COVID-19, cloud technology, and IT security

In light of the challenges many businesses are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we set out to gather insights from experts across diverse industries. We wanted to learn more about the strategies they have been implementing to demonstrate resilience in the face of COVID-19, as well as about the effects this global health crisis will have on the importance of digitalization. In the first piece of this series we’re looking into an industry at the front of many employees’ minds as companies transition to remote work: IT security.

We had the chance to speak with Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst at IT-Harvest, co-founder of the International Cybersecurity Dialogue, and a global thought leader in IT security. With over 20 years of experience as an industry analyst under his belt, we were excited for him to weigh in on this topic.

Stiennon said some of the biggest challenges the IT security industry is currently facing, like most, are 

  • the disruption of day-to-day activities caused by the transition to working from home
  • offices operations shutting down
  • business climate uncertainty

However, some of these challenges have been relieved by the increase in the demand for protective technology solutions as businesses transition to remote operations.

When asked what types of measures are being taken to adapt to these more digital-focused operations, he focused in on a few key points:

  • Video conferencing has taken the professional world by storm, which in many cases has increased strain on home internet bandwidth and has driven IT security companies to take action accordingly. 
  • The need for companies to assess their current digitalization strategy (or lack thereof). With larger IT projects being put on hold, companies’ IT departments have the time to focus on where they are in the journey towards digitalization, and on deciding how to make the move that is increasingly self-evident: the move to the cloud.

He added that those with a digital strategy already in place were able to expand their use of zero-trust networking and cloud security measures quickly, while those still on the fence will most likely launch similar projects in the next few weeks.

When asked what types of digital opportunities he sees emerging as a result of this crisis, Stiennon stated simply:

This crisis, while disrupting budgets and revenue for most organizations, is going to accelerate the transformation to cloud infrastructure. Secure communications, cloud-delivered security stacks, endpoint security, mobile device management, infrastructure, and container security deployments will thrive.”

We couldn’t agree more.  During these challenging, albeit transformative, times, a number of our clients have found that among the best strategies to future-proof their infrastructure and data platforms have included:

  • Participating in specialized, data-driven workshops on the various cloud solutions that can aid in remote work and business recovery
  • End-to-end delivery of data/machine learning solutions
  • Ongoing consultancy and support

All with the goal of making their digitalization journey smoother and guaranteed to reap long-term benefits for their core business.

If there’s anything we can take away from this situation, it’s the reminder that there is always an opportunity to learn and grow. In terms of business, this crisis has shown us that the time to digitalize is now.