How 2020 Changed Cloud Computing

For newly remote businesses, the cloud has been a game changer in 2020. In fact, SMBs are adopting public cloud platforms faster than enterprises, and are reaping the benefits of affordable security tools, streamlined mobile device management, and collaborative applications. But an uptick in SMB cloud usage isn't the only trend to emerge this year. In Flexera's "2020 State of the Cloud", their research team analyzed feedback from businesses in the public, private, and multi-cloud space. 

Here Are the 3 Biggest Trends That Shaped Cloud Computing in 2020:

Covid-19's Impact on Cloud Computing

Even before the onset of Covid-19, cloud investments were trending up. Based on participant feedback, Flexera estimates that more than half of enterprise workloads and data will sit in a public cloud within 12 months. On average, organizations are using at least two public and two private clouds, and 87% have a hybrid cloud strategy. With the initial transition to remote work, cloud usage skyrocketed as more companies needed to flexibly deliver applications and tools to their disparate employees. In addition to increased user demand, companies have also shifted to the cloud due to improvements in business continuity, delays in hardware supply chains, and subpar data center capabilities. The transition has not been without its challenges, however. The rapid transition to remote work has lead many companies to dramatically overspend on cloud services. 

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Rightsizing Cloud Spend

For the fourth year in a row, Flexera has pinned "optimizing cloud spend" as a top priority for businesses. 73% of respondents ranked this as the top cloud goal for 2020, which is unsurprising when you consider that an estimated 30% of cloud spend is wasted. Almost half of companies surveyed expect cloud spend to increase year over year, and the average organization exceeds their annual cloud budget by 23%. This adds up, especially for enterprises whose cloud spend tips into the millions annually. There are, of course, many ways to optimize cloud costs. More companies are leveraging Artificial Intelligence and automation to reduce unnecessary processes, especially when their employees have signed off for the night. For example, if your employees are running virtual desktops, your cloud spend is consumption-based. These virtual machines are active during regular business hours, but shut off at night and during the weekends, saving you the price of a 24x7 system, and associated hardware costs.  

[GRAPH] Policies to Optimize Cloud Costs

Cloud Maturity and IT Governance

When it comes to cloud maturity, migrations and managing multi-cloud environments come easier with age. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for security, governance, compliance, and cost management. 83% of enterprises report that security is an on-going challenge, while 79% view compliance the same way. Despite the maturity of a given cloud environment, it takes a lot of expertise to keep the cloud running effectively: automation that reduces spend, optimizing existing applications stacks in lieu of additional products, maintaining data loss prevention policies to track sensitive content, and ensuring compliance with shifting regulatory standards. Over half of those surveyed are now outsourcing their cloud experts:

  • 51% of enterprises reported using cloud MSPs to manage public cloud use
  • 73% of enterprises have a central cloud team or cloud center of excellence
  • 57% of cloud teams are responsible for governing IaaS/PaaS usage and costs

Migrating workloads to the cloud is a driver of business agility and optimized IT spend. Retire the technical debt associated with maintaining and operating in traditional data centers, and rapidly scale workloads in the cloud. For more information about outsourcing your cloud experts, or public cloud platforms, reach out to iCorps for a free consultation.

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