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Remote working accelerates shift to cloud

87 per cent of enterprises will accelerate their cloud migration in a post-COVID world, that’s according to a new LogicMonitor study of 500 global IT decision-makers

LogicMonitor’s Cloud 2025 study examined the future of cloud workloads and the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on IT organisations in North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Though the full picture is still evolving, the survey suggests that COVID-19 has become a powerful catalyst for rapid cloud migration.

Three quarters of respondents believe that 95 per cent of all workloads will be in the cloud within the next five years, 30 per cent of UK respondents stated this will happen by 2022. This is markedly different to the findings of similar LogicMonitor research conducted in 2017, when 13 per cent did not think the shift would ever happen.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of the cloud in large and small enterprises as a vital asset to business operations,” said Tej Redkar, Chief Product Officer at LogicMonitor. “It is clear that organisations are hastening their cloud migration during the crisis, as the cloud is enabling them to operate remotely now while also serving as the foundation for digital transformation and ongoing innovation.”

Survey respondents made it clear that remote work was a driving force behind cloud migration. “If things go smoothly initially with remote work [as a result of COVID-19], then I expect increased efficiency and much more cloud usage,” noted one IT decision-maker. This sentiment was echoed by another survey respondent: “In a fully remote workforce scenario, there will be cost savings in terms of office leases, but more money will be spent on remote IT services. Everything will be in the cloud – including more automation and Internet of Things (IoT).”

The decline of on-premise
LogicMonitor’s Cloud 2025 survey also revealed that global IT decision-makers anticipate a decline in on- premise workloads over the next five years amidst accelerating shifts to the cloud. Prior to COVID-19, 35 per cent of workloads resided on-prem, according to survey respondents. However, by 2025, they believe only 22 per cent of workloads will reside on-prem. This represents a drop of 13 per cent.

“If everyone is remote, companies will have to switch from on-prem infrastructure to more cloud-based infrastructures,” commented one IT decision-maker on why his organisation is accelerating its cloud migration.

Respondents from all three regions anticipated a significant decline in on-prem workloads between now and 2025. In the UK, 38 per cent of workloads currently on-prem are expected to decline to 21 per cent by 2025.

Survey respondents believe workloads will remain evenly split between private and public clouds, even though more workloads overall will migrate to the cloud. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, global IT decision-makers identified 23 per cent of workloads as residing in the public cloud, and 25 per cent in the private cloud. By 2025, these same decision-makers believe 28 per cent of workloads will reside in the public cloud, and 30 per cent in the private cloud.

Opportunities for MPS providers
The rapid adoption of cloud services has enabled businesses of all sizes to gain access to enterprise applications and infrastructure based on subscription models. This provides flexibility, scalability, reliability and improved performance, while reducing costs and freeing IT resources to focus on more strategic activities. Increasingly, hybrid cloud – a mixture of private and multiple public cloud platforms – will become the reality for many organisations as they look to integrate legacy environments.

The promise of higher levels of availability, on-demand capacity, low-cost storage and a broad digital ecosystem is accelerating cloud adoption. According to Quocirca Director Louella Fernandes, this is creating opportunities for MPS providers to deliver cloud-based service offerings that overcome the challenges of traditional on-premise print management.

“Cloud print platforms and services are emerging as a way of minimising the cost, lowering the burden and improving the efficiency of operating an on-premise print infrastructure,” Louella said. “Traditional on-premise print management is complex and costly, often requiring multiple servers to manage print job submission, authentication, accounting and device monitoring. On top of this, tasks such as driver installation, device configuration, firmware updates and app deployment can create a significant IT burden on already stretched IT resources.”

In particular, print servers are expensive to acquire, maintain and upgrade and often lack central management. According to Quocirca’s Cloud Print Services Study, on average, the initial cost to an organisation of acquiring and provisioning a print server amounts to approximately £1,900, with ongoing running costs of around £1,500 per year. An average organisation has three print servers, so costing close to £6,000 in CapEx/provisioning, followed by £4,500 in OpEx costs per annum.

“As cloud adoption is only set to increase, it becomes an imperative that industry players can articulate a strong cloud proposition in order to continue to be relevant in a cloud and subscription-driven IT landscape,” Louella warned, adding: “The cloud transforms the traditional MPS business model – from transactional and product-centric, to value-centric. Cloud platforms provide a major opportunity for channel partners to expand their value-led service offerings and deliver flexible and scalable solutions to their customers.”

Quocirca’s Cloud Print Services 2020 report reveals the opportunities for managed print service providers and their customers in transitioning to a cloud-based print infrastructure. The report highlights the key offerings from manufacturers and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the market and discusses the potential for cloud to disrupt the traditional model of procuring and managing the print infrastructure