From an IT perspective, 2020 showed us that the rate of change can have dramatic impacts on technology needs and usage, and that workload demands on business-critical systems can quickly move from unpredictable to unprecedented. Now, more than ever, businesses demand reliable and resilient systems that constantly scale to meet their needs, regardless of how the world, their workforces, or workloads change.
As organizations and the world at large starts to recover from the pandemic’s impact, IT has the opportunity to reevaluate practices established out of necessity and keep the most valuable ones. Many IT leaders have been through an intense period of natural selection in tools and processes, and would be well served in prioritizing their strongest for the next time IT is asked to suddenly pivot.
For those organizations that have yet to move to the cloud, the past year has made it abundantly clear that not being in the cloud can be a serious impediment to rapid response and resiliency. What’s more, companies are finding that leveraging a true cloud system for their enterprise management functions—finance, human resources, and planning—isn’t just a differentiator. It’s existential. But we saw that just being deployed in the cloud alone was not enough, and that operating successfully in the cloud requires a balanced approach optimizing across reliability, scalability, and continuous innovation.
We saw countless examples where systems were overwhelmed, from state-run unemployment systems unable to process timely claims to fintech applications unable to manage high trading volume. To put it politely, last year was a real-life chaos monkey.
However, we also saw extraordinary examples of the value of “true cloud” in action. For example, we had customers use Workday in ways never seen before, from rapid shifts in operating model to shifting hospital workers across departments for a rapid COVID-19 response. Our transactional volumes were not only remarkably higher, but usage patterns were unpredictable and unprecedented. By taking a balanced approach to cloud service delivery, Workday was able and continues to deliver the highest levels of reliability, scalability, and innovation.