• Large-scale public cloud migration ‘critical’ for US companies over past 10 months
  • Full impact of digital transformation remains unknown, with a third of firms still in earliest stage of recovery
  • Role of CIO elevated, with more than half (55%) claiming to have more influence across the business

January 7, 2020 – More than a quarter (27.5%) of U.S. IT leaders believe large-scale public cloud migration is “essential for business survival” following COVID-19, according to a new IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Cloudreach and Amazon Web Services, ‘U.S. Businesses Become Future-Ready with Large-Scale Cloud Migration’.

From the study of 200 U.S. IT leaders, who were polled on their experiences of digital transformation during the 2020 pandemic, 66% cited COVID-19 and the resulting increase in remote workers as the key catalyst for cloud migration. Other key reasons included:

  • Regulatory changes such as GDPR, Schrems II (59%)
  • Business demand for greater IT speed and agility (59%)
  • The need for improved security (50%)
  • Data center update, expansion or exit (45%)

The new research underscores the need for enterprises to embrace the cloud and accelerate their digital transformation, with 29.5% of businesses in the survey saying that they have accelerated their digital transformation (DX) plans within the past 10 months. By contrast, only 17% said the pandemic has delayed their DX plans.

Commenting on the findings, Dave Chapman, Head of Strategy and Professional Services at Cloudreach, said: “The initial period of the pandemic has forced many C-suite leaders, who were hesitant to migrate from legacy technologies, into accelerating their digital transformation plans for the sake of their organization’s survival. The longer term changes that emerge from this global crisis are likely to fundamentally alter the way many organizations work and, as a result, will accelerate enterprise-wide modernisation efforts on an unprecedented scale. ”

Measuring the impact

Despite the notable uptick in public cloud migration in 2020, the true impact of the pandemic is yet to be felt as businesses across the U.S. sit at different stages of recovery across regions and industries. Nearly one-third (32%) still claim to be in the earliest stage of recovery, focusing solely on business continuity. Just 10.5% are making targeted investments as they return to growth, while 16.5% reported having reached their ‘next normal’.

Crucially, of the 16.5% of leading enterprises who have already reached their ‘next normal’, nearly three-quarters (72%) said their digital transformations were well underway or completed, highlighting the connection between DX and a company’s ability to adapt and innovate in a crisis.

Frank Della Rosa, Research Director at IDC, added: “To be future-ready, US businesses must prioritize speed, resiliency, and scalability in enterprise architecture design in order to transform value delivery in response to continuous changes in market conditions and customer demand. It’s now about stabilizing and securing operations while driving profitable growth.”

A boardroom boost for the CIO

The pandemic has had a major impact on the Chief Information Officer, with 45% saying that the pandemic had improved their relationships with business leaders and changed the focus of IT from being a cost center to a business-enabler. More than half of CIOs (55%) said it had increased their scope of influence across the business, finally giving them a seat in the boardroom and the opportunity to digitally transform the business.

Cloud benefits

Companies that have implemented large-scale moves to public cloud believe they are better positioned to deal with a range of problems, including:

  • Better collaboration across different functions (85%)
  • Faster response times (78%)
  • More resilient supply chains (71%)

Driving success in the new normal will see 85% of companies focus efforts on streamlining and standardizing IT, with 78% moving to automate labor-intensive processes, and 71% applying innovative technologies such as AI, AR and advanced analytics to prepare for the future.

View and download the IDC InfoBrief report (doc #EUR147203120, January 2021) in full here.

About Cloudreach
Cloudreach is the world’s leading independent multi-cloud services company. Our mission is to deliver the promise of cloud and drive extraordinary value for our customers. Cloudreach helps enterprises win competitive advantage through successful cloud transformation. We’re the go-to strategic partner for Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. With more than 10 years of cloud native experience, we’ve built an unmatched depth and breadth of expertise in cloud technologies and their application to business.

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