The pandemic is having an undeniable impact on the cloud services industry.
Looking back over 2020 so far and the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t tend to evoke uplifting sentiment for the majority.
It’s certainly not easy to find positives amidst the global coronavirus pandemic and I take no pleasure in doing so, but the effects of the last few months have been simply astounding in my opinion. An urgent, sudden requirement for cloud services and capacity arose from March onwards, and major cloud platforms such as Microsoft and Amazon were well prepared for an overnight global surge in demand—kudos to them for that.
The new increase in demand is exciting, in the sense that adoption and demand was already on the increase by around 22% (IDC figures) year-on-year. The unfortunate circumstances of this pandemic have caused this positive trajectory to skyrocket even more so by the end of 2020. This surge in demand has arisen from the increased number of companies permitting to remote working practices and continuing to support global operations seamlessly, whilst avoiding enhancing capacity within standard on-premise datacentres.
Major players such as Twitter and Microsoft are likely to transition to a permanent home-working ideology post-pandemic, having realised multiple benefits and cost-savings. These players will likely re-attribute those savings into furthering their cloud-first strategies whilst increasing employee satisfaction and efficiency.
As organisations become increasingly aware of the endless capacity possibilities that cloud brings, cloud-agnostic automation concepts such as DevOps, infrastructure as Code, Serverless and many others will likely incentivise companies to achieve further cost optimisation.
Cloud adoption and cloud optimisation aren't the only phenomena that have seen vast acceleration during these unprecedented times. Sports organisations such as Formula One have continued to innovate and prosper with the help of AWS, with their new F1 Insights platform being ready for the new season (which is thankfully taking place). The fact that Formula One have been able to complete development on this F1 Insights data analytics platform, whilst AWS has experienced an exponential increase in demand, demonstrates the power and progression that Cloud computing offers, regardless of the global cloud plight.
There’s never been a requirement like there is today for businesses to scale-up their capacity, in such a short timeframe. The world has witnessed that cloud is not only capable of handling this sudden colossal spike in computing needs, but also that it’s become vital, and reliance on cloud should not be underestimated.
It isn’t a pretty picture—but knowing what you know today, imagine a world without cloud computing, and then visualise how businesses all around the world during this pandemic would have coped with challenges such as ensuring employees can safely work from home or dispatching products. It’s unimaginable and simply not possible in my view, which is why convincing the world of the merits of cloud computing has now been given a meteoric boost.
Cloud platforms like Azure, AWS, OCI, and GCP have been given a trial by fire of sorts from this pandemic, and have excelled exceedingly. As someone who works with cloud every day and is passionate about where it develops and continues to drive operations, and innovation, the ability of cloud platforms to sustain businesses through this pandemic provides a measure of hope for human ingenuity and resilience.
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