Challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate the business continuity advantages of cloud software. Companies with on-premises or managed hosted enterprise applications face unique obstacles in enabling remote operations. When stay-at-home orders were issued, some enterprises had to make quick and creative adjustments, such as determining new schedules for frontline workers to maintain safe distances while still operating, adding sensors or video to monitor systems remotely because workers could no longer be onsite, or postponing planned work. Other organizations scrambled to expand VPN access and experienced speed and performance issues with the sudden increase in users.
As people return to work, new standards for safety and hygiene will require more stringent cleaning and maintenance as well as documentation and certification of compliance.
As a direct result, companies are investing even more in the cloud. IDC’s COVID-19 Impact on IT Spending Survey (April 2020) shows that nearly 30% of respondents expect their organization to spend more on SaaS in 2020 than originally budgeted. Further, when asked about the change in demand for cloud software due to COVID-19 and the need for changes to working models, over 50% of respondents think the demand will increase (see Figure 1). For enterprises on multitenant public cloud, vendor support and maintenance are huge benefits during crises and one less thing for internal IT departments to worry about. More than ever, organizations value vendors that deliver excellent system uptime, automatic upgrades, and exceptional customer service.
Companies will face new regulations and audit requirements for cleaning, tracking, and inspections as they safely return to physical work locations following the COVID-19 outbreak and plan for possible future pandemics. But in a world of nuts and bolts, it is easy to become too focused on the hardware and not enough on the people. Cloud EAM enables human productivity with technology that keeps technicians:
Due to years of efficiency programs to cut overhead costs, maintenance functions are often under-resourced and continually being asked to do more with less. This is especially concerning because asset management is experiencing a workforce changeover. Millennials are now the largest demographic in the workforce, representing over half of workers. These digital natives grew up using technology but lack the years of equipment experience held by experts leaving the workforce. The need to quickly train and certify new workers is accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic business disruptions.
Successful digital enterprises invest in knowledge capture, employee skills development, and mentoring and cross-training programs enabled by robust EAM systems.