Study shows COVID-19 spurred IT modernization efforts in public sector globally


Nutanix, a leader in private cloud, hybrid and multi-cloud 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: Public sector respondents identified security, privacy and compliance as the number one factor driving their deployment decisions. Similarly, the majority of respondents (59%) identified these same factors as the reason for moving applications back on-premises
  • Cost isn’t the primary driver behind infrastructure change: The public sector’s top motives for modifying its IT infrastructures are to gain greater control of IT resource usage (54%) and to gain the flexibility (50%) and speed needed (44%) to meet business requirements.

“It is clear from the research that public sector organizations favour a hybrid cloud architecture. They’ve embarked on a journey to achieve it with an uptake in their use of private and public clouds and rapid decommissioning of legacy datacenter architecture,” said Aaron White, Sr. Sales Director, METI at Nutanix. “Upping the use of both types of clouds – private and public, are key steps on the journey to a hybrid model, as they form the components that will ultimately be integrated into the hybrid environment.”

 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.


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