, channel pros must work with their clients to raise their digital readiness, he adds. “”While some businesses have been on the vanguard, many have adopted a lackadaisical attitude and fallen behind the adoption curve. They are now being forced to face a new reality and rethink things about business operations and continuity.””

Helping Businesses Make the Shift

A starting point for this new era is to understand that consumers have different expectations as a result of COVID-19, particularly surrounding safety, and businesses must address these needs. This has repercussions for remote workers, supply chains, and e-commerce, Kaplan says. Moreover, many of these changes will persist even after the pandemic ends. An April 2020 Gartner CFO survey reveals that 74% of respondents intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.

“”Many organizations will need … cloud-based services to give them maximum flexibility,”” Kaplan says. Bandwidth to support Zoom and WebEx meetings is just the start. Organizations must now support remote teams—or an entire remote workforce.

Doing so requires a coherent strategy. Otherwise, employees may wind up using personal accounts for email, Dropbox, and Evernote to get their work done. This introduces massive inefficiencies and security risks.

To help their SMB customers safely and effectively navigate a post-pandemic business world, channel pros should focus on a few key issues. One is directing clients to platforms that support a broad array of functions for communication and collaboration. This may mean consolidating various functions on Microsoft 365 and Teams or G Suite (both of which have seen adoption spike as the pandemic took hold), but it also extends to other cloud functions and services that deliver bandwidth and more advanced functionality, such as analytics and machine learning.

Consolidating systems, to the extent possible, has secondary benefits, Goldstein explains. It often makes it easier and less costly to adapt to ongoing changes. In addition, it can simplify security and compliance. Says Goldstein: “”It’s essential to create a more uniform environment across a workforce and have systems in place that support collaboration along with the customer experience.””

At the same time, it’s necessary to understand legacy applications and services, and how to integrate them into a cloud-centric world. Some organizations may need to make changes to existing software and systems. In other cases, a channel pro may confront the unpleasant reality that a legacy system is mission critical and cannot be updated or changed to a cloud system—at least not for a while. It’s crucial to sort through cost issues but also keep an eye on the value of more advanced systems and capabilities that support digital processes—and transformation.

Sorting through these and other issues will be where channel pros can provide critical guidance for customers as they migrate to the cloud, while helping to position them to do business in the next normal.

Image: iStock


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