Uncertainty breeds innovation. Now is the time to modernize

BrandPost By Saad Ouchkir, Head of Google Cloud Customer Engineering in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.
Dec 02, 2020
IT Leadership

Both business continuity and future success hinge on how organizations take advantage of technology today.

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Credit: getty

It’s been said so much that it feels trite, but we are living in truly extraordinary times. Around the globe, people are working to protect public and economic health, shifting how businesses and societies operate in the attempt to navigate a rapidly changing world. The coronavirus pandemic is impacting almost every individual and organization on the planet.

This is also the first global pandemic that has taken place in the cloud era. We are seeing the impact that technology can have in providing resilience in the face of uncertainty, from tracking and allocating resources like ICU beds and delivering critical government services like child welfare, to shifting manufacturing lines to produce ventilators and masks.

The speed at which these shifts are taking place is astounding. For example, New York state experienced unprecedented digital traffic for web-based unemployment services as a result of Covid-19, and Google Cloud helped them scale to meet this demand in just over 48 hours. Yahoo Finance shifted overnight to delivering eight hours of live broadcast remotely, while entire global workforces pivoted to remote work in a matter of days. We saw shifts that, under normal circumstances, likely would have taken years.

As a result of the pandemic, we are seeing the acceleration of some trends, and the emergence of others. Many rely on a migration to the cloud to provide flexibility, pivot quickly, and optimize costs—as illustrated by the rapid growth in video conferencing, telemedicine, and digital banking. Technology is playing an important role in Covid-19 contact tracing and exposure notifications, medical research, and mechanisms to help businesses weather the storm, and emerge stronger than before.

Uncertainty tends to breed innovation. As we saw during the last recession, those who invest through a downturn position themselves best for the future. The influential companies of the next decade and beyond are being determined now, and those that reimagine their business with the most effective use of technological innovation will be the ones to succeed. The cloud provides an opportunity to both innovate and scale, while optimizing costs.

The most successful organizations will use this time to evaluate their lines of business, optimize and reimagine their operations, and take advantage of technology in order to tackle new markets and scale. To meet such new challenges, our strategic partner Intel pledged an additional $50 million in a pandemic response technology initiative to combat the coronavirus through accelerating access to technology at the point of patient care, speeding scientific research and ensuring access to online learning for students.

It’s too late for incremental change; now is the time to modernize. And similarly, we’ll see many new challengers emerge during this time. Digital natives are less encumbered by legacy IT systems and technical debt, and it’s easier now more than ever to start a company. Many iconic companies were founded during times of adversity. Now will be no different.

Google, Google Cloud and Intel have a strong reputation for innovation. We’re partnering with organizations to provide a platform for success. At Google Cloud, customers have access to leading cloud technology like Anthos to manage their hybrid and multi-cloud environments, and the leading machine learning framework in TensorFlow Enterprise. Embedding such AI frameworks into our solutions allow us to create near real-time performance for the most demanding workloads and are being supported by our latest Intel instances.

Using today’s most advanced tech—from databases, storage, and analytics solutions, to things like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and ambient computing—let’s build the future together.

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