5 Adoption Trends Shaping the Future of Business


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Article contributed by Charles Southwood, Regional VP at Denodo  

The cloud has become critical to the meaningful digitisation of most businesses – especially in the wake of cybersecurity threats such as ransomware, global supply chain issues, and geopolitical instability. Organisations of all sizes are realising that to compete with competitors and agile new players, they need to optimise their use of data and reassess their IT stack to include cloud technologies in some form or another, with hyperscalers such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) still the most popular choice of providers. 

Small and medium sized organisations in particular have driven investment in cloud infrastructure to support workload migration, data storage services, and cloud-native application development, realising that the cloud is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ if they want to harness real-time data. However, the issue facing many businesses is that after deploying the cloud, there is a lack of expertise when it comes to finding, accessing and analysing the data they have as well as the new data they are acquiring.

Let’s examine five of the key trends in the past year when it comes to cloud adoption and data use today:

1. Cloud is king

Recent research polling IT decision makers (ITDM) and business decision makers (BDM) has confirmed that cloud adoption is increasing fast, with more than half (54%) of respondents flagging they are either at an intermediate or advanced level of cloud usage. This is unsurprising – as new flexible technologies that enhance productivity and agility were always going to remain after the spike in awareness and interest caused by the need to facilitate a work from home model overnight, due to the onset of COVID. With company engagement remaining steady, and with many involved in some form of cloud activity; it will be interesting to see how many can increase in their maturity of usage over the next 12 months. 

2. The rise of cloud-based data warehouses, lakes and lake houses 

While many organisations moved key files, applications and data to the cloud, they have also had to find storage for new data acquired subsequent to the transition.  

A key finding from the survey saw cloud-based data warehouses, data lakes, and lake houses played a prominent role in 2021, and was cited as both a top initiative by respondents (48%), as well as one of their top use cases (57%). With essential workloads, files and applications now migrated to the cloud, the next step for many companies is to find a place to store the new data they then begin to acquire. Modern data-management approaches like a logical data fabric are one method in which organisations can seamlessly accommodate legacy systems so that they can work in tandem with new, sophisticated cloud based systems.

3. The rise of hybrid

The popularity of a hybrid approach continue to rise even though the disparity between hybrid cloud and private cloud deployments has become significantly wider, with nearly double (37.5%) the amount of ITDMs and BDMs choosing hybrid over pure public cloud (20%). Organisations are clearly unwilling or unable to give up on their legacy systems entirely and so it is somewhat inevitable that hybrid cloud is the best option going forward, even with an increased cloud footprint. 

What is more, a considerable number of organisations (93%) stated that they were either using, evaluating, or considering leveraging cloud-based data integration, management, and analytics – including powerful technologies such as data virtualisation and logical data fabric – to allow a fluid and instantaneous access across both on-premises and cloud systems. This mixed deployment style has several benefits – including regulatory compliance, scalability and the agility harnessed from being able to use applications in real time which allows for better employee productivity. 

4. Using data remains complex

When asked about the key barriers to becoming a totally ‘data-driven’ organisation, the surveyed IT and business decision makers called out the complexity of data integration, accessibility and accommodating different data formats (79%) as the top challenge, with a lack of analytical skills and resources to turn raw data into insights a secondary barrier (62%). Other key challenges cited include difficulties with being able to find, access, and analyse half or more of their data after adopting cloud technologies (44%), while only 17%were able to leverage three-quarters or more of their data. 

Solving these issues quickly will be the key to harnessing the full potential of a cloud migration and organisations must ensure the right expertise is in place to manage and use data if they want to become a business that makes key decisions based on hard numbers. 

5. Changing role of IT for cloud modernisation

The role of IT in the cloud modernisation journey has undoubtedly shifted away from choosing a provider and implementing a migration to utilising the technology for business decision making. Over the past year, a third of respondents (31.3%) flagged their IT teams are now more focused on receiving the training needed to take their companies’ cloud systems to the next level, while reporting and dashboards, self-service BI and ad-hoc analytics remain important priorities. In the future, data virtualisation, data preparation, data quality and blending should become more prominent as the cloud becomes a seamless part of an organisation’s IT structure. 

It is clear there are disparities in where every organisations is on their journey to the cloud, but it is encouraging to see the signs of preparation for what comes next. Business stakeholders within organisations are eager to get the most out of their data and organisations are now looking at how best to maximise their cloud systems with robust cloud-based repositories. It is becoming more and more obvious that cloud is not just here to stay, it here to rule.