The McKinsey Global Survey indicates that IT modernization is already well on its way worldwide. The longer companies wait, the more challenging it will be for them to minimize the technology gap in the future. Digital transformation takes months, sometimes years, because it comprises many steps, including creating new or enhancing current IT architecture. Companies will have to transform cybersecurity practices, modernize infrastructure, redesign their IT operational model, and, most likely, transform vendor management. Retraining the workforce and talent management are other critical issues for digital transformation.
This trend is also relevant to the utility industry. Some companies are making multi-year strategic plans to develop new successful IT strategies, while others maintain a typical reactive approach where IT departments work more like firefighters to resolve issues rather than focus on strategic goals. The former group will continue to make significant progress in their digital moves, the latter will fall further behind, and the gap will get wider every year.
Mass migration to the cloud
Companies have been adopting cloud technologies, and last year, the migration rate from legacy software to cloud platforms increased significantly, reports McKinsey. According to its Global Survey, “thirty-six percent of respondents say their companies accelerated the migration to cloud technologies during the pandemic, and eighty-six percent of them expect this acceleration to persist post-pandemic. [...] fully half of the respondents say their companies are planning either large- or full-scale cloud transformations within the next two years.”
Why is the cloud so significant? There is a simple explanation. Cloud computing allows businesses to optimize technology costs, scale operations, and have maximum flexibility. Plus, when IT solutions are in the cloud, it is much faster to deploy new technologies. What used to take weeks can be done in a couple of hours with the cloud.
The Fieldman is a cloud-based platform that allows us to offer clients a three-week project deployment. Cloud-based architecture provides unique flexibility. For example, Fieldman can modify workflow, make adjustments at any stage of the utility field project or mix and match hardware in the field. No legacy software has such speed and ability.
Cyber security urgency
Cyberattacks have been a critical issue for several years now. At Fieldman, we always keep cyber threats in mind, and one of our first blog posts was about the steps companies should take to prepare for a ransomware attack.
The COVID-19 pandemic and temporary government restrictions have made the situation even more challenging for IT professionals since the number of hybrid and remote setups has grown. This wave of remoted workers had increased the attack surface that continues to be exploited. Fortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is practically over, but remote workers will not disappear; people are enjoying their new work practices and lifestyles.
In 2021, companies with mature IT modules were expanding efforts in cybersecurity modification, informs McKinsey. “Respondents report a significant increase in cybersecurity transformations at their companies at sixty-two percent, up from forty-five percent previously, followed by infrastructure and architecture transformations. A sizable share of respondents says their companies are pursuing several of these key transformations in parallel, which helps ensure their interdependencies are understood and addressed. Forty-two percent report both cyber and infrastructure transformations, while forty percent report both infrastructure and architecture transformations.”
The outcome of the McKinsey survey suggests the need for companies’ technology to be dynamic and responsive to the changing needs of the business will only continue to grow. Companies that don’t already have a strong technology foundation are poised to fall even further behind.
Of course, utilities and vendors are busy with daily operations, bidding for new projects, and dealing with supply chain disruptions. Unfortunately, all businesses experience a lack of resources, and there are never enough work hours, financial investments, or motivated employees. But as an IT professional bureau, we are afraid that today’s companies do not have a choice. Only those who can think strategically and invest in digital transformation will continue to grow in the nearest future.