Why cloud will continue to explode post-COVID

Many expect the cloud boom to level out after the masks go away. However, the pandemic may have caused a permanent shift in thinking, and for new reasons.

In a study by Devo Technology, a cloud-native logging and security analytics company, as many as 81% of organizations revealed that COVID-19 had accelerated their cloud timelines. “Across these companies, there was a 200% jump in organizations planning to move more than 75% of their apps/workloads to the cloud, with 86% of companies placing cloud options in their decision process for new applications, and more than 40% choosing the cloud as their first option.”

The reasons are well known by now. Using the public clouds removes many of the pandemic risks of having your own data center, hardware, network, and software. Many companies not in the cloud experienced problems during quarantine. Without physical access to their equipment, they suffered outages that could not be easily fixed.

Leveraging public cloud providers removes you from these issues because everything is virtual. Moreover, the public cloud providers demonstrated reliability and scalability during the pandemic. Enterprises shifted much of their processing to the cloud to work around issues with on-premises systems caused by COVID-19 as well as the transition to remote work.

Although the reasons that enterprises rushed to cloud computing are well understood, the reasons cloud growth may continue well after the pandemic is over are not. The growth remains, but the reasons are changing. Here are some ideas why:

The permanent shift to remote work. Although some will return to a workplace, as many are doing now, many more will opt to stay remote. Enterprises have seen an increase in productivity and lowered infrastructure costs, and companies are now onboard with the idea of a remote workforce, which was not the case just two years ago. Other upsides include lower carbon emissions since commutes are no more, the ability for employees to move to locations with lower costs of living, and better options for a work/life balance.

Remote work is best served via public cloud computing, considering that clouds are purpose-built for remote access. Despite enterprise IT lore, public clouds provide better remote access security, can scale up and scale back elastically, and provide faster paths for growth and change. For all these reasons, the use of public clouds will continue to grow.

That where the innovation is. As I pointed out a few times, public clouds are getting the most R&D love not only from the cloud providers, but by most of the companies creating other software systems, such as security, governance, enterprise applications, databases, etc. Cloud is the platform that provides the best of the best of breed.

If you’re interested in leveraging technology that has the most funding and interest in the marketplace, the cloud is where it’s at. The more traditional on-premises systems are not getting the R&D love, and this results in lagging innovation, lagging quality, and higher licensing costs. Together, it’s a recipe for enterprises ditching these systems and moving to the cloud ASAP.

I don’t see growth accelerating beyond the patterns we’ve seen in the last year and a half, but it will continue its current trajectory. This also means that the market will normalize around growth, with more investment dollars flowing in, and thus more innovation and quicker consolidation in cloud-related offerings, such as security, governance, databases, ops, etc.

Good news? Sure. Overall, the silver linings of the pandemic pushed businesses in better directions more quickly. One of those better directions is the use of public clouds. It was an inevitable move that we’re making faster than we thought.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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