Looking skyward for cost savings as balance sheets take a bruising

Bnamericas Published: Monday, May 25, 2020
Looking skyward for cost savings as balance sheets take a bruising

One implication of social distancing measures is that companies in Latin America are tightening their focus on cloud-based solutions to support operational continuity and business resiliency, and reduce costs. As firms see revenue flows weaken, belt-tightening rockets up boardroom agendas.

To get an overview of the situation on the cloud front in the region, BNamericas spoke to Guilherme Tukaze Artuso, US-headquartered IT giant Unisys’ director of cloud services for Latin America.

BNamericas: How has Unisys been affected in Latin America in terms of sales and operations, etc, since the beginning of the health crisis?

Tukaze Artuso: The debate surrounding digital transformation has intensified. Additionally, it's clear that clients plan to boost investment because they need to navigate a crisis that requires their full undivided attention. 

When things are more under control, and because of the impact that this situation has had on balance sheets, measures will be taken that involve cloud services to reduce current costs. Unisys' operations in the region will not be as impacted, especially since we're able to make a smooth transition. For example, in under two weeks, 80% of our team adopted remote working.

BNamericas: I know it's not a homogeneous region, but how would you compare Latin America with other regions, in terms of cloud use?

Tukaze Artuso: Our research [the Unisys Cloud Success Barometer] shows that in most Latin American countries the benefits of using the cloud exceed initial expectations – Chile is the exception. What stands out is that these countries are already considering the cloud as part of their ‘new normal’ and that the hybrid cloud approach, as well as automation, are the next topics for cloud development in the region.

BNamericas: Do you think that the current situation will drive permanent changes in the way we work in Latin America?

Tukaze Artuso: Yes. Most companies were dragged toward digital transformation. We firmly believe that, because of the COVID-19 crisis, projects scheduled for execution in the next two or three years will be brought forward. From a more personal perspective, I can comment on my experience: I am an ‘office’ person who enjoys talking personally with my colleagues or going to companies to talk to my clients. I understood that it's possible to continue having these talks and I believe that I will absorb what I've learned as part of my new routine when the crisis ends. And from a more institutional perspective, I can say that Unisys is evaluating all possible opportunities to guarantee the wellbeing and productivity of our employees.

BNamericas: So a wider embrace of the cloud? 

Tukaze Artuso: Yes. Everything indicates that companies will continue to adopt the cloud because that technology brings scalability, economy and reach, which are essential points more than ever.

BNamericas: What are the main benefits of adopting cloud computing? And what are the most common barriers?

Tukaze Artuso: In terms of benefits: cost reduction, optimization of commercialization time and reduction of complexity. Main barriers: mentality and concern about security and the knowledge to effect change.

BNamericas: According to the results of the Unisys Barometer study, it's extremely important to integrate the cloud into the overall business strategy. Why?

Tukaze Artuso: Mainly because a decision regarding the cloud will face, at first, many internal barriers; therefore, it will be the business that guides these strategies. One tip, for example, is to get organized and join DevSecOps [development, security and operations] for integration, deployment, and continuous improvement after the initial migration to the cloud.

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