To stay competitive in today’s data-driven world, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) increasingly need to use high performance computing (HPC) systems and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. That can be a problem for companies that struggle to find the budgets and resources they need to design, deploy and manage the required infrastructure.
So how do SMBs move beyond these challenges? Increasingly, the answer to this question is “cloud computing.”
That’s a key takeaway from a new report from Forrester Consulting that summarizes the results of a global survey of IT decision makers at companies with 100 to 500 employees. In this report, commissioned by Dell Technologies and Intel, Forrester notes that efficiency is driving SMBs to move their HPC and AI workloads to the cloud.
“SMB respondents said their organizations largely run HPC or AI workloads on-premises,” the report says. “However, there will be a clear shift to cloud within 12 months.”
Among the survey respondents, 39 percent plan to run HPC services on public cloud in the coming year, while 38 percent plan to run AI and machine learning on private cloud. This move is overwhelmingly driven by the desire to efficiently utilize infrastructure, Forrester says.
Let’s look at some of the other findings from Forrester’s research. The firm’s SMB spotlight notes:
- SMBs take advantage of cloud to improve business. “SMBs understand the power of cloud computing to transform their businesses as nearly half of respondents said their organization currently uses cloud to modernize apps, infrastructure, and processes as a means to fundamentally change their business model and operations. Though there are certainly SMBs using cloud to simply extend capabilities or make incremental tactical improvements, very few lack a formal cloud strategy altogether. Overall, these smaller businesses recognize the power of cloud and are taking advantage of the potential benefits.”
- Efficient infrastructure utilization drives the move to cloud for data-intensive workloads. “Though HPC and AI services are mostly run on-premises today, there will be a move towards both public and private cloud within the year. Driven by a desire to make the most efficient use of currently available infrastructure options, most organizations will work with a hybrid and/or multicloud environment moving forward.”
- Cost is a big factor for SMBs when it comes to HPC. “Though respondents reported struggling with several issues — mainly with security, data latency, performance, and application architecture — SMB teams are particularly attuned to the costs involved in this work. Often dealing with less generous budgets than their enterprise colleagues, SMB respondents said they focus on balancing the costs and benefits of moving workloads to the cloud.”
- Hybrid is a smart way forward. “IT teams are making infrastructure decisions based on various business and application requirements to optimize performance. The good news? HPC and AI workloads running in hybrid environments lead to a slew of business benefits that both help teams overcome the challenges they face and drive bottom-line growth.”
Taken together, the findings of the Forrester survey suggest that although the move to HPC and AI in the cloud brings some significant challenges, SMBs increasingly recognize that hybrid cloud will be an important part of their IT environments in the years to come — for lots of good reasons.
“In general, if small and medium-sized businesses want to take advantage of the benefits that HPC and AI have to offer without investing too much up front, running these workloads in a hybrid environment is a smart choice,” Forrester says.
To learn more
For the full story, see the Forrester Consulting report “AI, HPC, And Cloud: A Spotlight On SMB.” Find out about Dell Technologies’ hybrid cloud options for AI and HPC.