How Does Cloud Computing Support Businesses During a Pandemic?
COVID-19, experts agree, has been very good for one type of company above almost all others: the developers of virtual platforms and applications
New vaccines could usher the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and help us all return to some sense of normalcy in early 2021. Among the things that will not likely return to status quo is tech spending, which may have been forever altered by the events of 2020.
Take cloud computing, which was turbocharged by the pandemic, setting the market up for a record 2021.
New Investments for a New Reality
After the onset of COVID-19, tens of millions of businesses everywhere scrambled to stay on their feet. In a relative instant, they reallocated budgets to make sure they could conduct transactions virtually, reestablish their workforces in makeshift offices and fortify their supply chains. The overwhelming majority did so with new investments into cloud computing services, which proved easier to implement and pay for because they didn’t require a lengthy review process, a massive capital investment, or physical touch to install.
Based on the urgency of tech spending, market researchers including tech analysts at Markets and Research recalibrated their expectations for the tech sector. In late August, Markets and Research issued a new report that forecast big growth for the global cloud computing market. According to their calculations, the market is now expected to grow to $832.1 billion by 2025 from $371.4 billion in 2020.
Why Turn to the Cloud?
Recently, Forrester Research released its Top Emerging Trends to Watch in 2021 list. Near the top of priorities for businesses was this: “Driving innovation everywhere using cloud-native technologies.” The “why” is understandable. Cloud investments are providing millions of customers faster “time-to-value” than traditional on-premise installations. Among other things, cloud technology makes it easier to adopt a common integration platform, standard security, a common user interface (UI) and set of development tools. Today, application programming interfaces (APIs) are richer, integration is easier and the need for customization is far less than a mere few years ago.
Thanks to the standards used by various cloud platforms and applications, our customers are now able to put more data to use—not just their own but data that is increasingly made available by brokers, industry groups, business partners, social media and more.
There’s another benefit to the cloud that our customers leverage more and more: the ability to spin-up test workloads with minimal investment. Due to integration issues, security concerns and bandwidth considerations, this just wasn’t possible for many customers who relied on homegrown data centers. But in the cloud, virtually anything is possible, no pun intended.
Little wonder why more workloads are being moved to the cloud by more organizations. Today, 90% of all organizations rely on at least some cloud capabilities, according to 451 Research. Nearly as many (89%), according to IDG, are using some Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, which typically live in the cloud.
The Flip Side of Cloud Computing
By now, you might be wondering if everything is going to the cloud. It may be, but certainly not overnight. Research from Bain & Co., a respected U.S.-based management consulting company, underscores why. Despite its benefits, there are real-world issues that must be addressed when it comes to cloud computing.
If your organization has moved ahead with cloud services, chances are it has already tackled the easy work such as setting your workers up to securely use Zoom, Concur and other cloud applications. Moving your remaining workloads is likely to be more complicated, requiring, as Bain puts it, “more effort to refactor and disentangle from legacy systems before they can be ported to cloud-based services.”
Security and Cost Considerations
For years, customers have fretted over whether they can trust the cloud with their data and applications, and their customers’, too. The security concern, we and others believe, has been addressed. A recent survey of leading security experts concludes that cloud computing is generally more safe than on-premise, customer-run data centers, thanks to its better trained experts, more modern tools and superior design.
As for the issue of cost, that’s a legitimate concern. Cloud technology does not necessarily mean cheaper technology. But cloud innovation can provide many new business benefits so long as you plan accordingly.
What About Your Business?
Moving to the cloud requires careful thought and execution. We, for example, have seen line-of business executives at three different customers move forward with cloud adoption plans without coordinating their efforts with their own CIOs. Stymied by the pandemic, the executives felt they had little choice but to proceed.
While we generally advise against this type of thinking, we understand the need for quick action. Thousands upon thousands of organizations the world over have aggressively moved forward with digital transformation projects. This includes some of your competitors. They chose not to ride out the pandemic with their heads down but instead used the crisis as an opportunity to remake their businesses. Chances are they did so with new technology that will make them more agile, capable and secure.
Aren’t these the same qualities your company will need to compete in the future? Contact us for more information!
Founded in 1997, Createch is one of the top SAP Gold Partners based in Canada. With more than 275 employees on staff, the tech consultancy has helped more than 1,600 companies embrace new technologies and overhaul their operations to become more efficient, competitive and profitable.