A survey published today by 2nd Watch, a provider of IT services, finds that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud security and DevOps have emerged as the top two priorities for large enterprise IT organizations.
The survey queried more than 100 IT directors working at companies with at least $500 million in annual sales and IT budgets of at least $50 million per year, Three-quarters of respondents (75%) said they are prioritizing cloud security, followed by cloud-native culture change, also known as DevOps, (60%) and conferencing/collaboration (51%).
Chris Garvey, executive vice president of product for 2nd Watch, said the report shows that not only are more large enterprises accelerating cloud adoption, but the projects being launched are also more strategic to the business.
The survey finds 60% of respondents said they are prioritizing projects with potentially large payoffs over cost-conscious projects. Nearly half (47%) said now is the time to position their company for the long haul, while 39% said they are accelerating the use of the cloud to deliver digital products. As part of those efforts, more than a third (34%) said they are accelerating the migration of applications to the cloud.
A total of 93% of respondents use at least two cloud platforms, with Microsoft Azure being the most widely employed.
Cloud computing platforms, however, are not without their challenges. Most respondents (82%) said they’ve experienced cloud-related challenges, with 77% reporting those issues have caused them to alter their cloud strategies. Nearly half (46%) said experiencing cloud security-related challenges, while 48% said cloud computing turned out to be more expensive than initially anticipated.
The top challenges identified are providing remote workers access to corporate systems (63%), providing remote worker support (57%) and conferencing/collaboration systems that haven’t worked as expected (47%). Half said they are accelerating the use of the cloud to support remote employees, with 58% expecting at least half of their company’s employees will become full-time remote workers in 2021.
Overall, nearly two-thirds (64%) said their IT related budgets have stayed the same or grown since COVID-19 began, and 59% said their cloud budgets would increase over the next 12 months. A total of 80%, however, acknowledged they are concerned COVID-19 will continue to impact their IT strategy and only half (50%) said they were confident in their organization’s ability to adjust.
Primary areas of focus over the next 12 months include databases (42%), internet of things (39%), data warehousing (35%), artificial intelligence/machine learning (34%) and data lakes (26%).
Garvey said large enterprises are clearly looking to take advantage of their deeper pockets to accelerate digital transformation initiatives at a time when smaller rivals may not be able to invest. However, because the pandemic has impacted some verticals more adversely than others, the level of digital business transformation occurring across different vertical sectors is uneven, he noted.
It may be a while before the winners and losers are identified in the wake of the pandemic. However, it’s clear large organizations are betting on IT now more than ever to differentiate themselves. As large organizations assess the damage from the pandemic, it’s likely that the future of many of these companies will depend on the degree to which they can adopt a wide array of not just emerging technology platforms, but also the processes required to master them.