Expedited shifts to hybrid infrastructure and remote work challenges

There was a significant acceleration of cloud and colocation migrations, with 54 percent of IT leaders stating the pandemic has motivated their organization to move applications and workloads off-premise, according to an INAP survey.

hybrid infrastructure

Additionally, IT leaders shared that their primary challenges for the upcoming year primarily center around adapting infrastructure and networking strategies for remote work or returns to the office.

Despite pressure, IT pros reported some positive impacts

Despite heightened pressure, IT pros reported some positive impacts to their roles and departments. Sixty percent believe their organizations will likely be investing more in IT infrastructure as a result of the pandemic, and 62 percent feel more essential and recognized for their critical roles throughout the tumultuous year.

“At every level of the economy and society, IT infrastructure and the professionals tasked with operating it are keeping the world moving in 2020,” said Michael Sicoli, President and CEO, INAP.

“The results of our survey indicate that the hybrid infrastructure future is becoming a reality a lot sooner for many organizations. As we enter 2021, the technology challenges presented by remote work and accelerated digital transformation initiatives will remain at the forefront for IT infrastructure managers, and as a result, technology professionals have solidified their position as an essential workforce.”

Hybrid infrastructure: Key findings

The pandemic has prompted many organizations to consider moving their workloads to multiple infrastructure platforms. 53 percent say that their organizations are migrating to colocation and hyperscale public cloud environments, with 50 percent also turning to hosted private cloud solutions. This hybrid infrastructure approach is a sign of the times, as many organizations are looking to downsize their on-premise data centers following the shift to remote work.

Security is top of mind for organizations evaluating infrastructure solution providers. As the popularity of hybrid infrastructure strategies accelerates, IT professionals have been keeping a close eye on increasingly frequent DDoS and ransomware attacks. Consequently, 35 percent say that network, OS and data security are the most critical qualities they look for in an infrastructure solution.

IT teams are reevaluating how they approach a remote workforce and a global economy increasingly reliant on digital services. 51 percent of companies are considering virtual desktop infrastructure solutions to better support a lasting remote work environment. With parts of the country facing new restrictions and lockdowns, and a vaccine on the horizon, IT teams need to be prepared for sudden shifts to or from the office.

It’s no surprise that the primary pain points IT teams face for the remainder of the year surround troubleshooting new and changing environments, such as modifying network strategies for the return to an office (or staying permanently remote) and setting up help desk support.

Despite the troubling times, optimism among IT teams has remained relatively strong. Only three in 10 cite budget or headcount restraints as a top challenge for their team, and six in 10 believe their companies will be investing more into IT infrastructure as the pandemic subsides.

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