A version of this post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” 2020 and beyond has certainly forced the executive suite to think about the ability to pivot rapidly to accommodate wholesale change. That change, however, goes far deeper than implementing remote working capabilities or shoring up customer demand. I believe the sheer scale and speed of this disruption has forced many boards to rethink their fundamental business models today. And in particular, how they can solve the challenge of operating with distance while also planning for the unknowns of the future.

As a consequence, organisations are bringing forward their digital transformation plans. This strategic objective isn’t just a background ambition, it’s a very real solution to the existential crisis many are facing. According to Forbes for example, manufacturing will experience five years of innovation condensed into the next 18 months. As organisations look to jump the hurdles of Manufacturing 4.0, they will look to data technologies to drive invention and process innovation.

In another study by Ernst & Young, 87% of those surveyed in the financial services sector felt that their organisation’s technological transformation will develop far faster than previously predicted. 

Perhaps most significantly, research by Coleman Parkes shows that 42% of business leaders report digital transformation efforts that would usually take years to implement were made possible in just weeks. Furthermore, 58% of C-suite respondents say they are experiencing  accelerated digital transformation by three years or more.

This need to accelerate digital transformation is one we hear repeatedly from Pure Storage® customers—and it’s a must. Without it, organisations risk being left behind or even becoming obsolete. Our response lies in the innate capabilities our technology has always provided. 

From the beginning we have been modernising the fundamental IT infrastructures that enable organisations of all shapes, sizes and business models to achieve rapid agility. Not once, but fluidly, whenever they need it, so that the lifeblood of digital transformation—data—is available to drive business change in every way possible. Our Evergreen™ program gives you access to constant innovation, making it the only model of its kind to eliminate time-consuming and disruptive storage improvements. We have made life even simpler and faster by making all our technologies available in as-a-service models. This flexible consumption model is particularly helpful in the current climate as we help you rapidly adapt to structural changes in the way you work.

Our customers want simple yet super resilient virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) to enable remote working. And they use data, via advanced analytics, both to solve current challenges and to find new paths to future business success. 

For example, our retail and banking customers must shift business operations increasingly online to deal with constant fluctuations in demand in a more cost-effective manner. From there, they’ll also use AI to uncover new routes to profitability and customer experience differentiation. Pharma and research bodies use these data-driven technologies for R&D in the pursuit of vaccines and to digitalise supply chains and collaboration efforts, and to model demand as they explore new opportunities for future growth.

Any of these expressions of rapid agility are only made possible through our Modern Data Experience™, a fundamentally different approach to the way data is stored and made accessible to every part of the business. Boards around the globe understand the critical role data plays in their firm’s ability to survive seismic change.

And if you’re wondering why some organisations are able to thrive in a crisis, I discuss some of the essential characteristics in the first post in this Rapid Agility series