Strategic shifts in the enterprise: Why cloud adoption is accelerating now

From ERP and HCI, to security and Zero Trust – discover why these factors are accelerating cloud and digital transformations now.

cloud over buildings

The barriers to enterprise cloud computing are falling fast.

In the UK, cloud adoption now stands at 88% – for large-scale enterprises and through to SMEs. Worldwide, the public cloud market grew 28.6% during the first half of 2017. Much of this is driven by SaaS, and providers delivering application add-ons and extensions as a service.

These findings mean “businesses now think ‘cloud first’ when it comes to their IT strategy and software footprint, since the benefits of cloud are clear and have been broadly demonstrated in most industries,” says Eric Newmark, Program Vice President for IDC.

In boardrooms, cloud conversations have long moved on from ‘should we’. Now it’s about how, when, and to what extent. Below are some of the reasons for this strategic shift.

ERP in the public cloud

Back in the olden days of cloud computing, 10 or so years ago, providers such as Amazon Web Services were a popular choice among startups and SMEs. In fact, for any company with little or no legacy infrastructure. Doing business in an agile way, and able to take advantage of the elasticity and flexibility on offer.

Many companies will combine the large public cloud providers along with a specialist.

These days, the likes of AWS, Google and Microsoft have become a viable option for large enterprises. Reasons for this include enabling enterprise apps, such as SAP Hana, to be run from the cloud.

“The arguments that public clouds cannot scale, are not secure, are not ‘enterprise-grade,’ and will never be allowed by regulators to host sensitive workloads are being dismantled one by one” (Source: Forrester)

The role of hyperconverged infrastructure

Advances in HCI have made it much easier to get private cloud services working together. From virtualisation and automation, to resource monitoring and self-service. This is freeing up IT teams to focus on more productive tasks – which is vital for organisations pursuing a digital transformation strategy.

HCI is the fastest-growing Software-Defined Storage segment, according to IDC, who note: “all the major enterprise storage systems providers have committed to the HCI market in a major way over the past 18 months”.

Security and Zero Trust

Security concerns may have previously limited large-scale cloud adoption among banks and insurers. Now that modern workloads are shifting to the cloud, a new form of defence is gaining traction. Zero Trust, where verification is always required – even within the perimeter.

security cameras
Worldwide security technology revenues will exceed $100bn by 2020 (source: IDC)

Cloud-based technologies are at the heart of this. For example, machine learning that validates users, and authenticates access levels. Securing data centres and cloud environments almost in real-time. Of course, organisations must ensure they have the necessary infrastructure, systems and culture in place.

Paving a path to the cloud

Naturally, clients are increasingly aware of the risks from vendor lock-in. Many firms, particularly in financial services, have legacy apps to integrate. Then there’s the incoming GDPR to factor in, a game-changer for how cloud-based data is handled, crunched and processed.

However, digital transformation is about a series of steps, rather than one giant leap. Organisations want to take their apps and migrate them to the cloud. And while very early days, some see the transparency of blockchain’s ledger as another tool for managing enterprise risks in the future. Taking advantage may require linking with smaller, more agile providers. Those who can offer cloud partnerships to enable these steps.

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New guide: What you need for a successful cloud migration

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