Mastering Relationships Leads to Cloud Success

BrandPost By NTT
Mar 02, 2022
Cloud Management

The biggest obstacle for executives is not comprehending and leveraging various cloud infrastructures, but truly understanding their users and customers, and embracing differences for people across diverse geographies.

Woman on Virtual Conference call
Credit: NTT

By Hugues Treguier

Pre-pandemic, remote work skeptics feared that their workforce would not be able to do all work securely and efficiently. Enterprise IT, security teams, and executives have since learned that – in most use cases – sensitive data can be entrusted to the cloud and that workers are able to function at full capacity from anywhere.

The resistance to the entire remote movement was mostly a predilection for traditional in-person work styles, but full deployments showed that workers may perform as well or better when freed from the constraints of corporate headquarter office locations. 

On-prem vs. the cloud misconceptions

Upon review of the outcomes of these full deployments, it is the cloud results that are the most impressive. When the pandemic forced full or almost-full remote operations for enterprises, the move to the cloud—which had been growing gradually for many years—immediately soared. This wasn’t because of a realization of the benefits of the cloud or a dilution of their cloud security and cost fears, but it was a simple pragmatic acknowledgment that the emergency required far more cloud. The sharp cutback in on-prem operations, which was forced due to the lack of personnel to manage on-site systems, was just one of several critical cloud drivers, back in March 2020.

That change made it obvious to IT and Security leaders that their cloud fears were flawed and that migrating to the cloud provided scalability, flexibility, and security in a way that on-prem simply could not. 

The biggest obstacle for most enterprise executives is not understanding and leveraging the various cloud infrastructures, but truly understanding their users and customers/clients, and embracing the differences for those people across different geographies. In short, the issue involves how people in different roles, different cultures, and different countries are consuming various enterprise services. 

Understanding your users and the impact of the change

A good example can be found in Japan, where users and business customers interact with phones very differently than, for instance, the United States. U.S. businesses are used to almost every user and customer having one phone, and that phone is likely on or near that person at all times. Messages can be focused directly on an individual.

But in many Japanese businesses, there is often one phone at the end of a row of desks. In those situations, only select individuals have a fixed phone number. These elements need to be factored into every IT and Security decision, and any global deployment of a new cloud calling capabilities.

Users, regardless of region, want a homogenous and consistent experience wherever they work. That means whether a user is at a corporate location working from a desktop, a home location using a laptop, or a road warrior who is likely to rely on a mobile device–these interactions must be the same. This continuity boosts productivity, cuts down on training costs, reduces user downtime when the users move from one location to another, increases security (users know what to expect, which means they can more easily spot deviations/anomalies), and can simply enjoy work more. Users want to get their work done quickly, yet efficiently. The less time they have to spend thinking about how to access a folder, the better.

Understanding your cloud environment and the impact of change

This brings us back to the cloud infrastructure issue mentioned above. The kind of EX consistency that users expect requires backend configuration and customization to make any device using Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, or any of a dozen other operating systems operate the same way. 

To do this properly when there is a major cloud component requires tracking and coordinating of three constantly changing environments–both now and especially in the near- and long-term future: 

  1. The configuration and customization of all cloud environments, to access the features and functionality most effective for your specific enterprise situation. Critically, this includes a detailed understanding of the future of each cloud environment, and how users of different roles will use each workload.
  2. The security and IT environment of your enterprise, including what is in place today and what they expect to be in place in a year. That must also include any planned corporate changes, such as M&A or shutting down/selling existing business units. Any acquisition/shutdown can drive changes not only in security, but also compliance (as the company enters or exits within different verticals or geographies). It can mean inheriting homegrown or other legacy systems from an acquired company, which may or may not easily integrate with the enterprise’s current cloud environments.
  3. The security landscapes/IT elements of every partner (distributors, suppliers, contractors, supply chain partners, large customers, etc.) who need deep network access. This includes the same future-proof considerations.

The default settings from most large cloud environments are basic. Though they might be adequate (just barely) for very small businesses, enterprises need extensive configuration changes. The cloud platforms, however, change every day so this can become a continuous and complicated task.

This is one of the reasons mastering cloud relationships is such a top priority to NTT. Organizations partner with us to remove transformation risks and provide achievable plans across multiple vendors and providers as a single point of contact. We successfully fulfill the enterprise migration, as well as provide ongoing support to keep everything efficient, smooth, scalable, secure, and compliant. For more information on how NTT can align transformation projects to your workplace strategy, contact us here.