As U.S. hyperscalers began to build data center regions in Canada nearly 7 years ago, the scope of cloud adoption here exploded.
Forrester’s State of the Cloud in Canada, 2023 report indicates that Canadian companies went from relying solely on local options, U.S. based data centers, or private cloud environments with often less extensive capabilities, minimal automation and higher prices to leaning on cloud for innovation, modernization and hosting.
Over 50 per cent of enterprise cloud decision-makers, as a matter of fact, consider modernization as a top architecture and delivery priority in the next 12 months, a 2022 Forrester report showed.
Currently, 84 per cent, 73 per cent, and 59 per cent of enterprises in Canada use hybrid cloud, multiple public clouds, and public cloud as their primary cloud computing platform, respectively.
Firms are particularly choosing public clouds for the lower costs, reduced power usage, increased speed, and radical flexibility. MSPs are being engaged as well, to fill skills gaps, accelerate deliverables, provide training on agile methodologies and cloud-native services, or manage cloud platforms. For greater efficiency, cloud-native technologies such as containers, service mesh, and serverless are also becoming the new normal.
But with a tech slowdown looming and to ensure resilience, Forrester recommends that firms headquartered or operating in Canada to consider following:
- Data residency laws are becoming inconsistent and looser – National regulations forbid data crossing into the U.S. only if it meets the requirements of Protected B data or higher. Until recently, provincial data residency laws would require firms to determine whether a provider could guarantee that data wouldn’t cross into U.S. territory for each service in use. Each province has its own requirements; firms should determine which they need to follow and keep track if they have changed.
- Public cloud providers are moving west -Amazon will open its first Western Canada cloud region in Calgary, Alberta, in 2023 or 2024, and Microsoft is adding a new Azure Edge Zone in Vancouver. Meanwhile, Western Canada will continue to evaluate how to best meet its privacy requirements. Firms in Western Canada should consider whether new local options over the next few years will drastically affect their current strategies.
- FinOps getting to the top of cloud agendas – enterprises are looking to implement a FinOps practice, hold users accountable and provide transparency on spend initiatives
- Companies are focusing on resilience after a year of outages – Implications of potential outages are often missing from enterprise resilience plans, though an outage from a big cloud player impacts major platforms and their infrastructure and development footprint. As a result, resilience risk mapping is becoming increasingly popular.
- Edge platforms are maturing with cloud-native tech – Cloud-native technologies, including stripped-down Kubernetes distribution centers for constrained-compute and IoT environments and WebAssembly, are powering hybrid apps split between the public/private clouds and remote locations.
- Canadian governments are consolidating using cloud – Shared Services Canada is working to reduce its 800 data centers to a handful, although progress has been slow. Only 5 per cent of workloads have been migrated to the cloud, with another 40 per cent still in the planning stages. Some eastern provinces are also making similar moves.
With these considerations in mind, Forrester advises Canadian enterprises to optimize cost, resilience, performance, and security by working with database, and network architects, security and risk partners. Aligning with an entirely new operating model can also bolster innovation at scale.
Forrester’s State of the Cloud in Canada, 2023 is available for purchase here.