Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, application workloads had been steadily migrating to the cloud for some time. However, what was once a steady flow now appears to have become a deluge. Now, this rapid transition is exposing significant shortcomings in the ability of internal IT teams to manage those workloads.

A global survey of 500 global IT decision makers published this week by LogicMonitor, a provider of IT infrastructure monitor tools, finds 87 percent believe the COVID-19 pandemic will cause organizations to accelerate their migration to the cloud. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of respondents said within the next five years nearly all workloads (95 percent) will be in the cloud.

An earlier survey of 250 IT leaders published by Snow Software, a provider of software asset management software, finds 91 percent have already altered their cloud strategy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than three-quarters (76 percent) reporting they have increased their usage of cloud platforms.

The Snow Software survey also finds 45 percent are accelerating their cloud migration projects, while 41 percent plan to accelerate digital transformation initiatives. By comparison, 22 percent said they that have put a cloud migration project on hold, while 21 percent paused a digital transformation initiative.

IT teams striking harder bargains

The survey finds nearly a third of respondents (32 percent) said they are asking their cloud vendors for extended payment terms, while 31 percent are renegotiating their cloud contracts. Around 10 percent of respondents indicated that they would not be able to pay their cloud bills last month.

The most intriguing data concerning cloud workloads from a managed service provider (MSP) perspective, however, arguably comes from Virtana, a provider of hybrid cloud planning and optimization tools. A survey of 116 enterprise IT leaders published this week finds just over half the respondents (52 percent) said the new economic climate brought on by the pandemic has led them to discover they lack access to the right IT tools to run efficiently. Close to half (47 percent) said the current economic climate has also highlighted a lack of visibility into their IT systems overall, while more than a third (34 percent) said the pandemic has contributed to degradations in performance.

In short, the rapid transition to the cloud is likely to have a profound impact on demand for external IT expertise that MSPs are in a unique position to deliver. Most savvy MSPs have already invested in the right tools and hired the people needed to master them. The biggest issue MSPs may soon have is keeping up with demand for that cloud expertise. In fact, many organizations may wind up paying a premium for that expertise when they discover how constrained the current supply is.

Of course, most IT organizations are capable of investing in tooling and training to attain whatever expertise required. However, that typically requires the luxury of time many of those organizations simply don’t have at the moment. Business leaders are making it clear they expect application environments to be both flexible and resilient. As everyone in IT already knows, however, achieving any one of the goals is relatively easy. It’s achieving them both at the same time consistently that ends up being very hard indeed.

Photo: jamesteohart / Shutterstock

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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