The impact of COVID-19 was felt everywhere, and the world of IT—and its budgets—was certainly not spared. Yet, along with the general slowdown in IT investment were widespread reports about how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation.
To learn more about how organizations are shifting their technology priorities, Google commissioned a study by IDG to understand the impact of COVID-19 and its resulting implications to IT. This global survey of 2,000 IT leaders highlighted four key trends that are capturing the imagination of IT departments in 2021: (1) multicloud solutions that give organizations the flexibility to run apps where they need them, (2) data analytics solutions that provide real-time insights, (3) sustainability solutions that enable organizations to reduce their carbon emissions, and (4) security solutions that protect their data, applications, infrastructure, and customers.
A deeper look at some of the results found that:
- Support for hybrid and multicloud is IT’s top priority: When considering cloud providers, 78% of respondents listed support for hybrid and multicloud as a must-have or major consideration factor. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted the need for flexibility, resiliency, and redundancy in operations and development. IT leaders want the ability to write apps once and deploy them anywhere without feeling “locked in.”
- The promise of data intelligence continues to rise: Forty-four percent of digitally forward organizations (defined as those companies farther along in their digital transformation journeys) are currently using data analytics, AI/ML, and IoT technologies—this is 20% more than their more conservative peers. These more forward-looking companies are using disruptive and intelligent technologies to automate processes, make intelligent predictions, and streamline management and operations.
- Cloud has won over security skeptics: Eighty-four percent of those surveyed believe their cloud infrastructure is more secure or as secure as their on-premises infrastructure (vs. just 15% who believe on-premises is safer). Digging deeper into the research, IT leaders want more control over access to their data, as well as transparency and visibility into their provider’s operations.
- Sustainability is now an IT priority: Likely driven by shareholder and consumer pressures, 90% of respondents stated that sustainability is a priority and/or a performance metric for their IT department. However, even though the desire to become more sustainable is high, actions still lag behind. Only two-thirds of respondents reported their organizations have sustainability targets in place today. Many will choose providers with documented sustainability records, such as Google Cloud’s carbon neutrality commitments.
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the shape of IT for years to come. To learn more about the findings, download the IDG report “No turning back: How the pandemic reshaped digital business agendas.”