Does your organization have a glass half full or a glass half empty view? In the recent Enterprise Cloud Trends survey sponsored by 2nd Watch, one half of respondents was confident in their IT organization’s ability to deal with COVID-19 related uncertainty. Which means the other half has concerns with their organization’s ability. So where do you stand? Half full or half empty?
IT has felt the impact of COVID-19 to their business as acutely as any other department. Yet, the latest Enterprise Cloud Trends survey conducted by 2nd Watch indicates that IT has proven to be the most resilient and adaptable of all organizations. Although clear that IT leaders have had to adjust their priorities, they are embracing big-picture efforts that lead to true business transformation and position their companies for long-term success, in spite of the challenges.
The report sheds light on a variety of topics important to IT including the roles of IT in supporting the business due to COVID-19 impact, post pandemic budgets, and how IT is positioning itself to be successful over the next 12 months. Six key findings the report highlights include:
- Support for remote workers is the top enterprise IT challenge
- Companies are accelerating digital transformation and cloud use
- Pre COVID-19 cloud budgets remain mostly intact and are expected to grow
- Cloud security is a growing concern
- There is a shift to more permanent remote workers
- Some cloud related technologies will emerge stronger than ever
Support for remote workers
Have you felt the impact of supporting remote workers? Survey respondents indicated that remote worker access into corporate systems and managing the complexity and support of remote workers were the biggest challenge they have faced. The shift of supporting a growing number of remote workers is a recurring theme through out the report.
Accelerating digital transformation
Surprising to the authors, enterprises are accelerating digital transformation and cloud use. Survey responses indicated that 40% of IT departments are accelerating their digital transformation efforts. Progressive companies see this time as a way to embrace tools to better connect with customers and achieve faster time-to-market.
Cloud budget impact
How has your IT budget been impacted by COVID-19? A majority of the respondents indicated that their budget has either remained the same or grown, with more growth forecasted over the next 12 months. IT is seen as the organization that can lead.
Rising security concern
With growth in supporting remote workers and cloud spend comes a growing concern in cloud security. Over 75% of respondents indicated that cloud security is a top priority. It’s only logical that the increased access provided to employees will lead to additional security concerns.
Shift to remote workers
Although security is of concern to supporting remote workers, businesses are moving more employees to permanent remote status. Survey responses indicated that there will be an 11.8% increase in permanent remote workers. And IT is at the forefront of supporting this shift.
Cloud related technologies are the focus
Four distinct technologies seem to be getting more focus as we shift to a post-COVID-19 environment, including:
- Data Management / Analysis
- Edge Computing
- Content Delivery Networks
- Multi-Cloud Solutions
IT is being called on to enable their companies to not only survive the business impact of COVID-19, but to thrive. Download the 2nd Watch Enterprise Cloud Trends report to gain insight from your peers and justification for making the strategic moves to support your business’ strategic initiatives going forward.
-Michael Elliott, Sr Director, Product Marketing
We are excited to officially share that we have joined the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program, giving Google Cloud customers access to our 2nd Watch services and cloud experts!
We are building our Google Cloud practice in response to growing demand for the platform in the marketplace. Our team already has multiple Google Cloud certifications, including for hybrid cloud infrastructure with Anthos and hybrid cloud service mesh with Anthos, and we are actively hiring to support a strong Google Cloud sales pipeline. As part of the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program, we will guide clients’ Google Cloud migration efforts as well as their optimization, DevOps, analytics, and innovative architecture projects.
“By joining the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program, we enable our clients’ multi-cloud strategies, offering cloud infrastructure for specific workloads and providing the exemplary experience our clients have come to expect,” said Rich Lyons, Director of Field Alliances at 2nd Watch. “We’re seeing increased demand for Google Cloud in the marketplace, particularly among food services, financial services and manufacturing companies. We look forward to working closely with Google Cloud to serve the needs of our customers.”
By participating in Partner Advantage, companies can harness the power of the Google brand, the innovation of Google products, and the energy of the Google Cloud ecosystem to capitalize on the growing cloud computing opportunity across all segments: Small and Medium Business (SMB), Corporate, or Enterprise. With access to information, training and tools, the program will enable 2nd Watch to meet the unique needs of its customers.
We are extremely proud to be able to share that our Net Promoter Score® (NPS) increased for the fourth year in a row to the highest it has been in five years, an 85! To give you an idea of what that means, NPS scores vary across industries, but a score of 50 or more is generally deemed excellent, and anything over 70 is considered exceptional. The average score for the services industry tends to fall between 40-50.
2nd Watch’s NPS of 85 means 85% of surveyed clients indicated an extreme willingness to recommend 2nd Watch’s cloud services. Since 2018, three-quarters or more of all 2nd Watch clients who participated in NPS surveys said they are extremely satisfied with 2nd Watch, and about three-quarters of surveyed 2nd Watch clients said the firm’s services are of the highest value.
“2nd Watch has been an excellent business partner to Yamaha in assisting us to manage our AWS environment. The team is very aware of our operations and needs. The 2nd Watch team is a trusted partner that helps us keep the business growing,” said Brent Brodowski, Director of Infrastructure at Yamaha.
“We are grateful for the feedback of our clients and pleased to have earned their recommendation,” said Doug McMaster, EVP of Managed Cloud Services at 2nd Watch. “The data is useful in that it helps us understand what we’re doing well and opportunities for improvement. As always, 2nd Watch strives to help its clients grow their businesses, reduce costs and increase efficiencies using public cloud infrastructure, related tools and methods.”
NPS is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of an organization’s customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and is claimed to be correlated with revenue growth. NPS has been widely adopted, with more than two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies using the metric. The tool aims to measure the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 worldwide and growing concerns have escalated quickly due to our interconnected world. This is a challenging and emotional time, and we are grateful for the support of caregivers and healthcare personnel around the globe who are working tirelessly to stem the tide of this brutal virus and support the many people who are in need. At 2nd Watch, we have instituted similar mitigation efforts as many other companies regarding travel, social distancing and deep cleaning of offices. We are fortunate the very nature of our cloud business allows us to maintain business continuity for our clients because we are already largely setup for working remotely and telecommuting. We are sharing a recent customer use case in the event businesses are having issues setting up remote operations. Maybe you haven’t felt the extremes of the effects yet, but many have. Imagine this scenario:
You receive a call and mandate; your Westcoast office has been shut down suddenly and immediately. All 400 employees are sent home. Many didn’t even have the opportunity to collect their laptops or other items in their workspace. First and foremost, you hope all are healthy and safe. Their wellbeing is paramount.
Now the questions start, “How will I do my job and remain in a safe environment?”
Saturday & Sunday
Over the weekend you deploy desktop-as-a-service (DaaS). It is secure, compliant, and more importantly, ready to go with the tools the workforce needs.
Your company is ready to serve the needs of your business and customers. You can continue under the new “normal” we are experiencing.
2nd Watch is committed to helping our clients during this unprecedented time. The example above is exactly what we did for one of the largest media companies in the world. Not only was DaaS implemented in record time, it was done meeting the governance and compliant requirements the business follows.
If you need to discuss how to meet your Business Continuity requirements, let us help you in developing a strategy. 2nd Watch is a Premier Amazon Web Services partner and a Microsoft Azure Gold Partner. We have extensive experience with these cloud providers in delivering remote worker solutions while leveraging funding opportunities, reducing the capital constraints.
Amazon WorkSpaces and Azure Windows Virtual Desktop solutions are secure ways to enable your workforce to work remotely from home on either personal devices or company owned equipment. They can be centrally managed and rapidly deployed and configured. DaaS is the go-to solution to get your new remote workers up and running.
When there is a limited number of applications that need to be accessed remotely and securely, Amazon AppStream is a solid solution. Existing applications are deployed quickly with your current authentication platforms. It works well with mobile and browser-based platforms.
VPN-as-a-Service can be used for rapidly scaling remote connectivity back to your corporate IT assets. Using industry standards and best practices, you can get your workers access to what they need without the hassle of procuring and provisioning new hardware.
2nd Watch is an audited Managed Service Provider for both AWS and Azure. We were born in the cloud and have a different perspective on how to manage your infrastructure based on our experience. Not only can we design and build solutions for the unexpected, we know how to keep your infrastructure running, allowing you to focus on your business.
If we can help you prepare the best course of action for your business, please do not hesitate to include us in your planning. We are committed to helping all of our businesses survive and thrive.
In the meantime, following are several tips for working remotely. We hope these are helpful, and that you and yours will be safe and healthy.
- Stick to Your Routine – If you’re used to getting up early, keep doing it, even though you may be working from home. Maintaining a normal schedule will help you do your job to the best of your ability, and it’s the best way to ensure that your colleagues, customers and partners will be able to reach you.
- Maintain Engagements and Connections – If you have meetings or appointments, do your best to keep them, but do so online. There are an abundance of collaboration and conferencing tools available, including Windows Virtual Desktop and Amazon WorkSpaces. They can help you stay connected and productive, wherever you are.
- Be Healthy – If you’re not accustomed to working remotely, it can be tempting to feel added pressure to perform, which can lead to longer work hours and anxiety. Given the current level of anxiety most of us are feeling already, it’s more important than ever to take breaks, go for a walk, eat well and exercise.
Ian Willoughby, Chief Architect, 2nd Watch
We are honored to announce that Channel Partner Insight (CPI) awarded 2nd Watch the Cloud Services Provider of the Year Award last night at its 2019 Channel Innovation Awards (CIA) ceremony in New York City. The Cloud Services Provider of the Year award is designed for solution providers that can demonstrate their skill and ability to drive client success and recognizes our work helping the largest brands adopt and use cloud infrastructure.
“Innovation in the channel is needed now more than ever,” said Josh Budd, editor of Channel Partner Insight. “The chronic skills gap is widening, yet channel partners are making great strides in enabling customers to modernize their infrastructures and develop smarter, more efficient services. We are excited to recognize 2nd Watch’s contributions as a leading channel player and look forward to monitoring their continued growth and success.”
The CIAs are for solution providers, distributors and vendors that are galvanizing the channel and advancing new ideas and opportunities. Independently run, the CIAs shine a spotlight on innovation and achievement in the North American channel over the past year.
Channel Partner Insight provides leaders of resellers, distributors, MSPs and other specialist consultancies with exclusive analysis of the fast-changing channel sector in Europe and the US.
AWS announced the general availability of AWS Outposts today, and 2nd Watch was one of the few select AWS Outposts launch partners. As an AWS Outposts Partner, 2nd Watch is able to help AWS customers overcome challenges that exist due to managing and supporting infrastructures both on-premises and in cloud environments and delivering positive outcomes at scale.
AWS Outposts are fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware that allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to AWS’ broad array of services in the cloud. As an AWS Outposts Partner, 2nd Watch has been trained and vetted in delivering positive AWS Outposts customer outcomes at scale through re-architecting complex workloads to run on AWS operations.
There are AWS customers today that have certain workloads that will likely need to remain on-premises for several years, such as applications that are latency sensitive and need to be in close proximity to on-premises assets. These customers want to be able to run AWS compute and storage on-premises, and also easily and seamlessly integrate these workloads with the rest of their applications in the cloud. Until now, customers lacked the same APIs, the same tools, the same hardware, and the same functionality across on-premises and the cloud to deliver a truly consistent hybrid experience. AWS Outposts solves these challenges by delivering racks of AWS compute and storage—the same hardware used in AWS public region datacenters—to bring AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models on-premises.
We are proud to support AWS Outposts. 2nd Watch helps you install, configure, and migrate workloads to AWS Outposts for modern applications that experience latency impact due to residing outside your data center. Our certified engineers and architects design and implement a hybrid cloud solution within the security of your own data center. Our team is dedicated to helping companies achieve their technology goals by leveraging the agility, breadth of services, and pace of innovation that AWS provides. Read more about AWS Outposts
-Doug McMaster, EVP Managed Cloud