With businesses facing concerns from rising cyber security threats, increasing global supply chain issues and the impact of geopolitical instability, having cloud technology in a company’s IT arsenal is key to optimizing their use of data and remaining both competitive and agile in a changing world.  

The investment into cloud infrastructure has come largely from the small and medium-sized businesses, as they look to get support with workload migration, data storage services, and cloud-native application development. When it comes to making use of real-time data in business, it’s becoming ever clearer that the cloud is a must-have.

Recent research backs this up, with IT decision makers (ITDM) and business decision makers (BDM) confirming that cloud adoption is on the up — and it’s moving fast. More than half (54%) of respondents stated they were using the cloud either at an intermediate or advanced level. 

This is hardly surprising. After the pandemic forced millions to pivot working from home almost overnight, the tech that was rushed in to help support that flexibility was always going to remain around afterwards — particularly as many workplaces now face hybrid and home working as a permanent fixture. However, what will be interesting is seeing how businesses continue to build on this kick start and move forward with maturity in the next year to 18 months.

More storage please

With more data to hand, comes the need for greater storage. While many organizations have moved key files, applications and data into the cloud, the next step is to find the storage for all the new data they acquire following to the move.

The survey found that cloud-based data warehouses, data lakes and lake houses played a prominent role in 2021 for exactly this reason, with respondents citing these as a top initiative (48%) as well as one of their top use cases (57%). These modern data management approaches offer businesses a way of seamlessly accommodating legacy systems so they can work alongside newer, more sophisticated cloud-based systems.

Data is complex

But what are the main issues that stand in the way of businesses looking to become a wholly “data-driven” organization? Those surveyed listed the complexity of data integration, accessibility and accommodating different data formats as the biggest difficulty (79%), with a lack of resources to turn raw data into insights come in a the second (62%). 

Other key challenges identified were difficulties with accessing and analyzing data, with 44% only able to access half or more and 17% only able to leverage three-quarters or more.

This is going to be one of the biggest roadblocks to businesses getting to a position where they can make key decisions based on data. In order to harness the full potential of cloud migration, organizations need to ensure they have the right people on board to be able to manage and use the data they have access to.

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