When COVID-19 caused a sudden and dramatic increase in the number of remote workers, cloud offerings delivered on their promise of scaling to support business imperatives — including business continuity and disaster recovery and ensuring the availability of key workloads in the midst of change.
In fact, the pandemic and its subsequent business impacts continue to showcase the many benefits of cloud services.
Cloud adoption will continue to accelerate as key workloads are needed to support remote workers
“By 2022, 75% of organizations that implemented work-from-home policies for their workforce during COVID-19 will retain the remote working options for their employees,” said Ed Anderson, Distinguished VP Analyst, during his presentation at virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo® 2020. “Cloud adoption will continue to accelerate as key workloads are needed to support remote workers and maintain data center operations.”
In a post-pandemic world, there is opportunity to move key workloads to the cloud for the benefits it offers today and to prepare for the next unforeseen disruption.
Organizations of all types should prioritize 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 organizations’ 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 back end for supporting mobile solutions.
“Select a hyperscale cloud partner that offers robust capabilities in supporting mobile applications,” Anderson said.
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, iWork and Google G Suite are just three examples of enterprise applications that facilitate collaboration. The success of these applications is a testament to how well-suited cloud-based collaboration is for cloud delivery because of its broad, horizontal applicability to most organizations. 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: Videoconferencing
For remote workers around the world, videoconferencing is one of the most important tools. When COVID-19 hit, the demand for videoconferencing 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 videoconferencing solutions.
No. 4: Virtual desktops and remote workstation management
A virtual desktop solution, or desktop virtualization, 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 center service, cloud-based desktop virtualization has become mainstream and provides a more stable and scalable control point than traditional data-center-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 organizations to migrate data center 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
Gartner predicts that 50% of organizations 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,” Anderson said.
Many solutions and approaches to support cloud-based DR services create not only demand from customers, but also many options for providers. 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 Gartner survey.
Redundancies in the cloud operating environment mean that cloud environments are inherently resilient and offer availability guarantees greater than what most private data centers can support.