As enterprises are responding to uncertainties and embracing the unknown, they are realizing that being ‘Cloud-first’ or ‘Cloud-smart’ is a prerequisite, and no longer a choice.
In a recent IBM survey, CIOs and IT heads of organizations said that lack of preparedness for the future IT needs of their business advanced their transition to cloud infrastructure. Nearly a quarter of CIOs and CTOs (24%) surveyed say their company is just starting its IT modernization journey or has yet to begin modernizing, with about a third surveyed saying they are still in the midst of transformation.
As a result, more than 95% of IT leaders surveyed said they are looking to adopt public, hybrid or private cloud strategies. Of those, many are moving at an aggressive pace as the study reveals that 53% of respondents are aggressively pursuing a public cloud strategy, 48% a hybrid cloud strategy and 45% a private cloud strategy.
Even a year or so ago, cloud computing market was on standard growth trajectory, with several businesses moving their workload to the cloud, but that was nothing extraordinary – until Covid-19 happened and CIOs were pushed to move their digital agendas almost overnight.
“Our clients are looking to accelerate IT modernization by leveraging cloud models – both public and hybrid, data, AI, automation and other key technologies to help shape, scale and manage more effectively massive, complex, global architectures,” said Archana Vemulapalli, General Manager, IBM Infrastructure Services – Offerings and CTO.
As remote work and collaboration intensifies, cloud computing has emerged as an ally for enterprises. Vemulapalli believes that the pressures on IT infrastructures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have further accelerated the need for cloud infrastructure, professional skills development, and security upgrades. More than 60% of technology leaders surveyed say they expect increased demand for cloud infrastructure to be permanent.
Even as IT leaders are feeling increased urgency to accelerate their organizations’ transformation, migrating to a multi-cloud environment can present significant challenges to organizations with legacy applications running large data pools. Moreover, with many organizations lacking the right cloud skills to fully meet their IT ambitions, nearly three-fourths surveyed say they will rely more on trusted partners that can provide managed infrastructure services.
The key reason they cite was the need for increased infrastructure flexibility as driving the digital transformation, followed by the need for competitive advantage, cost savings and meeting client demands.
While the IBM report focused on businesses in the US and UK, enterprises everywhere, including India increased their spending on cloud. As the pandemic swept across the globe, Indian enterprises overnight turned to cloud infrastructure to accommodate workers who were forced to work remotely.
Another recent report by Nutanix reveals that 63% of India’s enterprises have increased their investment in hybrid cloud as a direct result of the pandemic, compared to just 46% globally.
The report concludes, with more than half (56%) saying they plan to run an integrated hybrid environment within five years, and respondents also stating that traditional datacenter penetration will drop from 13% to 3%.
The findings further underscore that while cost savings are a driver in deciding to modernize IT infrastructures, it is not the primary factor. Better control of IT resource usage, increased speed to meet business needs and better support to customers are the key factors to modernization.
Balakrishnan Anantharaman, managing director, sales, India and SAARC, Nutanix, said, “Cloud infrastructure is now a critical component of IT infrastructure, as Indian enterprises branch further into investing in digitization and look for secure alternatives for their workloads. In the business environment brought about by the pandemic, flexibility and security have emerged to be of utmost importance, and Indian enterprises need the ability to match workloads to the best environment.”
In many ways, right from the nimble organizations to some of the most conventional firms, the need to leverage cloud to stay agile, flexible and scalable has become more clear at this stage. To embrace digital, it was imperative to embrace cloud as the foundational platform.