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Study Shows Global Public Sector “Cloud Smart” Strategies Validated by COVID-19 Response

Signalling Shift, 80% of Global Respondents Plan to Continue Supporting Remote Workers Long Term

 Nutanix, a leader in software for private, hybrid and multicloud computing, today announced the global public sector industry findings of its third annual Enterprise Cloud Index Report, measuring organisations’ plans for adopting private, hybrid and public clouds. The findings point to a concentrated modernisation effort throughout the sector over the past few months, with 70% of respondents saying COVID-19 has caused IT to be viewed more strategically in their organisations. This COVID-19-spurred push is especially notable, given that the public sector has struggled with IT modernisation efforts.

While public sector organisations have historically grappled with regulations that deter home working, the pandemic forced them to take necessary steps to securely support a remote workforce. Nearly half (48%) of global public sector respondents said their organisations had no employees working remotely one year ago. However, since the onset of the pandemic, the sector has scaled its number of remote workers, with only 15% and 11% of respondents reporting employing zero remote workers today. In order to effectively support this growing remote workforce, organisations have begun strategically evaluating their cloud models – with more than three-fourths (82%) of global public sector respondents identifying hybrid cloud as the ideal IT operating model for their organisation.

Other key findings of this year’s report include:

  • Modernisation is dependent on decommissioning legacy architectures: In 2019, 53% of global public sector organisations exclusively ran traditional, non-cloud-enabled datacentres. In 2020, that percentage dropped to 22%. Organisations are choosing to invest in private and public clouds instead, which will be integrated into a cohesively managed hybrid environment. Over the next five years, the public sector expects a 20-percentage-point drop in legacy datacentre installations and a substantial 43-point increase in hybrid cloud deployments.

  • Working from home remains top-of-mind: 43% of public sector respondents reported a direct increase in their public cloud investments as a direct result of the pandemic – eight points higher than the global average. These moves likely reflect an effort to quickly provide for home working employees, as past restrictions made them less capable of providing work-from-home solutions than other industries. Moreover, most entities in this sector are planning to maintain support for home working, with only 4% planning to go back to their pre-pandemic approach.

  • Security plays a large factor in deployment decisions: All respondents cited security as a significant concern affecting hybrid cloud management. This is especially true for U.S. Federal Government respondents, who ranked security as the greatest challenge with maintaining a hybrid cloud environment (66%) –  15 points higher than the global average. Growing maturity of government community clouds and security programs like FedRAMP can help mitigate these concerns.

“While IT modernisation efforts within the public sector have traditionally been hampered, not least because of strict regulatory challenges, the findings of the Enterprise Cloud Index Report are very promising, with IT now being viewed more strategically within public sector organisations,” said Andrew Puddephatt, Director – UK Public Sector at Nutanix. “The global pandemic certainly accelerated this push for modernisation as public sector organisations looked to maintain seamless operations and not fall foul of regulatory requirements by harnessing hybrid cloud models to enable and support the requirement for increasingly digital workplaces.”

The 2020 respondent base spanned multiple industries, business sizes, and the following geographies: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia-Pacific (APJ) region.

To learn more about the global public sector findings, please download the report here.