Deloitte: Shift to cloud services accelerated by COVID-19
A shift to cloud services by organisations around the world will be accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Deloitte.
Highlighted in the report: The future of cloud-enabled work infrastructure is that 87% of global IT decision-makers (polled by Logic Monitor) agree more companies will migrate their work to the cloud causing a decline in on-line premises workloads by 2025.
According to the report, despite the economic recession triggered by the pandemic, each major public cloud provider posted a continued double-digit growth in 2020 with the highest of 43% for Google Cloud Platform.
Deloitte reports companies worldwide spent US$34.6 billion on cloud services in the second quarter - up roughly 11% from the previous quarter. “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
COVID-19 has affected work, workforce and workplace in dramatic ways and forced organisations to think about their future infrastructure needs and accelerate their movement to the cloud, outlines the insights paper.
“We expect to see a shift in cloud strategies toward cloud migration, security, operations, value planning, and DevSecOps (short for development, security, and operations) as well as a retraction of cloud native, container and serverless initiatives,” says the report.
Statistics before and during the global pandemic shows a steep uptick in organisations looking to public clouds:
- Cloud demand
Before; 20% of enterprises expected half of their workload to be in a public cloud by 12 months.
During; 59% expect cloud use to exceed plans – queries for senior cloud executives has increased by 224%.
- Remote working
Before; 3% of employees reportedly worked remotely in January 2020.
During; 64% of full-time employees worked remotely as of April 2020 and 81% of the global workforce (2.7 billion workers) was impacted by lockdown as of May 2020.
- Collaboration tools
Before; 20 million Microsoft Teams daily active users in November 2019.
After: 75 million (almost quadrupled) Microsoft Teams daily active users by May 2020.
- Infrastructure requirement
Before: 17% desktop users and 15% mobile users accessed VPN IN December 2019.
During: Microsoft Azure VPN grew by 94%
- Cloud revenues:
Before: Cloud market leaders experienced growth in 2019 – 37% for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Q2 2019 and 22% growth in Microsoft Intelligent Cloud in Q3 2019.
During: Despite the economic recession, each major public cloud provider posted a continued double-digit growth in 2020 the highest of 43% for Google Cloud Platform, 29% for Amazon Web Services and 27% for Microsoft Intelligent Cloud.
Surge in demand for services
“With most of the global workforce remote, major public cloud providers witnessed a huge surge in demand for their services. Such volumes stressed traditional infrastructure (such as virtual private networks) and forced organisations to lift and shift to the cloud quickly, leaving room for further optimisation,” report Deloitte.
Stay-at-home orders made it difficult, if not impossible, to access on-premise infrastructure highlighting a key infrastructure risk. The vulnerability of tightly interlocked business and technology architectures to stress has become apparent.
As organisations respond to COVID-19 with a renewed cloud focus, they face IT complexity, security risk, and operational efficiency challenges,” warns Deloitte. “Resilient leaders and organisations have an opportunity to modernise their technology backbones with scalable cloud infrastructure,”
When designing an approach, Deloitte’s research has shown that the “magic mix” to resolving cloud complexity is having effective tools (34%), approaches (34%), and people (32%).
Deloitte commented that multicloud solutions and hybrid cloud technology strategies are normal for those already in the cloud and will likely continue to see increased adoption as they enable business flexibility.
The next frontier is here
“The next frontier of managing cloud complexity will likely be developing multicloud solutions that use the right combination of tools, software, and technology to manage cloud services and enable business applications - everything from orchestrating data from virtual data centres to implementing AIOps, “ outlines the report.
“These heterogeneous IT infrastructures are seeing shifts in consumption that make cloud a favourable solution.”
Finally, ways of working have been altered in profound ways, prompting organisations to double down on DevOps best practices that increase collaboration and introduce new approaches for a distributed world. Organisations can look to double down on agile development, embrace ChatOps for virtual collaboration, automate DevOps processes that continue to shift left, and step into new roles to support an IT-as-a-service operating model.
“This combination of multicloud solutions, federated security, and distributed DevOps can help create a future of cloud-enabled work infrastructure needed to make virtual business infrastructure work, concludes the report.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”