Spend Optimization in the post-COVID era

Over the past two months, the entire world has been thrown out of gear on account of the  #CoronaVirus pandemic. As one can say, it literally feels like a bolt from the sky!

At the start of 2020, no one would have imagined that a virus would cause global mayhem in another 2-3 months’ time. Yet, we are right in the middle of it, contributing to the fight in whatever way we can.

There are some signs of hope emerging now and we are sure there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have suffered an immense loss of human life that can never be recovered. The economic loss is also severe and cannot be ignored.

While institutions like the IMF and World Bank have started projecting global economic contractions, enterprises and organizations have started to take stock of their losses. According to some projections, we may be looking at an average loss of 30 percent or more across industries; maybe more for some industries like travel and hospitality.

 Every business has these questions on top of their mind:

  • How would the businesses look like in the post-COVID era?
  • What will be the major challenges facing organizations recovering from the impact?
  • What are the new business realities that we face and what will be the ‘new normal’?
  • What will be the possible solutions or alternative strategies that businesses can implement?

Let us try to look at some scenarios and try to reflect on possible outcomes.

New initiatives will be deferred or put on hold

Remote workforce productivity and SaaS will see progress; On-Prem and CAPEX intensive initiatives will see likely impact. 

We believe businesses would like to preserve and conserve what they have while they come out of COVID forced lockdowns. New initiatives will likely see their budgets stagnate or worse, simply disappear, as executives contemplate if something is essential or necessary.

Unfortunately, this will also apply to the IT projects that are in the pipeline. 

Cloud service providers will grow and businesses will adopt SaaS aggressively

We all know what cloud-based services can offer to businesses and organizations.

Let us highlight some of the key benefits:

  • Reduction in current and projected ‘CAPEX’ and a move towards more predictable ‘OPEX’
  • Built-in resiliency
  • Reduced manpower required to ‘run’ the IT services part of the business
  • The flexibility of adding/removing services, users and computing resources
  • Anywhere access – key to enable and empower the remote workforce

The COVID impact will force organizations to recalibrate their options to run businesses. They are seeking answers to these key questions:-

  • How do I run my business without over-reliance on human resources?
  • How can the business remain resilient to events that are completely out of control?

The answers point to Cloud Adoption as a strategy. We believe it will be aggressively pursued across businesses, as there are clear advantages.

Remote work is here to stay

Didn’t we all literally start working from home overnight?

Most of us are still working from home as we write this. Do we assume that businesses were ready when most of their workforce had to work from home?

This situation presented unique challenges and in certain cases, opportunities. We see that businesses will embrace a more ‘remote’ workforce than ever before. They will implement tools and processes that enable the remote workforce to move more seamlessly and be more productive.  Empowering the remote workforce will necessarily mean adding or rationalizing IT and Security spend by investing in technologies like VPN and robust mobile endpoint management. 

The budget shock will have to be absorbed from already impacted IT and security budgets.

Threats to organizations, businesses, and people are increasing. Securing organization assets will become even more difficult and important

Organizations were already struggling with a perimeter-less network and a distributed workforce.  Remote work or work from home has pushed this to the limits.

We have already witnessed online threats like Zoom Bombing and Zoom data leak. Scams, Phishing, and  Ransomware attacks are on the rise with US-CERT issuing a warning.

The key question that businesses need to answer is: How do we enable employees to have access to enterprise systems, be productive, and yet secure their digital interactions?

We strongly believe securing the remote workforce will be the next big cybersecurity initiative across businesses.

Optimizing your security spend will be the key

We have discussed various challenges that the businesses will face post-COVID. We believe IT budgets will see recalibration or even potential impact.

As organizations review their entire spectrum of spend across IT and Security, they will be painfully aware that reducing the security budget is not an option. They will also need to be aware of what measures their ecosystem partners and security vendors are taking that directly or indirectly affect them.

So, what options do organizations have in such a case?

How would they manage their IT and Security budgets in this challenging environment?

We believe the answer lies in Security Business Intelligence and Spend Optimization, as a solution. CISOs will increasingly look at optimizing their security spend without compromising the security posture of the organization.

Security Business Intelligence will help CISOs achieve that objective by defining and tracking key metrics around their security spend.

Stay tuned and check back to know more about how ShiftRight plans to solve this puzzle!

We are all together in this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic!

For now, Stay Home and Stay Safe, everyone!!