Google Cloud Strikes Deal With UK Government, COVID-19 Impacts Adoption

Google Cloud has struck a deal with UK government that makes public sector organizations eligible for a discount. The deal, announced Wednesday, allows organizations such as government departments, local councils and the National Health Service (NHS) to obtain a discount based on what their estimated spending on Google’s cloud platform would be for the next two years.

Amazon and Microsoft also have separate U.K. government agreements, but the deal with Google puts the U.K. in a position to work with multiple suppliers.

More companies and government agencies are moving to cloud services. Some 40% of respondents to a global survey by MariaDB, which supports database services globally for 75% of Fortune 500 companies, said they are accelerating their move to cloud services, and 51% plan to move more applications in the event of a second phase of COVID-19 shutdowns.

While nearly all respondents cited an impact on their business related to the COVID-19 pandemic, 84% expect to experience a continued impact and 74% expect a second wave.

The study aims to identify cloud adoption rates and trends. The findings also looked at the human impact. The survey, conducted in May 2020 in partnership with Propeller Insights, polled 559 enterprise engineering and IT professionals working with their counterparts across the company in the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany.

Some 39% of survey participants expect to move 100% of their business to the cloud, and 32% have already begun. In contrast, 24% said they are slowing their move due to the impact of COVID-19.

The U.S. indicated the highest percentage of slowdown -- at 36% -- while businesses in the U.K. cited the lowest, at 12%.

When asked to cite the factors that prevent businesses moving “all-in,” choosing all that apply, 713% cited security; 46%, price; 45%, compatibility; 35%, scalability; 33%, migration, and 21%, lack of multi-cloud offerings.

Work-from-home strategies implemented by companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft have influenced smaller companies to do the same, which is increasing demand for cloud services. In fact, 46% of respondents are implementing work-from-home strategies permanently.

European respondents favor implementing remote access setups and permanent work-from-home strategies as the top two priorities to combat the fallout from the pandemic.

U.S. respondents agree on the top priority of favoring remote access setups, but differ on the second priority, indicating that moving applications to the cloud was second in importance.

Some 74% of respondents expect new challenges due to an expected second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and technologists are implementing a variety of technology changes to prepare for future shutdowns.

The two major strategies that companies face include creating remote access for all employees, at 57%, and moving more applications to the cloud, 51%.

In-person events like trade shows have been missed in these past few months. Some 73% of respondents indicated missing corporate and technology events “very much” or “extremely, yet only 26% of respondents would consider attending an in-person technology event in 2020. Nearly three-quarters said the earliest they would attend would be in 2021.

U.S. respondents were more evenly split compared to Europeans. In the U.S., 41% said they would consider an in-person event this year, while 58% said next year would be the earliest they would consider it.

Still, 95% of respondents said they will change their ongoing technology event behavior as a result of COVID-19, with 25% saying they will only attend online events, 69% saying they will attending more online events, and 1% saying they will not attend any events at all.

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