AWS warns of the dangers of digital stagnation post-pandemic

Businesses need 'leadership muscle' to implement a culture that can continue to adapt to new technologies, says UK and Ireland chief

Digital transformation should be a constant process, not just a project to get your business through the pandemic, according to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The tech giant has released a report into cloud adoption ahead of its 2021 AWS Summit event, which suggests that pandemic has accelerated organisations' digital transformation plans by an average of two years and five months. 

The firm surveyed 10,000 senior business and IT decision-makers across France, Germany, Israel, Spain, and the UK, with the aim of understanding digital transformation at speed and how it could continue beyond the pandemic. 

IT Pro spoke to the company's head of operations in the UK and Ireland, Darren Hardman, who joined the tech giant not long after the outbreak of COVID, about the post-pandemic businesses that we can expect to see. 

"I think the key thing that I've learned is that a new breed of enterprises is emerging post-pandemic that is confident about responding to change, more agile in managing that change, and more secure and resilient," Hardman told IT Pro

Enterprises that have experimented during the COVID pandemic are experiencing a "reinvention dividend", according to Hardman, with these organisations now more resilient and better placed to succeed in the so-called 'new normal'. 69% of the business leaders surveyed said they have a clear strategy to seize opportunities, and 60% agreed they will need to adjust their business model again once lockdown measures lift.

"It has been interesting actually trying to understand which of the companies were reacting to a short term issue with no intention to carry on, versus those that were actually just accelerating their strategy, because in the data 64% of them have told us that they intend to adopt more cloud technologies post-pandemic," Hardman explained. 

"And 54% of them are now dependent on their cloud to service their customers. Which is interesting, isn't it? Because it shows that their journey to the cloud, even if it started during the pandemic, is something they expect to continue." 

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However, the report also suggested that there were plenty of warning signs when it comes to sustaining agility and transformation, including internal challenges. Half of the decision-makers said their organisations still lack an understanding of how to link business problems to technical solutions, 47% said employees were resistant to change, and 42% said a lack of skills could hold them back.

"It's about having the leadership and the leadership muscle to drive this culture of change in your organisation," Hardman added. "So constantly, as a leader, am I relentlessly trying to seek out the truth to see what competitors are doing in my space to see what customers think about my product or my service, and am I creating the right culture to challenge my own organisation to continually reinvent?"

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