When it comes to technology, many business leaders may be change-averse, budget-conscious and hesitant to explore new ways to keep business running or even spur growth. This is often especially true for non-technology companies. But in today’s world of digital transformation, every company is a technology company, or soon will be, in one way or another.

With the onset of COVID-19, we’ve seen countless businesses and industries struggle with new challenges. Many companies were able to pivot – providing alternate or additional services and products – and flourish. Others haven’t been as fortunate. The pandemic has shone a light on the need for companies to be able to adapt – and do it quickly. This is where the cloud comes in.

Concerningly, many IT professionals don’t think their company’s IT infrastructures are mature enough to support a major pivot. According to the 2021 InfoTech Trends Report, only 6.4 percent of IT professionals say IT is ready to help their organization transform, and only 14 percent expect that IT can help their organization expand. As it stands, most companies are utilizing IT as a way to keep business going as usual, but IT can be a catalyst for change when the modern approach is implemented. Companies must identify and close the gaps within their current IT infrastructures in order to plan for and achieve future success.

There’s no single checklist that ensures a company can successfully withstand any natural disaster, pandemic or other crisis, but answering these questions is a great place to start when evaluating your existing IT infrastructures and considering possible shortcomings:

  1. Have you taken steps to future-proof your operation?
  2. Do your critical systems provide the flexibility you would need to pivot quickly?
  3. Are you positioned to offer new services or products digitally?

The cloud has incredible benefits for companies that may need to adapt over time. Pandemic or not, every company will reach a point where they may need to adapt. A modern application development approach can provide the ability to be responsive to a changing market with quick delivery of products or services. It can also allow companies to try something like entering an emerging market, and see if it works right away. Being able to fail fast is a benefit because it costs less.

There are many benefits to a modern approach to application development. Though the time and resources invested into updating old systems or starting from scratch may be daunting, they are necessary. Having a modern application development approach – or an approach that enables swift innovation through cloud-native architectures – has been proven to be integral in helping businesses survive and thrive during turbulent market changes or during business as usual.

A balanced, modern cloud solution should effectively enable:

  • Speed, releasing high-quality code to the market as fast as possible with everything being automated to increase velocity, quality and predictability
  • Reliability, with secure cloud tenants to host mission-critical applications
  • Flexibility, allowing for fast growth opportunities
  • Savings, lowering overall operating costs

While many business leaders believe we’ve been in the digital age for many years and assume their IT infrastructures have been modernized, most still aren’t. And despite the fact that digital products are the future, many still aren’t on the cloud. According to 2021 IDC FutureScape Predictions, net-new production-grade cloud-native apps will increase to 70 percent of all apps in 2024. In 2020, that number was only 10 percent. The opportunity to spawn growth with the help of IT is largely underestimated.

Whether it’s building a custom, new cloud-native application or modernizing a complex, legacy system, look for a provider that offers all the tactics needed to modernize – cloud architecture, cloud-native application development and DevOps. Whatever you do, don’t wait any longer! At a minimum, seize the opportunity to re-evaluate your strategic IT plan by identifying specific business cases that favor modernization and business resiliency.

The Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Will you be prepared?

Chris Konow is the Chief Operating Officer at CleanSlate Technology Group, an Indianapolis-based IT consultancy uniquely equipped to build new cloud-native applications and modernize complex legacy applications.

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