Empowering enterprises in the COVID-19 era and beyond
Adjusting and thriving in the new realm of business
In what felt like no time at all, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down global economies, creating ripples we’ll likely feel well into 2021. Across industries, companies are dealing with trade and travel restrictions, supply shortages, liquidity crunches, work-from-home orders, and more.
Although global supply chains face disruptions due to these reasons, this is the first event that’s hit IT services with such intensity. In fact, the IMF is calling this the “worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” estimating a loss of $9 trillion for global GDP.
The situation looks bleak, but there may be a silver lining — the cloud. CXOs will look to the cloud more seriously than before — to support business continuity, new ways of doing business, and workforce enablement while reducing risk to their operations.
The cloud as a game changer in the post-COVID era: The 5 affected areas
The global lockdown has fast-tracked digital adoption across industries, making the cloud an essential technology. It meets today’s requirements for anytime/anywhere access at scale, shifting how businesses think about their future.
In fact, we've observed five areas where the cloud can provide immediate benefits, and we've been working in conjunction with our hyperscaler partners to help our clients transform the way they work in each of these five areas:
1. New ways of working
With lockdowns and social distancing in place, remote work has become the new normal overnight. This change has created two challenges for companies: keeping employees productive and customers engaged.
Talent management and workforce productivity
C-suite executives are collaborating to help employees work from home safely and productively while keeping information secure. Doing this requires cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools, as well as other employee-facing technologies and security products.
Microsoft alone has reported a massive 775% increase in the use of its cloud services, and Microsoft Teams now has more than 44 million daily users. Going forward, tech-enabled operating models that support virtual/flexible work will be integral not only for delivery, but also for all functions of organizations and their clients.
Talent acquisition and onboarding have also shifted amid these changes. To get critical projects moving quickly, platforms like Topcoder — with its 10 million-strong community — can help companies find talent and deploy them using a crowdsourced model. Wipro’s Talent as a Service (TaaS) offering is also available to help enterprises implement remote collaboration and develop new ways of getting digital work done.
Digital contact centers
Almost 90% of companies depend on on-premise call centers for customer engagement. Simultaneously, companies offering travel, financial services, and more are experiencing massive call volume increases they can’t handle. For example, travelers calling a Canadian airline experienced wait times reaching 10 hours.
COVID-19 is a wake-up call for companies avoiding digital contact center solutions. The future of AI-supported, digitally optimized contact centers with cloud-based communication suddenly feels like much more of a current reality.
2. The great shift: From physical to digital
Our inability to interact with customers in person has caused several industries to rethink their business models, basing them on the cloud. Industries such as education and healthcare have quickly adopted cloud-based digital channels to continue delivering their services.
For example, Teladoc — a telemedicine company based in the U.S. — has seen a 50% surge in demand in just a week. Similarly, the adoption of EdTech is booming with a surge in demand for videoconferencing tools. Now is a great time for businesses to reimagine their services digitally so they can thrive in the new normal.
3. Supply chain disruption
Lockdown and transportation restrictions have quickly revealed the vulnerabilities of our global supply chain. Following this crisis, it’s expected that companies will revise their sourcing strategies, seeking alternate arrangements that reduce their reliance on specific supply networks. The World Economic Forum has called for “end-to-end solutions across multiple supply eco-systems.”
The technology to create these ecosystems already exists, and the COVID-19 shock will likely spur more investments in these systems as leaders look for supply-chain intelligence solutions — cloudifying/SaaSifying supply chains. Cloud-based solutions will play a key role in streamlining demand planning, simplifying supply chains, and identifying alternative sourcing options — all at a lower TCO.
4. Financial freedom
One of the biggest concerns business leaders have today is to balance their financials. To maintain working capital, businesses are looking for ways to generate liquid cash through cost-reduction measures, as well as selling or leasing their assets.
Managing large data centers (DCs) and bearing their running costs are expenses businesses can do without. Moving to the cloud can help them optimize their IT costs while also generating cash by opting for DC exit programs. Additionally, moving ITOps to the cloud (ITOps as a Service) can also help businesses respond quickly to the latest tech or market changes and shift workloads to suit business and industry needs.
5. Increased security and compliance
Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving landscape. With workforces going remote, threats have escalated significantly. And because the economic downturn has led to an increase in cybercrime, CIOs are looking to boost their security.
A recent Adobe survey found that 7 in 10 of CIOs will be making additional financial investments in cybersecurity. After all, the cost of a breach is much higher than investing in the first place. The cloud can help strengthen an organization’s cybersecurity posture while staying compliant, especially in the face of a crisis.
Business in the new normal
A lot has changed for businesses in response to COVID-19. Although uncertainty will cause a slowdown in some customer organizations, others will continue to invest in technology to survive and thrive today and in a post-COVID-19 world.
New business models, methods for optimizing resource utilization, and strategies for staying competitive all require IT investments. We will see cloud-based technologies adopted at an accelerated velocity, unlocking the next wave of cost savings, driving resiliency, improving customer experience, and increasing new product development.
In every adversity, there is an opportunity. This is not the time to pull back and wait for the ripples to settle. This is the time to go forward, seize the day, and leverage the cloud. How are you going forward into the current economic landscape and beyond? We’re here to help.
Senior Vice President, Cloud Services, Wipro Ltd.
Ramesh Nagarajan is a Senior Vice President and Head of Cloud Services, one of the foundational services at Wipro. In this role, he is responsible for defining and executing Wipro’s Cloud Services business strategy, steering partnerships and joint go-to-market alliances with cloud service providers, and leading market-positioning initiatives.
Prior to this role, Ramesh was the COO for the Global Infrastructure Division of Wipro, overseeing the customer delivery and operations, and also was the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Wipro Limited. He was responsible for enterprise-wide information systems strategy and application development, framing surrounding policies and practices, information security, and risk management for the enterprise.
Ramesh served as an expat in GE Medical Systems, USA and Japan, for over a decade, developing systems software for medical devices and program-managing software development for large medical devices. He returned to the Global IT Services Business of Wipro in October 2000.
He has earlier held various leadership roles at Wipro, notably the Global Head of Insurance Vertical and Program Director portfolio for a large systems integration program, and he led the team that conceptualized and implemented lean tenets in software lifecycle development.