10 Thoughts About the New Digital Norm

I recently listened to a podcast with Omer Wilson (Digital Centre) and Bill Angle (CS Technology) where they discussed digitisation and the new normal for businesses. Here are ten thoughts from the podcast.

1. The impacts of COVID on remote working and digitization include acceleration of retail evolution, increased magnitude of working from home, and changing how business is being done.

COVID is without a doubt one of the biggest digital accelerants of the decade. Many industries, particularly retail and professional services, have completely revolutionised the way that they work in a very short transformation period.

2. Although infrastructure is holding up considerably well, we’re still trying to figure out what this means long-term from a data centre and networking perspective.

It truly is remarkable how well infrastructure has held up in this period of rapid transformation. While there may have been a few outages or disruptions, these have been relatively minimal in the greater scheme of things. However, we are yet to fully realise these impacts in the long-term. What will be the data centre and networking requirements in 12-, 18-, 24- and 48-months’ time?

3. While cloud implementation has been increasing for decades, COVID has certainly been an accelerator for this.

We’ve seen over the years that cloud implementation has been increasing exponentially, starting as early as the 1990s. COVID has been another contributing factor for this, hugely accelerating the need and want for both private and public cloud environments. Minimising the number of people required to enter a data centre as well as increasing infrastructure, without the need for underlying physical hardware requirements, is key.

4. With cloud implementation being very prevalent and pushed further by COVID, we are finding that the management layer, specifically in the cloud, is becoming our resiliency layer.

Leading on from the former point, the management layer is becoming the main resiliency layer. If the management layer goes down, there can be significant repercussions such as potentially being unable to access servers or network gear.

5. Infrastructure technology has now become a utility – people “need” the Internet, and this is kept functioning in the background through AI/ML.

A good example of this is mobile phones – 10 years ago, the more texts or call minutes you had, the more you generally paid for a mobile plan. Today, it is uncommon to find a plan that does not have unlimited texts and minutes, and you’re paying for greater data usage. This is reflective of society “needing” the Internet, a lot of which is kept functioning by artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).

6. The Internet brings an incredible exposure of truth, being the combination of many people’s viewpoints. However, this also brings out the dark side such as cyber issues.

Not all motives for cyber-attacks are to expose truth, however there is concern expressed by governments and individuals regarding the abuse of resources. As Bill mentions in the podcast, there is a quasi-battle between “good and evil” as it relates to cyber security.

7. The data centre industry among many others is also developing iteratively through using AI/ML and automation.

We’ve had the opportunity to learn from other sectors that have gone through the process already.

8. There’s been a shift around business continuity planning resiliency and how we approach backups and infrastructure.

Where are we going with this? Many businesses are now able to approach BCP and DR in different ways as digitisation has expanded and has continued to shift since COVID.

9. As consultants it’s interesting to watch how automation has been introduced to specific established industry verticals and note the associated “pains” throughout the various, multiple iterations.

Bill Angle discusses that we need to see what has actually been achieved during that process, then pull that knowledge and/or learnings into the relatively young IT industry.

10. Don’t know how Wi-Fi works? Don’t worry – you don’t need to.

Wi-Fi provides the first mile and then it’s all wires, spaghetti, and backend infrastructure. There are guardians worldwide looking after it.


If you’d like to listen to the full podcast, click here!

About the Author

Emily Sclater is a Consultant in the Australian practice of CS Technology where she specialises in application migration strategy including the disaster recovery requirements of applications and how these align into an organisation’s business continuity.

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn here on the 23rd November 2020. 

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