Flexera research suggest that the cloud is saving British businesses from COVID-19
Research outfit Flexera suggests that the reason British businesses have been able to survive the current shutdown is primarily due to the cloud. In a report entitled 2020 State of the Cloud Report, the organisation found evidence that most companies were now relying more on the cloud and that it was minimising the impact of the virus on their activities.
Before the crisis hit in March 2020, the majority of businesses had already transitioned to the cloud. Lower costs, more efficiency, and less admin all made the technology a compelling proposition.
When COVID-19 hit, it was something of a silver lining for the IT industry. Suddenly, businesses that hadn’t been particularly interested in migrating to the cloud beforehand found themselves compelled to do so. According to Gartner, demand for cloud services increased more than 17 per cent in 2020 – a significant increase on the growth just a year earlier.
Interestingly, the digitisation of UK businesses could be good for the economy. The longer the pandemic lingers on, the more companies are going to have to modernise their operations. While the pandemic will continue to dampen demand, it could provide leeway for companies to complete productivity projects that they wouldn’t have had the incentive to complete otherwise.
The pandemic is also teaching employers that the cloud offers a host of benefits that legacy computing does not. It’s making it easier to set up remote working. And it is allowing firms to safeguard employee health and reduce risks.
Dynamics Networks Group points out that companies are becoming more reliant on technology with each passing year. Even companies in heavy industry are increasingly falling back on their IT systems to provide the structure that their enterprises need to thrive. Efficiency, the outfit says, is going to be critical for any firm hoping to grow and succeed in the future.
COVID-19 may very well accelerate the digital transformation of the entire economy. No longer will wealth creation depend on non-technical processes, according to proponents. Instead, successful firms will be those who build their entire business models around currently available digital platforms.
We also see changes in the on-demand utilisation of IT resources. Companies are increasingly outsourcing processing and storage needs to third-parties offering scalable solutions.
The cloud was once something that was “nice to have.” But in the current environment, it is fast becoming essential. Data experts suggest that the pandemic has to change on-premises setups from an IT situation that needed to change to something that is now mission-critical. Firms that don’t adapt to the changing circumstances by using the cloud will find themselves losing competitiveness.
The benefits that the cloud could offer UK productivity are profound. Not only has it allowed many companies in the knowledge sector to continue operating as usual over the internet. But it has also potentially improved their output per worker by adapting the latest technology.
For this reason, some commentators see the current trends as favourable. There might be short-term costs, but moving to the cloud could bring all kinds of long-term benefits.