With the onset of the pandemic, many organizations accelerated digital transformation initiatives to adapt to the changing needs of customers and meet market demands. Now two years on, as businesses take a moment to reflect on these initiatives, many are realizing that these “quick fix” solutions are no longer fit for purpose.
To find out more, Aptum canvassed the opinions of 400 senior IT decision-makers from across the US, UK, and Canada. While cloud has taken center stage in helping to steer organizations and bolster business continuity efforts, in today’s reality, they’re having to adapt their operating models accordingly. The complexities this brings mean most are recognizing that they need help to optimize specific areas of their cloud deployments.
Hybrid Cloud Dominates
During the pandemic, many organizations acted with haste to increase their cloud deployments to ease remote work, increase business resilience and enable flexibility. This caused a natural shift towards a hybrid model, as our research attests. The majority (86%) of respondents say their organization has adopted a hybrid or multi cloud approach to cloud deployments with both these approaches being equally popular.
These hybrid architectures accommodate the different needs of individual applications. And with a greater level of technical control (hardware and software to help prevent cybersecurity attacks on systems), businesses can access more security options, achieve greater architectural flexibility, and meet an ever-increasing range of compliance requirements.
The Positive Impact of Cloud Transformation
Almost all the respondents recognize the many benefits the cloud delivers to their organizations, with 90% agreeing it has delivered on expected efficiencies. Respondents also agree that cloud transformation has had a positive impact on the following areas:
- Innovation (71%)
- Operational efficiency (71%)
- Workforce mobility and enablement (63%)
- IT expenditure (63%)
- Customer experience (63%)
When presented with 12 application categories, cloud is selected as the preferred hosting option by the respondents across each category, compared to just two out of nine categories in Aptum’s first Cloud Impact Study in 2021. But, despite recognizing the benefits of the cloud, not all workloads are destined for cloud platforms, and some organizations are experiencing a ‘cloud boomerang effect’ among specific applications.
Almost half (47%) of respondents anticipate an increase in their organization’s use of traditional (non-cloud-based) infrastructure over the next 18-24 months, up from just under a quarter (23%) in 2021. For many businesses, this is due to their move to the cloud being reactionary; had it been part of a pre-determined, longer-term strategy, the increase in cloud-hosted applications wouldn’t cause the challenges they currently do.
There are several factors driving applications to non-cloud infrastructures despite the positive outcomes they have seen from cloud:
- Integrating cloud and legacy applications – 44% are concerned about being able to effectively tie cloud and traditional systems together. 7 in 10 are also concerned they don’t have the right in-house skills to manage the integration.
- Dev vs Ops focus – development teams’ priority is creating new versions of applications so limited time is spent on administrative duties. This regularly falls back on operations teams who often lack the skills and tools to enforce operational standards in the cloud. With often little explanation on how to manage and maintain these new applications, they revert to the familiar traditional infrastructure.
- Security – without the right skills, controlling cybersecurity in public cloud can seem daunting. This is then further compounded when hybrid environments are added into the mix. The result? 44% of respondents saying that security is a concern for them in the cloud.
Clear holistic strategy to success
To overcome these perceived barriers and potential challenges, businesses must form a clear holistic strategy when undertaking their cloud transformation. Only 20% report that they had formed a clear strategy before their cloud journey commenced.
To ensure success, businesses must take a holistic and strategic approach to cloud, whether they are beginning their cloud journey or re-evaluating their current system. Carefully planning and designing migration to the cloud will ensure each application is deployed to reach its full potential.
To find out more and understand how you can optimize your cloud deployments to drive business success – read part one of our 2021 Cloud Impact Study.