As company leaders plan for the year ahead, budget allocations are a key priority. Over the past few years, IT investments have been largely driven by remote work adoption. While companies initially leveraged remote work to stay afloat amid the pandemic, many are now viewing it as a permanent solution, finding that employees are often more productive working from home.
On top of that, 76 percent of IT leaders agree that a remote work environment enables them to attract and retain top talent from a competitive, global pool.
Remote work is now mainstream, and traditional approaches to end-user computing such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and physical PCs are no longer equipped to support the modern enterprise. As a result, cloud transformation is on the rise, with 83 percent of IT leaders reporting that cloud strategies have been expanded because of remote work. Companies across all industries are accelerating their digital transformation with cloud-native solutions that provide employees with the agility, scalability, and continuity required to remain productive in a constantly evolving business landscape.
With recent economic shifts prompting executives to evaluate their IT spend, now is the time to ensure current cloud transformation initiatives reflect the long-term goals of the business. When making these decisions, the following cloud computing trends should be carefully considered:
- Enterprises are increasingly leveraging hybrid and multi-cloud strategies
Research indicates that over 90 percent of large organizations have a multi-cloud strategy and 80 percent have a hybrid cloud strategy. When a company begins its digital transformation, the scope of its applications, data, and digital infrastructure inevitably expands. Cloud migration requires significant time and manpower, and for that reason, many enterprises choose to make the investment gradually. While this shift is underway, it is likely that workloads will be distributed across several cloud environments, with some operating across multiple cloud service providers. Some workloads may even remain in an on-prem datacenter. Organizations need to be able to accommodate and easily manage all these scenarios.
Cloud PC solutions can deliver multi-cloud and hybrid capabilities that modernize end user computing and bring new agility to organizations so they can be prepared to embrace a dynamic business environment. When evaluating this option, consider the following steps for an effective multi-cloud budget strategy:
- Define the characteristics of each workload moving to the cloud.
- Allocate budgets by project to optimize each workload separately.
- When it comes to selecting a cloud vendor for each project, choose wisely. Each public cloud has unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as variable cost structures.
These considerations will help enterprises navigate specific logistics – for example, deciphering whether cloud consumption should be billed hourly or annually depending on the characteristics of each use case. In order to make informed decisions, project leaders, financial and product teams must have a deep understanding of each specific project and workload, with an aligned vision on big picture business goals.
- Legacy infrastructure is no longer equipped for the modern enterprise
The past few years have illustrated the importance of adaptability. Maintaining a competitive edge in today’s business landscape requires IT infrastructure that is built for a modern enterprise, designed to rapidly evolve in response to change. Just as the music industry shifted from vinyl, tape, and CD to streaming services, end user computing is evolving beyond on-prem, DIY, VDI, and physical desktops to cloud-native, SaaS solutions.
Legacy infrastructure such as on-prem VDI and physical PCs fail to provide the necessary elasticity to keep up with enterprise growth plans and can even put organizations at risk for data breaches and ransomware attacks. These traditional approaches prevent instant scalability, which ultimately delays productivity for end-users and complicates collaboration across locations. On top of that, between expensive hardware refresh cycles required to access updates, resource intensive VDI management, and constant maintenance efforts, legacy approaches are costly and unsustainable for most organizations.
With these challenges in mind, many companies have turned to Cloud PCs to provide the scalability and cost efficiencies that VDI and physical PCs lack. Replacing these traditional approaches with a Cloud PC ensures secure, high-performance access from any device or browser, future-proofing end-user computing for whatever challenges lie ahead.
- Cloud PCs are the modern “insurance plan” for ransomware recovery
Although billions are spent on ransomware prevention each year, most experts agree that it is not a matter of “if,” but “when” a company will fall victim to an attack. The average cost of a ransomware attack is a staggering $4.5 million, but that does not account for the most financially detrimental consequence: complete loss of productivity. According to a Sophos Report, the average time it takes to remediate a ransomware attack is 30 days, meaning an entire month of downtime can cost upwards of $10 million in productivity losses for a company of 1,000 people — not to mention the devastating impact on brand reputation.
Business continuity requires enterprises to prepare for the worst, looking beyond ransomware prevention and focusing on recovery. Many companies are leveraging Cloud PCs as their “insurance plan” for ransomware recovery — this approach provides employees with safe and secure access to business-critical assets while IT leaders investigate and remediate. Nothing says peace of mind like a secure fleet of Cloud PCs that are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, should an attack occur. Given the scope of today’s attack surface, the cost of securing standby Cloud PCs pales in comparison to the financial risk of 30+ days offline.
Recession-proofing IT infrastructure for 2023
Given today’s economic uncertainty, now is the time for executives to evaluate whether current IT spend reflects business goals. Despite recent economic challenges, the digital transformation is still well underway, with Gartner forecasting an increase of 5.1 percent in global IT spend in 2023, up from 0.8 percent growth in 2022. This is a testament to the cost effectiveness and strategic importance of cloud-native solutions. As remote and hybrid work expands across every industry, businesses will continue to look to Cloud PCs for the scalability, elasticity, and reliability needed to future-proof their IT environments.
Image credit: tomwang/depositphotos.com
Amitabh Sinha is Co-Founder and CEO of Workspot.