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IT spending continues to shift to public cloud computing, creating an opportunity for IT leaders to enable digital business transformations.

By 2024, more than 45% of IT spending on system infrastructure, infrastructure software, application software and business process outsourcing will shift from traditional solutions to cloud. This evolution makes cloud computing one of the most continually disruptive forces in technology since the early days of the digital age.

“The proportion of IT spending that is being allocated to cloud is accelerating even further in the aftermath of COVID-19, as companies look to improve organisational efficiencies “

Organisations are increasingly using cloud services for new initiatives or to replace existing systems, meaning that spending on traditional IT solutions is being reallocated to cloud. The result is cloud shift, and it is happening more often due to a growing preference for ‘cloud-first’.

Cloud shift enables digital business opportunities

Cloud shift is not just about cloud. As organisations pursue new IT architectures and operating philosophies, they create a foundation for new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions.

Organisations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models are primed for increased competitiveness, especially in today’s rapidly changing business environment. These organisations not only recognise the short-term benefits of cloud, but also position themselves to be early adopters of the disruptive innovations that will define the future.

The next major wave of technology disruption is already emerging in the form of AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), edge computing and advanced data analytics. These innovations are almost always tied to a cloud foundation as part of an organisation’s digital business technology platform.

“Infrastructure and operations leaders responsible for cloud investment decisions must be wary of ‘cloud washing’.”

However, infrastructure and operations leaders responsible for cloud investment decisions must be wary of ‘cloud washing’ or a tendency to call things cloud that are not, which can result in the misconception that an IT product or service must be cloud to be good.

Consider shifting from a ‘cloud first’ approach, which prioritises cloud adoption and legacy modernisation above all else, to a ‘cloud-smart’ approach, which balances cloud adoption with the organisation’s unique circumstances and goals, and business value.

Cloud shift represents both a risk and an opportunity for IT leaders. As cloud becomes increasingly mainstream through 2024, it will dominate ever-increasing portions of enterprise IT decisions.

Organisations of all types should prioritise public cloud environments to host critical workloads, including seven key workloads that should be moved to cloud now.

No. 1: Mobility

Mobile devices and applications, including access to organisations’ key services and data, are indispensable to remote working. The demand variability related to mobile services is well-aligned with the adaptive cloud operating model, which makes cloud an ideal backend for supporting mobile solutions.

A hyperscale cloud partner like Assembly offers robust capabilities in supporting mobile applications. Explore the full capabilities of the hosting cloud platform, including the incorporation of cloud-native technology implementations and operating models.

No. 2: Collaboration and content management

Microsoft (Office) 365 is just one example of an enterprise application that facilitates collaboration. The success of this application is a testament to how well-suited cloud-based collaboration is for cloud delivery because of its broad, horizontal applicability to most organisations. Cloud-based collaboration also enables more remote access, and meets resiliency requirements.

In some instances, a complete shift of content management to cloud may not be feasible because of legal and governance concerns, but these are still the exceptions and not the norm.

No. 3: Video conferencing

For remote workers around the world, video conferencing is one of the most important tools. When COVID-19 hit, the demand for video conferencing technology doubled and, in some markets, tripled. The highly variable usage patterns and the immense demand for networking bandwidth make hyperscale cloud providers well-suited to reliably deliver video conferencing solutions.

No. 4: Virtual desktops and remote workstation management

A virtual desktop solution, or desktop virtualisation, is a tool used by IT administrators to separate the physical desktop system, including laptops, from the desktop environment and applications used by individuals. This is, in fact, one of the most important aspects of enabling remote working — individuals can access their applications and documents and stay connected from any location.

While often delivered as a data centre service, cloud-based desktop virtualisation has become mainstream and provides a more stable and scalable control point than traditional data centre based solutions.

No. 5: Scale-out applications

Scale-out applications are those that benefit from adding additional computing resources to satisfy increases in demand. The demand for scale-out applications has inspired organisations to migrate data centre applications to cloud platforms.

The sudden shift in IT operating models has further accelerated this trend. The success of hyperscale cloud environments established a credible business case for cloud platforms and made cloud the preferred environment for hosting applications with variable usage or scale-out requirements.

No. 6: Disaster recovery

Research predicts that 50% of organisations will increase their budgets for cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) solutions by 2023.

The cost-effectiveness of using a pay-per-use environment to support unexpected failover requirements that cloud-based disaster recovery solutions offer is sought after in current times.

Now is the time to deploy these solutions.

No. 7: Business continuity solutions

Business continuity ensures that business processes continue functioning before, during and after a crisis. In 2020, only 12% of respondents said their business operations were continuing as normal as a result of COVID-19, according to a recent survey.

Redundancies in the cloud operating environment mean that cloud environments are inherently resilient and offer availability guarantees greater than what most private data centres can support.

Transformation is never just doing the next big thing. Aim at unmet needs — the needs of the market and customers that your industry serves. Use the technological tools collectively to do things that couldn’t be done before.

Talk to one of our team today to learn more about our cloud capabilities; how we’re bringing people, business and technology together; and what this means for you.