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What Cloud IT Investment must focus on

by jcp
gawdo

By Adrian Taylor, Regional VP of Sales at A10 Networks

Over the last two years, IT teams have come under immense pressure, having to quickly rethink their architecture to support home working and best prepare for a hybrid-working model in the future. As a result, IT spending has never been higher, with a total projected spend of USD 4.4 trillion in 2022, an increase of 4% from 2021.

IT investment decisions have reflected widely accepted hybrid working practices and a reduced intensity of digital transformation projects. According to A10 Networks’ recent Enterprise Perspectives research, investment in the cloud is a standout priority. This comes in addition to a growing focus on strengthening cybersecurity strategies. These strategies must include the policies and practices that accompany the shift to an expanded office network/hybrid working environment.

A clear investment in work-from-home models

One of the main operational shifts post-pandemic has been towards a hybrid-working model.

Employees now expect a certain degree of flexibility in their working practices. To attract and retain talent, enterprises need to adapt to this ‘new normal’ and reflect this in their long-term IT strategies.

The survey questioned respondents’ expectations around post-pandemic working practices. Our research found that only 14% of global respondents say a minority or no employees will work from the office. Furthermore, 24% believe there will be a home/office split of 50/50, and the majority (62%) envision their workforce will be based in the office.

Remote work has had an impact on IT strategy and the shift to cloud. This trend has only accelerated due to the ease of remote deployment and accessibility of cloud options.

Investing in Private and Public Cloud

As a result, businesses have started investing in private and public cloud to fulfil this requirement of hybrid working. With the exception of the US and eastern Europe, A10 Networks’ research underlined private cloud as the most popular choice, to host organisations’ environments.

The research outlines that 30% of global respondents use this method. Private cloud is also the preferred cloud environment for organisations dealing with sensitive information, i.e., government bodies and financial institutions. This is because it enhances the ability to control and monitor their applications, users, and data.

These findings are further reflected in a recent Gartner report, which indicates that cloud-based services are largely responsible for the 11% growth in enterprise software spending.

With cloud services, the long-term reduction in IT spending after implementation clearly outweighs the upfront cost. This trajectory follows the popular software-as-a-service model that facilitates hybrid working, wherein organisations adopt services that allow flexibility, and ease of access.

Investing in a cloud strategy is a key priority for organisations seeking to provide flexible, efficient services that enable growth and innovation. However, investment in cloud services will be redundant in the long term without stringent security measures built in.

The less secure a deployment is, the greater the chance and the higher the impact of a cybersecurity incident. The cost of breaches and/or loss of data can lead to a significant cost impact, both direct (fines) and indirect (brand reputation). Cloud services must be layered with appropriate security measures to ensure information does not fall into the wrong hands and become an unforeseen extra expenditure in already-strained budgets.

What do future investment priorities look like?

The shift to cloud, more flexible licensing, and pay-as-you-go models mean organisations can gain more value from budgets to drive innovation, a priority highlighted in our enterprise research.

Ultimately, investment should be directed at products and solutions that proactively defend the organisation’s cybersecurity, make IT teams more agile, and enable organisations to provide customers with a competitive advantage. Companies have now moved past the initial shock of the pandemic, giving them the opportunity to redirect budgets to focus on service optimisation and delivery.

Going forward, implementing effective and secure hybrid cloud solutions will allow organisations the flexibility to scale in the post-pandemic world, empowering them to focus on meeting and surpassing employee and customer requirements, regardless of whatever influences and pressures that the future holds.

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