The Silver Lining IS the Cloud

By Van Diamandakis, Oct 01, 2020

Sometimes, an unprecedented event can accelerate a movement, propelling it forward and with greater velocity and purpose.

In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no question that the events of 2020 will be seen as a turning point in how we work and live. One of them will be in the way we do business moving forward, driving the rapid, highly-accelerated modernization of data and applications in the cloud.

As the long weeks of lockdown and remote work have stretched into months and even full seasons, think tanks and surveyors have begun to take stock of how the business world has adapted and changed in the face of the pandemic. Over and over again, the results bear the same theme: companies are accelerating their data lake migrations to the cloud, moving applications to the cloud, and widening and strengthening their existing multi-cloud infrastructures.

One study, from LogicMonitor, looked at 500 global IT organizations in North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. COVID-19, that study shows, has been an immensely powerful instigator of cloud migration: 87% of the organizations studied said that they plan to accelerate their migration, and they plan to do so specifically as a result of the workflow shifts and business outlook fluctuations brought on by the pandemic. In addition, nearly three quarters of respondents (74%) said that they believe that within the next five years, 95% of all workloads will be in the cloud to take advantage of advanced tooling, flexibility and innovations around machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, which work best on top of large and accurate datasets.

This is a giant leap from a similar study that LogicMonitor conducted just three years ago, in 2017. At the time, 62% of respondents said they thought it would take five years or more for workloads to run in the cloud, and 13% said they didn’t think it would ever happen at all.

Companies that are jumping to the cloud at greater speed than ever before are likely doing so after taking stock of those who moved in the other direction.  A study from Virtana painted a darker picture for enterprises that halted their cloud migrations during the pandemic. These companies are now more than 2.5 times more likely to experience IT outages — which can have a devastating effect on SLAs — than those who continued their migrations and digital transformations.

Those companies that forged ahead with their cloud migrations also saw fewer outages, less impacted access to support services, and were less afflicted by visibility issues and performance hiccups.

And in a study recently done by Snow Software, which provides software asset management software, 60% of IT leaders said they continue to increase their use of cloud services. Perhaps more significantly, 91% of respondents said that they are changing their cloud strategy in the wake of the economic downturn that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought, and 45% are accelerating cloud migration projects as part of that shift.

It’s not all rosy, though, of course. The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged us into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and many businesses, especially in the travel and hospitality sectors, are feeling the pain. So while companies are scrambling to get into the cloud faster than ever before, they are also struggling to pay for the transition, with Snow Software’s survey showing that nearly a third of responders (32%) are asking their cloud vendors for extended payment terms, and 31% are renegotiating their cloud contracts. Even so, better to be in an OPEX model than in a fixed cost operating model with your IT infrastructure.

So many enterprises also struggle with the other major hurdle of cloud migration: downtime. Companies are concerned, rightly so, about how to move their large-scale, on-premises transactional data to the cloud without quickly, cost effectively and without any system downtime.  Large-scale data migration has thwarted CIOs for years because of the “live” nature of business data - which changes minute-to-minute and needs to be available 24/7 without interruption.

WANdisco uniquely solves this data gravity problem because LiveData Migrator automates the migration of changing data in a single pass with zero business disruption and zero data loss. This means that during a cloud migration, LiveData Migrator enables applications to continue to fully access, ingest, and update data. Even as data is moving to the cloud, applications continue to access the existing on-premises environment, while users can choose to direct new workloads or queries at cloud assets.

LiveData Migrator is a game-changer, and its influence is exponential in the era of a game-changing pandemic. In a highly uncertain economic climate, the future is no doubt in the cloud.

About the author

Van Diamandakis

Van Diamandakis, SVP of Marketing, WANdisco

Van is a proven Silicon Valley technology executive with over 25 years of operational experience that draws upon his track record leading global marketing transformations, driving to meaningful financial events including IPOs and acquisitions. Van has been at the forefront of B2B technology marketing and brings a unique ability to marry creativity, data, technology and leadership skills to rapidly build brand equity and successfully navigate tech companies through inflection points, accelerating revenue growth and valuation.



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