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Study Confirms COVID-19 Impact on Cloud Adoption, Permanent Work-from-Home

Echoing other industry studies, a new report from database company MariaDB on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic shows increased usage of cloud computing platforms and more organizations planning permanent work-from-hope options, possibly the "new normal," especially among tech companies.

For example, we previously reported on Twitter's announcement that the social media giant will let some employees work from home "forever" if they choose.

We also reported on a Flexera study that indicated the pandemic increased the use of cloud computing resources among enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses.

Both of those findings are reinforced by the new MariaDB study, conducted last month to gauge the initial COVID-19 impact on businesses moving to the cloud and IT professionals’ attitudes on what has changed and what they think will change going forward.

"One trend we saw is that the global crisis is driving cloud adoption. 40 percent said COVID-19 is accelerating their move to the cloud," the company said in a June 2 blog post. "It makes sense. The cloud lets companies increase capacity without investing in hardware and facilities. Additionally, there is less need to add staff if your cloud provider is maintaining the infrastructure and extending the abilities of your existing team. With the disruptions from COVID-19 and the probability of future disruptions, there has never felt like a more urgent time to move into the cloud."

While the 40.4 percent of respondents moving to the cloud is to be expected, a perhaps surprisingly large percentage -- 24.3 percent -- of respondents said the pandemic is actually slowing their move to the cloud. "The U.S. indicated the highest percentage of slowing (36 percent), while the U.K. had the lowest (12 percent)," the company said.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted decisions around going to the cloud?
[Click on image for larger view.] How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted decisions around going to the cloud? (source: MariaDB).

On the "forever WFH" front, the company said 74 percent of respondents are expecting new challenges caused by a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, so organizations are implementing a variety of technology changes to prepare for future shutdowns, including:

  • The two strategies being implemented most are (choosing all that apply): Set up remote access for all employees (57 percent) and move more applications to the cloud (51 percent).
  • 46 percent of respondents are implementing "forever" work-from-home (WFH) strategies. European respondents favor implementing remote access setups and permanent WFH strategies as the top two priorities to combat the fallout from the pandemic.
  • U.S. respondents agree on the top priority of favoring remote access setups, but differ on the second priority, indicating that moving applications to the cloud was No. 2.
From a technology perspective, what are the most important changes you are pursuing to prepare for that? Please select all that apply.
[Click on image for larger view.] From a technology perspective, what are the most important changes you are pursuing to prepare for a second wave? Please select all that apply. (source: MariaDB).

Yet another impact of COVID-19 is the cancellation of in-person corporate and technology events, with the survey revealing the following:

  • 73 percent of respondents indicated missing corporate and technology events "very much" or "extremely."
  • 26 percent of respondents would consider attending an in-person technology event this year (2020), while 70 percent indicated the earliest they would attend would be in 2021.
  • U.S. respondents were more evenly split compared to Europeans. In the U.S., 41 percent said they would consider an in-person event this year while 58 percent said next year would be the earliest.
  • 95 percent of respondents will change their ongoing technology event behavior as a result of COVID-19, with 25 percent saying they will only attend online events, 69 percent attending more online events, and 1 percent not attending any events at all.

The survey was conducted in May 2020 in partnership with Propeller Insights, polling 559 enterprise engineering and IT professionals online at the manager level and above in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. The survey report is available here.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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