25 Nov 2021

Cloud opens the door to a more agile future

Guest Blog: Workday, Part of techUK's Cloud Week #CloudFuture

True cloud solutions offer a number of well-documented advantages, from the freedom to stop worrying about software development and maintenance, to the flexibility and agility to accelerate transformation.

Organisations need reliable systems that can scale to meet their needs, regardless of how the world or workforce changes. In response to events over the last two years, many organisations are accelerating digital projects, having realised that without an agile and resilient IT core, built in the cloud, innovation and wider digital transformation will remain in technical debt.

For those in the public sector, the importance of flexibility in particular, both organisationally and culturally, has become increasingly clear. Many have found themselves at the forefront of the Government’s response to COVID-19 and, with growing pressure to be more agile and responsive, cloud services have been instrumental in helping them to react quickly.

But organisational agility isn’t just about surviving, it’s about thriving. A recent Workday study revealed the top-performing companies were 10 times more likely to react quickly to market shifts, proving that agility is more often than not synonymous with performance. But what are some strategies large-scale enterprises can apply to ensure success?

To realise true agility, organisations must overcome their initial resistance to the adoption of new work methods. Agility needs to be baked into the heart of the organisation – and its digital transformation agenda. Individuals, and teams, must be able to gain meaningful insights from data if they are to help future-proof revenue streams, improve operations, and ensure employees are well-managed and supported. There are five key behaviours proven by Workday’s global organisational agility and digital growth survey, that businesses should prioritise:

  • Be responsive — plan continuously and in real-time to overcome uncertainty. This means implementing real-time scenario planning so you’re ready for whatever comes next.
  • Be adaptable — Create flexible organisational structures and processes that enable both the workforce and leadership to pivot quickly in the face of change.
  • Be skilled — Plan for upskilling the majority of the workforce, in turn helping to increase employee engagement. In fact, 50 percent of organisations are already planning to upskill their workforce by 2024 to adapt to changes in the working environment.
  • Be empowered — empower decision-making at every level by equipping employees with the information and data they need to innovate and make independent, and yet informed decisions.
  • Take control — Recognise failure and act on it. Leaders should understand if something isn’t working, switch gears and try a different approach. Finding ways to measure performance and pivot to avoid risk is essential.


The last two years have taught us all the importance of being able to rapidly adapt to change. As we move into 2022, business leaders have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned during the pandemic by fully embracing more agile ways of working for the long-term. Those that take the time to invest in agile practices across the organisation and the technologies that underpin them will reap the biggest rewards as we head into an era that promises anything but normal.


Welcome to Cloud Week 2021!

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Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Head of Technology and Innovation, techUK

Laura is techUK’s Head of Programme for Technology and Innovation.

She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally in London, Singapore and across the United States as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.

Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.

[email protected]

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