“Digital transformation” and “cloud adoption” have been buzzwords for the business world for the last few years. From enterprise-level organizations to small and medium businesses, it appears that every business is moving operations to the cloud and pivoting to adopt online productivity and collaboration services as they move forward.
The notion of network-based computing dates back to the 1960s, but many believe that the first use of cloud computing in its modern context occurred on August 9, 2006, when then Google CEO Eric Schmid introduced the term to an industry conference. Despite having been around for such a long time, the digital migration across industries was slow until the onset of the global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The necessity of adopting remote working amid lockdown measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus came along in 2020 to instill a reality check for organizations of all levels. Many businesses found themselves forced to make rapid changes in how they operate due to the survival challenges they faced, while some industries like hospitality and travel became completely stumped by the pandemic.
Businesses in the Energy and Commodities sectors have, for the longest time, been in-office operations that found themselves forced to switch “on a dime” to adopt a remote working environment.
Traditionally, these businesses are resistant to change. The global health crisis and ensuing lockdowns resulted in this resistance to change made way for fast-tracking several digital and cloud innovations for the front- and back-office operations and to meet changing consumer demands and expectations.
Adopting cloud computing solutions was generally slower, but the advantages it brings were already clear. Cloud computing is creating new levels of productivity, growth, and sustainability. In a matter of months, the slow process of digitization and cloud adoption that have been forming over the years has turned into a relentless torrent of adopting innovative solutions made possible by cloud computing.
According to a recent Bloomberg NEF report, cloud computing is expected to increase exponentially from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $12.5 billion by 2030.
The ongoing worldwide vaccine rollout has increased the hope for the world to return to a relative level of normalcy as we knew it, but the realities of the “new normal” and the uncertainties caused by the pandemic have led to more and more organizations changing their course to move towards cloud computing and digital transformation.
Why Did The COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerate Cloud Adoption?
Cloud computing was always on the rise due to the considerable advantages it offered to businesses across all industries. However, the pandemic acted as a catalyst that forced organizations to truly understand the value of cloud computing and the flexibility it brings, leading to more rapid adoption.
According to Gartner, the global end-user spending on public cloud services is predicted to grow by 18.4% by the end of 2021 to reach $304.9 billion. The research vice president at Gartner, Sid Nag, said “The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition. The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organizations to accelerate their digital business transformation plans rapidly. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the ‘new normal,’ now more than ever.”
Traders and risk managers are professionals who have typically worked in the office. These highly data-intensive professions also turned on their heads and saw a sudden shift to cloud adoption.
Trading rooms are no longer loud arenas where stock brokers shouted sales across the floor. Instead, all the information moved to the screen at the turn of the millennium. Traders still clustered in trade rooms, but the goal became improved interpretation, especially for the more complex trades.
The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) conducted a survey that found that before the pandemic, only 2% of Financial Risk Managers were working remotely compared to 87% since the pandemic began. Fortunately, very few respondents said that their experiences with access to critical data and systems worsened due to remote work. Most professionals found that risk and incident reporting worked “as good or better” than before the pandemic.
Crucial Reasons For Accelerated Cloud Adoption
Here are some of the most critical reasons for the more rapid shift to cloud computing and digital transformation.
Retaining Business Resilience
Most conversations revolving around cloud computing in the pre-pandemic era were about adopting a modern infrastructure for rapid innovation and cost optimization. However, the pandemic increased the focus on aspects like high availability, disaster recovery, lower costs for backup and disaster recovery, flexible computing power, legacy skill risk, remote workforce management, resilient core for business process and continuity, and business agility to allow for resilient business functions. Flexera released its 2020 State of the Cloud Report, which mentioned that a significant number of industry leaders expect cloud spend to increase by 47% in 2021.
Changing Business Operations
Business operations have also pivoted for the socially distanced era due to the rising demand for e-learning, telemedicine, AI, AR, VR scenarios, digital payments solutions, intelligent chatbots, virtual retail experiences, etc. The e-commerce sector and video-streaming services have boomed as more people shifted to online shopping and seeking entertainment while staying at home due to inaccessibility to in-store purchasing and public entertainment venues.
Remote work culture was gradually picking up before the pandemic was ever in the picture. However, the pandemic has enforced the necessity of remote work capability. Cloud computing has been the vital tool that allowed business continuity with remote workforces and seamless online collaboration.
Companies migrated assets to the cloud 20-25 times faster during the pandemic than before. Various cloud computing and storage paradigms that were already on their way to the mainstream before the pandemic have proven themselves during the stress of the remote work revolution. Synergy Research Group found that enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services grew by 35% to $130 billion in 2020 and hit $29 billion in Q1 for fiscal 2021 alone – up by 37% from Q1 2020.
Renewed Focus on Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability has become an imperative aspect for businesses to help them win the confidence of customers, partners, and governments. Organizations are adopting cloud services to harness the benefits of carbon footprint reduction.
Challenges Of Accelerated Cloud Adoption
The pandemic necessitated the acceleration to cloud computing for businesses across all industries. However, the rapid acceleration came along with several challenges, including:
Finding Skilled Talent
The journey to the cloud and digital migration for existing infrastructure involves significant investments, planning, a change in mindset, and specialized talent. IT departments need to be more agile and operate within proactive models instead of reactive models to derive value from cloud adoption.
Compliance and Security Concerns
Privacy and security while ensuring compliance is one of the most relevant challenges posed by accelerated cloud adoption. Service providers need to do away with those fears before organizations can continue cloud adoption. The pandemic exacerbated compliance and security problems due to the accelerated adoption of cloud-based services in response to lockdown measures.
The Rise of Cloud Computing Solution Providers
Cloud computing solution providers like ZE have emerged amid the pandemic as the driving force that is empowering accelerated cloud adoption for organizations while tackling the challenges they might face on their journeys.
ZE Cloud is a completely converged Private Cloud Platform providing simplicity, integration, and manageability. ZE Cloud tackles the challenges of the public cloud and eliminates the staff overheads and runaway costs while delivering performance for intense data needs.
ZE Cloud is built for better performance because it focuses on integration with the data and platforms that organizations want to use. The solution provider works with businesses to help them integrate ZE Cloud into their workflows while moving at a pace that matches business needs for rapid but smooth cloud adoption.
Built with stringent security in mind, ZE Cloud meets compliance requirements. The cloud platform is resilient and integrated with disaster protection, guaranteeing resource availability, ensuring that organizations can be confident that their data, governance, and operations policies will be protected.
ZE’s tools can be tailored to meet the unique requirements for businesses to help them quickly leverage the analytics and data automation necessary for them to succeed.
ZE Managed Services unlocks greater value for organizations, with dedicated experts providing a wide range of monitoring and technical services to businesses to help them get the maximum value from adopting ZEMA solutions, including product tutorials for customers, and monitoring and troubleshooting for data, applications, curve, and databases, while ensuring scalability and support based on the size of the organization. As a flexible platform, ZE Cloud is not constrained to a specific model or deployment methodology, ZE Cloud scales to meet organizational demands, whether it is a startup with five users or an enterprise firm with 10,000 seats.
Consider booking a demo with ZEMA for ZE Cloud services to learn more about the converged cloud platform and how it can support your organization’s digital migration and cloud adoption.