Changing times: Welcome to the new order of business
The ways in which businesses think about and use the cloud has evolved almost as much as the technology itself…
The value that cloud computing can – and does – deliver to businesses of all sizes and sectors is now widely understood. But, historically, such credit was not always easily given. In fact, there were times when people even struggled to understand what the cloud was, let alone how it could add value to them as individuals, their departments and the wider business.
Analyst firm Gartner had previously predicted that a corporate “no cloud” policy would be as prevalent as a “no internet” policy in the majority of companies come 2020. And, as we hurtle at speed through 2021 and into the future, it’s very hard to imagine any company that doesn’t have at least some element of cloud in its IT mix.
There are many reasons behind this shift from “What is cloud?” to “How can I take advantage of the cloud?” with some of it being attributed to the natural, evolutionary pattern of business technology – that is, cloud understanding and adoption would have accelerated organically anyway.
Insatiable hunger for the cloud
Other “surprise” elements have also played a role, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It forced businesses to think on their feet and change without notice almost overnight as remote working became the only way to keep the wheels of business turning for many.
This increased appetite for cloud will see spending balloon, according to Gartner, which predicts that cloud will account for 14.2% of overall IT purchasing by 2024 – up from 9.1% last year.
“The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organisations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the ‘new normal,’ now more than ever.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic forced organisations to quickly focus on three priorities: preserve cash and optimise IT costs, support and secure a remote workforce, and ensure resiliency. Investing in cloud became a convenient means to address all three of these needs.”
With many employees no longer tied to a physical office, there is greater emphasis on facilitating hybrid collaboration and productivity through cloud and associated technologies. While data has always been the lifeblood of business, the need to ensure slick information flow and gain data-driven insight is on the rise as organisations try and find a path to sustained success in the new normal.
Accessibility and agility will become key watchwords in firms’ playbooks and multi-cloud will become part of their operating toolbox to move benefits from theoretical to reality.
The cloud and your security posture
Security concerns have also intensified as a result of the shift to mobile and hybrid working and the cloud can also play a key role in resilience and proactive protection.
Ransomware – and, in particular, the emergence of new, unknown types – has been cited as the top threat keeping IT and business executives awake at night in the final quarter of 2021, according to Gartner.
The other concerns that make up the top five list include being able to source the right talent, COVID-19 being endemic, supply chain disruption and problems relating to the smooth running of a hybrid workforce.
“While new models of ransomware attacks are frightening in their own right, the consequences for organisations are even worse,” said Matt Shinkman, vice president with the Gartner Risk and Audit practice.
“Prolonged operational delays, data loss and exposure, as well as the reputational damage that follows, present potential existential risks to an organisation that executives are all too well aware of, especially if the attacks occur as a result of inadequate cybersecurity controls.”
The City of Beaumont in California, which boasts a population of more than 50,000 people, stores the City Hall and Police data. Historically it used off-site storage at two separate sites with no replication or additional storage.
It turned to the cloud to help reduce reliance on legacy storage hardware and mitigate ransomware threats, working with hot cloud storage firm Wasabi and cloud data management specialist Rubrik to help do just that.
“The Wasabi-Rubrik solution fulfilled all the checkboxes when it came down to CJIS compliance and restore time. We couldn’t have chosen a better service for our city,” said Edgar Trenado, information technology manager at the City of Beaumont.
Forming the right alliances for today and tomorrow
Given the increasingly important role the cloud does and will play in modern business life, it’s key for firms to ensure they’re forming the right connections across the board. And that means selecting the right partner who can serve as a trusted advisor on key matters as well as playing the role of traditional cloud supplier.
That said, there is nothing traditional about the way in which Wasabi operates. Since it’s arrival back in 2017, the firm has really shaken up the market and given businesses much more freedom and choice.
This is evidenced by the firm’s mission statement, which says: “Wasabi is on a mission to store all the world’s data by making data storage simple, affordable, fast and secure. If you have data to store, whether it’s backups, x-rays, surveillance videos, financial data, media and entertainment or scientific data, Wasabi’s pledge is to always be the cheapest, fastest, most secure and reliable cloud storage in the world. It’s all we do, and we do it better than anyone.”
When it comes to cost efficiency, Wasabi says prices are 80% lower than AWS S3, with no egress or API charges. Performance is also greatly accelerated with private network options and speedy uploads and downloads. And, when it comes to protection and security, Wasabi delivers data centre redundancy, 11x9s data durability and immutable storage.
But it’s not just a case of Wasabi singing its own praises. Industry experts and customers also see the firm as somewhat of a breath of fresh air to the cloud industry.
Indeed, IDC recognised Wasabi as a firm that had helped shape the year in its Worldwide Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service Market Shares report in 2020.
“The public cloud IaaS market is a massive, high-growth IT infrastructure segment – topping $65.5 billion in 2020. However, it is an extremely difficult market for new entrants to establish themselves – especially pureplay providers,” commented Andrew Smith, research manager, Cloud infrastructure Services at IDC.
He continued: “Wasabi is one of few vendors that has successfully broken into the IaaS market, establishing a significant customer and partner base in public cloud storage. As enterprises continue to expand their reliance on stored data and cloud services, Wasabi will remain well positioned for growth, striking a unique balance between high-performance and low-cost object storage which appeals to a wide range of enterprises, partners and use cases.”
Cloud in and of itself gave businesses a little breathing space to at least think about how to do things differently. And, while the pandemic was somewhat of a shock, most businesses have used the opportunity to combine the two and reimagine how technology can support business needs in new and evolving ways.
“Wasabi was founded to take the complexity out of cloud storage performance and pricing and to make it more reliable and transparent. As 2020 forced us all to reimagine how we work and conduct business, low-cost, reliable and scalable cloud storage is more important than ever,” said David Friend, CEO and co-founder of Wasabi.
“This recognition from IDC alongside some of the world’s most well-known technology companies validates our more simplified and predictable approach to cloud storage. With our recent funding, revenues tripling each of the last three years, and exponential partner and customer growth, we’re well-positioned to grow our leadership in the IaaS market.”
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