Recent data from Telsyte has shown that nearly half (45 per cent) of Australian organisations are looking to increase cloud infrastructure spending in 2020, and 46 per cent of Australian businesses now have ‘cloud first’ policies when it comes to making new investments.
Murray Dickson is the Director of Sales Enterprise (South Pacific) at CommScope, a global communications company dedicated to creating the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. We sat down with Murray to find out more about why companies using cloud-based systems are faring better in the pandemic, and what this means for the future of business.
Why are cloud-based organisations faring better in the pandemic?
With cloud computing, virtual machines are not being tied to physical assets, enabling cloud-based networks to easily and quickly scale up or down. Not only does this massively simplify administration, it also creates highly adaptable and flexible networks that can easily respond to various external conditions. This is why many organisations that had transitioned to the cloud before the pandemic hit have been in a much better position not only to respond to the volatile environment – but to do so at greater speed.
While no one has been immune to the challenges brought on by remote working, cloud-based organisations had the significant advantage of already being set up for remote management, compared with non-cloud-based organisations that were solely reliant on on-premise support. In these unprecedented times, the strength and reliability of networks are paramount, as they are keeping people connected while they are physically apart.
What evidence is there to support this?
Since the pandemic hit, we’ve increasingly seen enterprise applications and workloads – both software and services – moving toward Cloud. For instance, accessing real-time info such as stock trading, online streaming via home-based learning or video streaming (Netflix) or what we have witnessed a major shift during remote working; was an increased cloud-based collaboration via meeting tools and document sharing.
However, the value of connectivity extends beyond meetings and documents. Research firm Gartner, for instance, predicts that, 75 per cent of organisations will have deployed a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud model by end of the year. And this trend is only further accelerated during the pandemic. Today, an Australian with a Medicare card can now access cloud-based telehealth services where patients can receive the necessary consultation without physically visiting a medical facility. This service helps reduce the risk for healthcare providers due to a virtual interaction, should the patient be tested positive for the COVID-19. Health organisations who have embraced the flexibility and agility of Cloud solutions are better positioned during this period compared to those who have not yet fully come to terms with seeing patients over Skype or similar tools.
Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, businesses and consumers’ expectations have not lowered and they continue to expect a seamless experience, for instance, data is presumably ‘online’ 24/7. With the growth of Cloud Computing, data centres are doing more than ever, from ever-expanding storage management to bandwidth intensive virtualised and cloud applications. In particular, we’re seeing many of our customers in the finance space continue to expand and upgrade their Data Centers throughout the pandemic.
Are we going to see more organisations move to cloud-based systems in the future?
The large-scale disruption brought on by the pandemic has forced businesses to realise how necessary it is to have the right tools and systems in place to respond to volatile environments. For one, we seen how essential businesses such as healthcare being stretched to the limit.
As a result, we can expect more and more organisations to implement technologies that make them more operationally resilient for future disruptions. We’ve also seen an increasing openness to digital transformation and innovation in all its forms, so it’s likely that we will see many organisations that have put off a transition to the cloud for years, finally deciding to take the plunge. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has placed a spotlight on the benefits of cloud-based systems.
It’s also clear that remote working is not just an interim solution and will be here to stay for many organisations. As more people opt to work from home in the long term, it’s likely that we will continue to see a move toward cloud-based systems that enable remote management.