The COVID-19 pandemic has forced unexpected changes upon organisations across the globe; the term “business as usual” no longer prevails. Organisations across all sectors faced disruptions, such as accommodating remote working, making products and services available online and ensuring their effective delivery. To help adapt to the "new normal" in the most scalable, time and cost-effective way, organisations have accelerated their path towards cloud adoption and digital transformation.
In the first lockdown, there was an urge for organisations to rapidly transform the way they were run. Information Technology (IT) became a key player in this transformation and Cloud supported all the prime components, including high availability, disaster recovery, flexible computing, low-cost data backup and faster time to market.
Below are some of the challenges overcome by Cloud adoption:
With 1 billion users starting to work from home, Cloud played a vital role in providing solutions, such as virtual desktops, collaboration software and secure connections which supported the business continuity.
According to UNESCO, 1.38 billion learners were impacted by worldwide school closures. Education has changed dramatically from in-class to a digital environment. Cloud gave the ability to teachers and educational institutions to run lectures, evaluations and to support students remotely.
With social distancing and the stay-at-home rule, the traditional commercial model adopted by retail stores, restaurants and grocery shops has shifted towards the online platform in the Cloud. This has helped businesses preserve their customer base by providing facilities such as online ordering, curbside pickups, buy online & pick up in-store, and home deliveries.
Cloud architecture has enabled operational continuity during the crisis, which has also played a crucial role in financial services. Financial institutions had to keep up with the evolving market dynamics including branch closures, cashless transactions, moving operations online, and equipping the customers with the tools ensure a smooth customer experience during this transition.
Along with the critical situation, the high demand of remote medical services pushed the healthcare industry to take the centre stage. Cloud facilitated the process of medical care, starting from consultancy, treatment, prescriptions, AI based research to vaccine production.
Considering the benefits that the Cloud has offered throughout the pandemic, companies are now accelerating their cloud adoption. According to Gartner, in 2020, only China and Australia positively grew their Cloud presence. Whereas in 2021, only Argentina had a negative growth, whilst all the other countries around the globe took a vast step towards cloud adoption.
The below table shows the global spending forecast in public Cloud services between 2020 and 2022.
Gartner (April 2021) Table 1. Worldwide Public Cloud Services End-User Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars) BPaaS = business process as a service; IaaS = infrastructure as a service; PaaS = platform as a service; SaaS = software as a service
Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.
Cloud has demonstrated its value proposition during the pandemic. Scalability, cost-efficiency, and on-demand services are some of the key factors that have helped businesses survive and grow. With an increasing use of public cloud services, the next step for organisations that have accelerated their digital transformation, is to take the time to assess and optimise their cloud solutions. The solutions to consider are hybrid, multi, private and public cloud. Organisations should ensure that their choice is in line with their business objectives and long-term growth.
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