Months of struggle, and mammoth efforts from all communities across the world has started to bear fruit, and the COVID-19 threat seems to be receding, if not disappearing. However, the worldwide pandemic has brought about many changes in the world, some that are going to be the new normal. One such change in the sphere of technology is accelerated digitalization of businesses.
The currents of this wave of accelerated digitalization that has hit companies, have also reached the Cloud computing industry. Today, we aim to discuss how the rising tide of COVID-19 is going to shape the Cloud computing industry, and the opportunities and challenges for the sector amid a global pandemic.
Let’s start with investments in Cloud computing as a result of the accelerated digitalization of companies. The hybrid workplace that COVID-19 has brought upon businesses has seen the workforce being scattered, where some of the staff works from home, some essential staff works on premises, and the critical staff works on-site. A recent survey from Aruba (a Hewlett-Packard enterprise) states that 45 percent of businesses in APAC (Asia-Pacific) region are looking to increase their investment in Cloud-based networking. While, 83 percent IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) have a positive attitude on investment in Cloud-based networking, i.e. they are either willing to increase or leave investment unchanged in the sector.
The data from Cloud Computing Survey by IDG (International Data Group) states that businesses will invest 32 percent of their IT budgets on cloud infrastructure and applications in 2021. Even in 2020, IT teams across businesses will invest $74 million on cloud computing. This marks a jump of 59 percent as compared to data from 2018. The above two sets of data point toward the increasing willingness of companies to boost their cloud computing investments. A positive trend if there ever was one.
Now talking about the details IT spending and investment made into Cloud computing. The Impact of COVID-19 on Enterprise Innovation, a report by Sapphire Ventures, states that 86 percent of CIOs favor either increasing or maintaining their IT expenditure. The same report also states that 64 percent of IT executives favor either increasing or maintaining their digitalization expenditure. The report also goes ahead to highlight that businesses are focusing on automation, collaboration, and cybersecurity tools, something that remains a strong suit for Cloud computing.
Further, the aforementioned Aruba survey highlights that 55 percent of ITDMs favor moving to Subscription-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for their cloud expenditure. This marks a sharp shift for businesses away from the Capital Expenditure model. The 55 percent figure jumps sharply to 61 percent in favor of SaaS for sectors like hotel and hospitality, one of the worst-hit sectors due to COVID-19. After going through the data above, one begins to see the vast sea of change that businesses are willing to navigate. This is where Cloud computing solutions step in and make choices easier for executives.
Coming to the shift in personnel demand for IT and Cloud services, while there has been pressure to reduce IT expenditure significantly, things are not exactly gloomy in the Cloud department. As per Apptio’s survey, 66 percent IT leaders have been forced to freeze hiring, 72 percent had to delay projects, and 82 percent had to cut travel expenses. However, the same survey also states that there has been a surge in demand for new IT capabilities. Around 63 percent businesses are experiencing increased demand of IT services.
A recent study by an executive search firm, Leadership Capital Group, also suggests that market demand for Senior Cloud Executives has shot up by 224 percent since March 2020. This data is for the period between March 2020 to July 2020, and the 224 percent spike is in comparison to the same period in 2019. While this humongous spike is in no manner sustainable, it does paint the picture that at a time when hiring is on halt all over, the demand from inside the Cloud computing industry has only gone up.
Lastly, while the Cloud computing industry does show promise of an even better road ahead, IT leaders all over the companies will have to step. Their expertise is needed more than ever in this time of pandemic. The rising demand of automation, digitalization, and cloud migration also comes as a challenge for many businesses. However, given proper tools and resources are in place, one can safely state that despite the global pandemic, the future for Cloud computing industry does not appear gloomy as of now.