Enterprise IT still focused on the long term despite pandemic challenges

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While COVID-19 has altered the cloud strategies of enterprise IT executives, the vast majority are still moving forward with their big-picture digital transformation initiatives, and most think they'll see an increase in their cloud budgets to support these projects over the next year.

A new report from professional services and managed cloud company 2nd Watch surveyed more than 100 cloud-focused IT directors or above and finds that 82 percent of respondents say they've experienced cloud-related challenges with 77 percent saying these challenges have caused them to alter their cloud strategies.

The top challenge has been providing remote workers access to corporate systems according to 63 percent. 57 percent say remote worker complexity/support has been their biggest challenge and 47 percent say that conferencing/collaboration systems haven't worked as expected.

The use of cloud to support remote employees is accelerating for 50 percent. Unsurprising since 58 percent of respondents say that at least half of their company’s employees will become full-time remote workers in 2021, up from 47 percent before the pandemic began.

When it comes to digital transformation, 60 percent of respondents say they are prioritizing projects with potentially large payoffs, such as company-wide digital transformation, over cost-conscious projects. 47 percent believe now is the time to position their company for the long haul, while 39 percent of respondents are accelerating the use of cloud to deliver digital products and 34 percent say they are accelerating the migration of applications to the cloud.

Interestingly pre-COVID-19 cloud budgets remain mostly intact and indeed are expected to grow. 64 percent of survey respondents say their IT related budgets have stayed the same or grown since the pandemic began and 59 percent say their cloud budgets will increase over the next 12 months -- with 23 percent saying their cloud budgets would increase significantly in that time.

"What we're seeing here is consistent with what our clients are telling us and the continued goals of our active cloud modernization programs," says Chris Garvey, EVP of product at 2nd Watch. "The pandemic may be causing IT leaders to adjust their priorities, but they’re not backing down from big-picture efforts that can transform and position their organizations for long-term success. As more businesses reopen, we expect demand for cloud modernization services to increase further."

You can read more on the 2nd watch blog.

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