How the Pandemic Changed IT Infrastructure and Storage Forever (and What’s Next)

A year and a half into the pandemic, we’re just beginning to understand how it changed everything around us. Analysts are still struggling to see the impact the pandemic had (and still has) on our society and the way we do business. But one thing is certain: nothing so far has accelerated digital transformation the way the pandemic has.

A McKinsey report showed that, in just a few months, businesses have made digital leaps that would otherwise have taken years to complete. And these changes are by no means temporary or passing trends. They are here to stay.

Let’s take a closer look at how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the enterprise approach to IT and data storage.

More Remote Work, But with Extra Emphasis on Availability and Security

The first wave of the pandemic sent people to work from home and their employers to find new ways to keep them productive and to keep their networks secure. Even the expected “big comeback” to the office was delayed, in light of the Delta variant. Giants like Apple and Google announced that their employees will likely not come back to the office until early 2022—in the most optimistic of scenarios.

Of course, when employees were sent to work from outside the office, on less-than-secure networks, the number of cyberattacks (many of them successful) grew exponentially. Thus, employers were left with two major problems to solve:

  • Network availability for employees working outside the office
  • Cybersecurity for the same employees

More importantly, they needed to solve these issues fast. The first step of the solution was obvious: on-premise storage was no longer optimal or cost-effective with a geo-diverse workforce.

From On-Premise to Cloud and Colocation

The IT changes most companies had to implement can be equated with building a highway in a month. With a key differentiator: we’re talking about a data highway.

Companies of all sizes needed better access to their data, better security, scalable solutions, and spread out networks. Their employees needed access to data from all over the world, and this access needed to be secure. 

This prompted increased demand for two types of solutions: cloud storage and colocation. Cloud storage comes with an attractive price tag, but, as always, things are more complicated. Some of the security risks associated with cloud storage have yet to be mitigated, while data access in case of an outage is a major problem for companies who need to be up and running constantly—and who doesn’t these days, right?

Thus, colocation and edge computing have become the solutions that more and more companies are choosing. Colocation comes with real scalability, better data access, and an easily enforceable disaster data recovery plan. You can read more about what makes colocation a better alternative to cloud here

Colocation goes hand in hand with edge computing, so it’s no wonder that the demand for the latter grew exponentially and is projected to reach $250.6 billion by 2024. The prime attraction of edge computing is the fact that it cuts the “middle man” in data processing and, instead of routing your data all over the world, processes it where the data is generated or as close to that location as possible.

In turn, this means that, wherever they may work from, employees can enjoy better data streams and a much higher speed. All without sacrificing security, of course.

You can read more about the benefits of edge computing here

What’s Next in Data Storage and IT Infrastructure?

Sooner or later, the pandemic is going to be over and we’re going to be in a “new normal.” While no one knows exactly when that will happen, what we do know is that some of the changes it prompted are here to stay.

Take remote work, for instance. Even if the majority of big employers want their staff to come back to work, a mentality shift happened in the meantime and most of these employees prefer the flexibility of remote working, even at the cost of lower wages. 

Cybercrime is on the rise and will be hard to contain any time soon. This means that companies will still need access to their data from anywhere in the world, with speed and flexibility, while maintaining improved security. 

Colocation and edge computing have passed the hardest test: they became the solutions of choice in a moment of worldwide crisis, when better alternatives were needed and they were needed fast. No matter when the current crisis ends, savvy businessmen and IT managers know that there are countless types of crises that can impact an organization, and they need to be prepared for whatever comes their way.

With colocation, you get more than a flexible storage solution and better security. You get a disaster recovery plan that could save your company millions of dollars and the expertise of security and storage teams ready to jump in and help you whenever you need it.

Want to know more about how colocation can help your business thrive—during the best of times and during the worst of times? Schedule a tour of our Midwest facility and talk to our storage experts.