- Sumo Logic, a data analytics company, sifted a year’s worth of information about enterprise cloud computing.
- Its research showed a “a once-in-a lifetime event in the adoption of modern technology,” the company says.
- The company broke the data down into key takeaways, including the rapid adoption of a multi-cloud strategy, as well as a 796% increase in the number of tech-related privileges granted to workers.
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Sumo Logic, an analytics firm that helps its clients monitor and analyze how their employees and customers are accessing data and processes in the cloud, wanted to see how digital transformation unfolded in the year of COVID-19.
The answer: Quickly.
Sumo Logic, which went public in September in one of the year’s biggest initial public offerings, automates the collection and analysis of application, infrastructure, security, and IoT data to give its customers useful insight within seconds. Combing through 584 quadrillion data points across 2,100 customers from 2020, the San Francisco Bay Area company found a few key trends that show just how much companies changed this year – and how much people’s jobs did, too.
“This year we’ve had a once-in-a lifetime event in the adoption of modern technology,” says Sumo Logic VP of product and strategy, Bruno Kurtic. “You might have thought with the economy slowing down that companies would batten down the hatches. The opposite happened. Tech adoption only accelerated.”
That tech adoption didn’t happen on its own: People ushered it in, through a lot of work. The number of privileges granted to workers to access and control applications and systems skyrocketed 796% this year, Sumo Logic found. That jump reflects workers remotely accessing company databases and apps for the first time – or using a virtual private network (VPN) for the first time or in a new way. “Within these companies, there are now people with larger responsibilities,” Kurtic says.
He suspects that not every case in that 796% spike was approved by IT. While Sumo Logic cannot see further details into this privilege access, the company believes such broad expansion represents a security risk. Some of that spike may have come from workers sharing access to files and accounts among themselves — or, worse, cybercriminals accessing the apps, data, and other files. “The shift to remote workforce may be creating vulnerability and exposure,” the company says in the report.
The medium number of Amazon Web Services services that companies used increased from 15 to 26, the firm found. Its research also revealed that the number of companies that are using more than one cloud-computing environment shot up 70%. More companies also started relying on Kubernetes, a popular open source cloud computing project started at Google that helps managers containers. Containers are used to package up code to allow developers to quickly and easily run applications exactly the same way whether the they’re hosted in a private data center or on any cloud platform.
“Enterprises are betting on Kubernetes to drive their multi-cloud strategies,” Sumo Logic wrote in the report.
Seeking to streamline cloud operations even more, companies also adopted a “shift left” philosophy of implementing more security measures from the very beginning — as computer code is being written — so apps and processes work better down the road. “Many enterprises that build cloud applications are continuing to adopt [developer security] tools and processes to not only increase the quality and release velocity, but also improve application reliability, compliance and security,” Sumo Logic wrote in the report.
These forces have combined to change companies and jobs, Kurtic says. “I do think more people need to be educated about how companies work now.” The rapid pace of tech adoption at companies means “it’s really hard to get a skill-set” from outside hires.
Companies are developing at different speeds, and not always the way you might assume, Kurtic says: “Some big companies are going much faster than you might think.”