US businesses are rushing to adopt cloud computing
Cloud computing is now at the forefront of business technologies, thanks to its unparalleled versatility and accessibility. It offers scalable resources as well as faster innovation, helping businesses all around the United States reduce operating costs, run infrastructures more efficiently, and quickly adapt to ever-evolving needs.
Experts believe that the trend of adopting cloud solutions will only continue to grow and develop in the following years.
The impact of COVID-19 on cloud adoption and migration
The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations worldwide to allow employees to work remotely to reduce the risk of contagion or virus transmission in the workplace. As different countries underwent strict lockdowns, businesses of all sizes were compelled to bring their services online in order to continue operating.
Although the cloud computing revolution was well underway long before COVID-19, cloud-based solutions helped businesses and governments to quickly adapt to the effects of the pandemic. Today, many organizations are leveraging cloud technologies to manage their key business applications, as well as support their remote teams. Some are even exploring virtualization solutions, which have proven to be beneficial in lowering hardware costs and simplifying online data synchronization.
Balancing speed with risk mitigation
Keen to be able to quickly support remote operations, some businesses overlooked the risks associated with cloud migration. While prompt adoption is necessary, organizations also have to be wary of cybercriminals exploiting the vulnerabilities created by the rushed implementation of the latest cloud apps and services.
Due diligence is key to a successful migration. Issues may arise, but businesses can stay one step ahead by understanding and assuming control over the cloud services they use. That is, IT teams must configure accounts properly, secure credentials, and have complete visibility into the apps being used and who are using them. It’s vital to follow security best practices and risk management when businesses migrate to the cloud.
Businesses today want agile solutions
Even before the outbreak, more and more organizations were already seeking cost-effective solutions for their core computing, storage, and networking needs. Most were looking at cloud-based offerings and pay-as-you-go services. In a 2020 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, almost 75% of respondents said they were working toward more agile environments, with the cloud’s flexible cost and scalable service being key components of this agility.
In the same survey, 16% of enterprises expressed plans to migrate their collaboration and communication solutions to the cloud this year. Meanwhile, 15% also planned to migrate to more cloud-based business intelligence, data warehouse, and data analytics systems.
Current drivers of cloud adoption
A survey conducted by Gartner identified three main reasons why businesses look to cloud adoption.
Elimination of time spent on hardware upkeep and maintenance – Legacy IT systems often have disparate life cycles and little to no documentation, making it difficult and time-consuming to keep existing workloads alive. With cloud computing, IT environments are always accessible, and hardware updates and upgrades are automatically implemented by certified professionals. With their service provider managing and maintaining hardware, businesses can focus on more value-generating activities.
Disaster recovery – Many small businesses don’t have the time or money to create, implement, and regularly test disaster recovery strategies. That’s why they’re turning to affordable cloud solutions, particularly Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). This service model allows organizations to back up their data and IT infrastructure in a third-party cloud computing environment. They only have to pay for the resources in the cloud that they use and the provider takes care of the rest. With DRaaS, the costs of deploying, monitoring, and maintaining a conventional disaster recovery infrastructure are taken out of the equation.
Gains in business and IT operations – There’s an exponential rise in the amount of valuable digital data generated by businesses and consumers daily. And thanks to advances in technology — including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing platforms — it’s easier to interpret and leverage these vast amounts of information. IT leaders are increasingly utilizing these technologies to make decisions that drive better business outcomes.
Cloud computing in 2021
The increase in cloud adoption is more than a by-product of the solutions to mitigate the disruptions caused by the pandemic. The International Data Corporation predicts that multicloud strategies will be widespread in 2021 as the long-term impacts of COVID-19 reinforces the need for business agility. That is, businesses are likely to simultaneously deploy on-premises, off-premises, public, and private clouds, or combinations thereof.