Coronavirus or the novel covid19 has forced a lot of businesses to change their business models, has accelerated the digital transformation – faster than ever, and made users accept the ‘new digital reality’. The world from a broader perspective is more uncertain than ever, new rules and regulations are introduced every 15 days depending on the number of cases, and the high uncertainty requires businesses to be more agile, flexible, and adaptive in their approaches, to success in this ‘new normal’. Cloud spending has clearly accelerated during the pandemic. Online collaboration and remote working tools, e-commerce, remote learning, and content streaming hit new records, as per a report by Canalys. The report also reported the worldwide cloud infrastructure services market spending jumped roughly by 11% during the second quarter from the previous three months and 30% year over year.
While some might be thinking it’s only the big giants strolling on the advantage, that’s not the case. The majority of enterprises were already on a path to dumping their own data centers and renting computing from cloud providers, but the transition was rather slow, in most cases, one app at a time, one proof of concept at a time. The pandemic forced them to adapt faster in order to provide the best value to the users.
Managing own internet infrastructure, making adjustments to computing needs on the fly is expensive and complicated. Cloud computing makes it much easier. Here’s why small and medium businesses have a unique advantage on cloud, amid the pandemic.
- Low Upfront Costs – in a budget-conscious environment, businesses supporting outsourced cloud services enable them to invest significantly less cash upfront rather than scaling up on-prem data center capacity or acquiring traditional licensed software.
- Drive digital transformation – Cloud systems enable technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and 5G that are driving digital transformation.
- Resilient and disaster-averse systems – Businesses are using the cloud effectively to create resilient and disaster-averse systems anywhere across the globe to cater to a remote workforce and protect data and business application integrity as well.
- Implement changes fast (Adaptability) – One of the most affected companies during the pandemic is Airbnb, their whole customer base vanished in no time. But they have been really fast to adapt and change the focus from tourists to locals. Swift changes require swift systems which can adapt quickly and implement fast. Cloud enables the business to be flexible and highly adaptable.
- Scale as per the usage – In many businesses especially e-commerce or online-based, which might have a sudden peak of traffic, the platform needs to be prepared to increase power. Scaling as per usage plays a key role in such cases – it allows the consumers to scale up and down with ease.
- Reduced network downtime – the cloud goes a long way in reducing downtime and keeping companies online. In the event of a disaster, hosting data offsite in a cloud environment guarantees its safety. Additionally, with an ultra-low latency network, your data can be recovered quickly and efficiently. With high-availability solutions that offer advanced security and reliability, your business can worry less about downtime, and more about getting the job done.
- High Operational efficiency – Cloud operations have been an afterthought for many enterprises, even post-deployment. Most IT organizations gave it some attention but cloud ops’ best practices and use of technology have been limited by small budgets and a general lack of understanding. During the pandemic, the chickens came home to roost. The increased use of public cloud providers and the access to cloud systems by a widely distributed remote workforce put a spotlight on the need for operational tools and talent. While self-healing capabilities (automation) became imperative to deal with scaling cloud ops, enterprises lacked the tools to automate self-healing processes, and/or the talent to set them up.
Cloud has strengthened the retail industry by maximizing supply chain visibility, offering a better customer experience, and facilitating efficient resource management. Bolstered the healthcare industry by providing easy access to data, data interoperability, secure EHR storage, and collaborative patient care in real time. Empowered the manufacturing industry by making the processes and every successive stage more productive, cost-effective, collaborative, and streamlined and supported the finance industry by providing scalable computing for databases, forging strong relationships with clients, and improving flexibility and efficiency.
Companies quick to adapt and evolve would come out of the pandemic much stronger.
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