The pandemic has drastically altered how organizations operate and approach the future of work and nearly half (42 percent) of organizations reported that their data centre infrastructure experienced improvements over the last two years. Now more than ever, it is crucial to understand how best to maximize your data centre to stay ahead of the curve and competitors.
Recently, CDW Canada commissioned a survey with Angus Reid to examine data centre trends and workplace transformations by speaking directly to Canada’s IT professional community. The survey revealed many interesting findings and uncovered trends about how Canadian organizations managed their data centres over the last two years and what the future of work may hold.
This indicates that organizations are increasingly adopting data centres that include a mix of on-premises and public cloud services. This is a trend we expect to continue into 2022 and beyond, as utilizing both affords organizations more robust means of backing up their data while remaining agile.
Advantages of the Public Cloud
Why has utilizing public cloud services alongside on-premises data centres become so popular? The abrupt shift to remote and hybrid work models brought on by the pandemic was certainly a contributing factor. In fact, our survey revealed that 15 percent of respondents started using public cloud services during the pandemic.
Additionally, the overwhelming majority of IT professionals saw hosting applications in the public cloud as critical to their workplace success and cited a positive impact on their flexibility (73 percent), workplace agility (68 percent) and productivity (65 percent), attributed to the adoption of public cloud services.
These findings indicate that when organizations are open to transforming and updating their IT infrastructure in tandem with the ever-changing work landscape, employees will see clear benefits.
Data Centre Challenges
No matter how an organization chooses to host its data, data centre challenges are inevitable. That is why it is so important for organizations to be prepared.
According to our survey, over one-quarter (26 percent) of IT professionals reported they experienced a data-centre failure in the last two years. Of organizations that hosted applications in the public cloud, 28 percent reported a major outage for business-critical applications attributed to a public cloud services outage while data centres fared even worse. Over one-third (35 percent) of respondents reported a major outage for business-critical applications attributed to data centre failure. Respondents also indicated loss of productivity (82 percent), added costs (37 percent), security breaches (22 percent) and loss of data (21 percent) as a direct result of their organization’s data centre failure.
Neither public cloud services nor on-premises data centres are fool-proof, so leveraging both for data storage is a great way to ensure that if and when a system failure does occur, your organization is not left in the dark.
Recovery Solutions Are Crucial
If data is gone and applications are inaccessible, there is no such thing as business as usual. In the event of a total system failure, having a strong recovery solution in place is vital to business continuity. There is a plethora of recovery solution options, and it is important to understand which one best fits your organization – there is not a one-size-fits-all blanket solution for everyone.
So, how can you determine the right recovery solutions for you? Ultimately, this will depend on the size and scale of your organization’s data and IT budget. What is important is recognizing that backing up your data with a secure and reliable disaster recovery solution is essential for business continuity in a working landscape that continues to shift from one day to the next.
Investments in Emerging and Transformative Technology
Successfully adapting to the workplace of tomorrow starts with IT investment today, and our survey revealed some of the most popular emerging and transformative technologies Canadian organizations are investing in to help future-proof their business.
Over one-third (36 percent) of respondents reported that their organization made investments in emerging and transformative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (68 percent), Business Process Transformation Tools (49 percent), Internet of Things (48 percent) and High-Performance Computing (37 percent).
Survey respondents also indicated that the pandemic transformed the traditional work model, forcing organizations to look at sustainable and efficient ways to adapt to these changing operating models. Unfortunately, despite the ongoing digital transformation, many organizations (81 percent) decreased their investments in emerging and transformative technologies during the pandemic in comparison to investments in previous years (14 percent). This trend demonstrates the importance of evaluating investment opportunities on an ongoing basis to ensure that this is a priority at the onset and continuation of the organizational planning process.
Investments in IT and emerging and transformative technologies are an effective way for organizations to ensure they remain competitive and well-equipped for whatever challenge may come next.
Partner with an IT Expert
Data is essential for organizations to operate successfully and should be treated as such. Identifying and implementing the right data centre models, recovery solutions and emerging and transformative technologies isn’t always easy, but it is critical to business success as we look to the months and years ahead. Robust IT education at both the employee and decision-maker level enables this identification and implementation process. This can be daunting, but you don’t have to take it on alone. CDW’s dedicated team of experts is here to help you choose, integrate and manage your data centre and IT environment every step of the way. Connect with us today at CDW.ca or call 800.972.3922.
To learn more about the results of our survey, download the full report here.