AJ Thompson, CCO of Northdoor plc

Member Article

As 2021 sees spend and migration levels to the cloud rise, companies cannot get caught in the new found wave confidence in tech

AJ Thompson, CCO Northdoor plc

As has been widely acknowledged the pandemic has seen a shift in the pace of technology adoption across the globe. The acceleration has allowed companies to continue working throughout the huge disruption caused by the move to different work practices.

As lockdown began, companies rushed to implement technology quickly, short circuiting normal procurement processes and making decisions on purchases that might have otherwise taken several months. On the whole, many of these solutions worked well for companies. Most businesses were able to continue to operate in some form or another during the course of lockdown.

The urgency of the situation meant that many had to put their concerns about the cloud in particular aside. The pandemic has done much to reassure those with doubts about the effectiveness and security of cloud technologies. This has resulted in a surge of interest and migration to cloud environments. Some reports indicate that over half of European IT outsourcing spend will soon be on cloud services, which is up considerably on previous years.

Backing this up is Gartner’s prediction that spend on public cloud will increase to $332.3bn by the end of 2021, again a massive jump from previous years highlighting the increase in popularity and confidence in cloud technologies.

Make sure cloud migration is right for you

Whilst the acceleration of cloud trends over the past couple of years has to be a good thing for businesses and the IT industry alike, it is important to keep our feet on the ground. All too often companies buy-in to a tech trend because they feel they have to in order to keep up with competitors, or at least feel like they are not missing out. Migrating data and infrastructure to the cloud can have huge benefits, but that is not the case for every business.

If you were to listen to some IT vendors and consultancies you might believe that a full and immediate migration is what all companies need to do in order to recognise the cost savings and efficiencies delivered by the cloud. That is frankly not the case.

Many companies find that that grass is not always greener on the other side. The positive aspects of setting up cloud environments can also represent a negative for some companies. The speed and convenience of setting up new resources in the cloud means that it is sometimes too easy for companies to lose control – replacing fixed in-house capital costs with spiralling external operational costs.

Quicker IT procurement has positive and negatives

The trend of rapidly implementing technology to give a quick fix to a particular problem has turned normal IT procurement practice on its head.

Instead of months of due diligence and procurement procedure companies have been forced into making quick decisions. This has been a real positive for some sectors. The public sector for example has been able to take advantage of innovative solutions that have made a real difference to the day-to-day front-line practice and circumnavigating some of the notoriously long procurement cycles.

C-levels executives may have gained a new-found belief and confidence in technology and their organisation’s ability to quickly procure and implement solutions, but throwing caution to the wind has the potential disaster.

A balance has to be found between reassured and confident senior decision makers and a level of due diligence that ensure the company remains compliant to regulation, that the solution is the correct one for the business and that it is not going to cause huge disruption to existing infrastructure and your workforce.

Taking a hybrid approach to cloud migration

To reduce the risk of spiralling costs companies should be looking at a hybrid approach to their cloud migration. This gives a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario for businesses. Not only does it allow companies to tap into the new-found enthusiasm and trust that has grown over the past two years, but it means it is not an all or nothing venture.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Anna Boyce .

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