Written by Ed Anderson

The reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sudden spike in demand for public cloud services. Cloud adoption accelerated in the rush to support remote workers and maintain data center operations, and for the most part, public cloud service offerings were successful in meeting increasing demands.

Cloud adoption will continue to accelerate to support an increasingly remote workforce. In a post-pandemic world, there is opportunity to move key workloads to the cloud for the benefits it offers today and to prepare for the next unforeseen disruption. Here are seven key workloads that organizations should prioritize moving to the cloud now.

  1. Mobility

Through 2022, 75 per cent of organizations implementing work-from-home policies during the COVID-19 crisis will retain a work-from-home option for their employees. Mobile devices and applications, including access to organizations’ key services and data, are indispensable to remote working. The demand variability related to mobile services is well-aligned with the adaptive cloud operating model, which makes cloud an ideal back end for supporting mobile solutions.

Select a hyperscale cloud partner that offers robust capabilities in supporting mobile applications. Explore the full capabilities of the hosting cloud platform, including the incorporation of cloud-native technology implementations and operating models.

  1. Collaboration and content management

Microsoft Office 365, iWork and Google G Suite are just three examples of enterprise applications that facilitate collaboration. The success of these applications is a testament to how well-suited cloud-based collaboration is for cloud delivery because of its broad, horizontal applicability to most organizations. Cloud-based collaboration also enables more remote access and meets resiliency requirements.

In some instances, a complete shift of content management to cloud may not be feasible because of legal and governance concerns, but these are still the exceptions and not the norm.

  1. Videoconferencing

For remote workers around the world, videoconferencing is one of the most important tools. When COVID-19 hit, the demand for videoconferencing technology doubled and, in some markets, tripled. The highly variable usage patterns and the immense demand for networking bandwidth make hyperscale cloud providers well-suited to reliably deliver videoconferencing solutions.

  1. Virtual desktops and remote workstation management

A virtual desktop solution, or desktop virtualization, is a tool used by IT administrators to separate the physical desktop system, including laptops, from the desktop environment and applications used by individuals. This is, in fact, one of the most important aspects of enabling remote working — individuals can access their applications and documents and stay connected from any location.

While often delivered as a data center service, cloud-based desktop virtualization has become mainstream and provides a more stable and scalable control point than traditional data-center-based solutions.

  1. Scale-out applications

Scale-out applications are those that benefit from adding additional computing resources to satisfy increases in demand. The demand for scale-out applications has inspired organizations to migrate data center applications to cloud platforms. 

The sudden shift in IT operating models has further accelerated this trend. The success of hyperscale cloud environments established a credible business case for cloud platforms and made cloud the preferred environment for hosting applications with variable usage or scale-out requirements.

  1. Disaster recovery

Gartner predicts that 50 per cent of organizations will increase their budgets for cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) solutions by 2023. The cost-effectiveness of using a pay-per-use environment to support unexpected failover requirements that cloud-based disaster recovery solutions offer is sought after in current times.

Many solutions and approaches to support cloud-based DR services create not only demand from customers, but also many options for providers. Now is the time to deploy these solutions.

7. Business continuity solutions

Business continuity ensures that business processes continue functioning before, during and after a crisis. In 2020, only 12 per cent of respondents said their business operations were continuing as normal as a result of COVID-19, according to a recent Gartner survey.

Redundancies in the cloud operating environment mean that cloud environments are inherently resilient and offer availability guarantees greater than what most private data centers can support.


Ed Anderson is a Distinguished Research Vice President at Gartner, researching the the broad cloud service market, including market trends, forecasts, the cloud vendor landscape and cloud sourcing scenarios.

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