The pace of cloud adoption has intensified due to the Coronavirus pandemic as organizations are moving to remote working and almost everything is going digital. In such a scenario, hybrid cloud that offers the best of both worlds for organizations due to its inherent flexibility, agility and efficiencies is seeing a phenomenal growth. In a recent interaction with CXOToday, Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director, Arrow PC Network, explains why hybrid cloud is the future of IT in the post COVID-19 world.
CXOToday: What are the current trends shaping the cloud landscape, both in the country and globally?
Gurpreet Singh: The increase in the demand for infrastructure requirements has influenced cloud services, and we especially see a growth in hybrid cloud adoption. As hybrid is a combination of public and a private cloud platform it provides the best of both, and with barriers between the platforms disappearing due to technological advancement, the adaptation of hybrid cloud is only going to increase. Besides, cloud is also being influenced by privacy-preserving multi-party analytics in a public cloud, hardware-based security, homomorphic encryption topics and IoT-based services. Apart from that, serverless computing, omni-cloud, quantum computing, Kubernetes are also the latest trends shapingup cloud landscape. Globally, the influence of these trends on the cloud will only increase allowing seamless operation of systems across the globe in organizations of all sizes. The cloud market is also betting high on mobile cloud where mobile applications are built, operated and hosted with cloud technology.
Could you give your views on how cloud adoption has picked up during the ongoing pandemic and how is it impacting cloud service providers?
Gurpreet Singh: There was a time, say a decade or two ago, when cloud was considered an inconsequential expense, but now it is a necessity. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, there was a radical shift in the work environment. Many enterprises chose to downgrade their office size and shifted to cloud services. This resulted in increasing the business for cloud service providers, as customers at all levels started adapting to cloud services in different flavors. For example, organizations are utilizing cloud automation to increase their online presence by developing commerce websites on cloud platforms. SaaS segment that relies on service desks, accounting packages, customer relationship management, human resource management and enterprise resource planning gained growth potential even during the COVID times. Healthcare systems needed scalable and secured cloud infrastructure to manage and maintain patient information with high speed and flexibility which certainly helped during the pandemic.
With teams working remotely, business continuity and security are the biggest concerns for any enterprise at present. How can cloud address these issues while also ensuring flexibility and seamless operation to the employees?
Gurpreet Singh: Centralized workspace is a thing of the past, millennials love to work from anywhere as opposed to the traditional format of working from a cubical in an office or their homes and this trend is only set to see a rise. Integrating the workforce consisting of digital natives and the traditional technological generation will certainly give an edge to an organization. To be on par with the millennial work-environment expectation, business continuity layered with security will be the topmost priority for enterprises. Cloud was born to provide the required not only in terms of new work environments but also flexibility in terms of cost and usage. Enterprises despite the lack of on-site IT personnel were able to leverage cloud capabilities to check, maintain, and monitor their server and storage installations in data centers, aiding the uninterrupted function of their workforce and thus helping themselves in terms of business continuity. These are challenging times as businesses are facing uncertainties and wish to plan for months as compared to years, hence features like pay-as-you-use and grow-as-you-require are receiving more visibility as organizations wish to move their expenses from CapEx to Opex and cloud can help in this transition.
With businesses fast moving on to the cloud in the past months, there has also been a surge in the development of many cloud applications. How is this going to impact the cloud market in the long run?
Gurpreet Singh: The global cloud market is expected to grow $295 billion by 2021 at a CAGR of 12.5%. The evolving hybrid cloud mode of deployment, along with the growing demand for content streaming, presents a favorable opportunity for market growth. New business ideas will leverage the cloud and multiply faster than ever. Startups with cloud applications solving big business concerns will pick up pace and play a key role in business growth in the new and existing verticals. The present traditional applications are also choosing to move to the cloud, in turn pushing the cloud applications also to develop. There will be continuous growth in the demand for cloud infrastructure services along with expenditure on specialized software, communications equipment, and telecom services. Players have adopted various growth strategies, such as partnerships and new service launches, to expand their presence further in the impact of COVID-19 on the cloud market and broaden their customer base. The APAC region / Asia-Pacific region is expected to depict the highest CAGR and this is attributable to the increase in demand for cloud identity and access management across multiple sectors.
How can the partner community benefit out of this and see this as a big opportunity for growing their business?
Gurpreet Singh: As companies are making strategic acquisitions and launching new services, cloud consultancies have expressed confidence in continued cloud demand. There is also a possibility where companies are looking to reduce their disparate solutions and focus on a partner community that meets multiple needs. Customers will look for partners who can help them in the digital transformation journey and those partners with the capability to handle end-to-end solutions for the customers will prefer hybrid cloud giving it a big opportunity in the marketplace. This is the time to unlearn and relearn. Our teams need to learn new technology solutions and take them to the customer to reap early mover advantage.
What will be the future of cloud in a post-COVID 19 world?
Gurpreet Singh: Customers will consume technology in all forms depending upon their workloads and hybrid cloud platforms will reap utmost benefit from it as this has opened up a myriad of possibilities in terms of technological advancement. A research found that the hybrid cloud market will grow to $97.6 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 17 percent as hybrid not only helps in easing the economic factors for an organization but also delivers security. Even human cloud is also an emerging trend in the B2B sector anticipating 22% year-over-year growth. Although opting for the hybrid cloud strategy can pose a challenge for larger enterprises due to complex IT architecture and security challenges, hybrid cloud is poised to serve as a revolution for organizations due to the inherent flexibility, agility and efficiencies they offer. In simple terms, hybrid cloud is the future of IT in the post COVID-19 world.