The early days of cloud adoption at many businesses were often characterized by surreptitious “shadow IT” initiatives decidedly outside the purview of centralized IT. But now, for non-HQ locations, the cloud bus is being driven primarily by central IT decision makers as they look to make branch offices and satellite locations more productive and fleeter of foot in the era of digital transformation.
A recent survey by IDG indicates overwhelmingly that IT strategists are the key decision makers shifting branch offices to cloud-based apps that support communications and collaboration needs.
Cloud-based productivity apps such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite — both of which increasingly incorporate collaboration functions such as chat and real-time document collaboration — are in use in non-HQ locations at 70% of the organizations. Furthermore, 59% of survey respondents say those dispersed workers are using audio and video conferencing apps, and 56% are using file sharing apps such as Dropbox.
IT strategy is the primary driver, according to 82% of survey respondents, followed by digital transformation strategies (63%). Clearly, central IT is leading the effort to put more decentralized resources in the hands of end users; line-of-business directives (49%) and customer experience initiatives (46%) are lesser factors in decision making.
This is a new facet of the ongoing centralization vs. decentralization swings in IT. As an article in D!gitalist Magazine points out:
“The cloud can be seen as a return to the centralized mainframe model where computing power is moved away from the end users into a centrally managed location. But here’s the twist: Because of a fast and reliable internet, cloud computing is centrally managed in name only — more as a logical concept than a reality.”
To learn more about how cloud applications are accelerating the growing IT decentralization of the far-flung organization, read the TechPulse white paper.