There have been plenty of downsides to the COVID-19-induced lockdowns. Businesses shut down or struggling to find new revenue streams, people with pre-existing conditions or of advanced age exposed to major health risks, and a crazier than usual election cycle, to name a few.
But how about upsides? Isn’t every cloud supposed to have a silver lining? Well, planes are cleaner than they have ever been, the number of colds or flus reported has plummeted, and yes, the public cloud is doing better than ever.
The Growth of Public Cloud Services
Several analyst firms have recently released numbers and reports showing how well public cloud services have done during the pandemic. Enterprise Strategy Group reports that 84% of enterprises say they are already using more public cloud resources, or plan to use more of them in the near future as part of pandemic-inspired cost containment strategies.
This finding is supported in Avasant’s Cloud Platforms 2020 RadarView report. As well as recognizing the top cloud platforms (AWS and Microsoft, followed by Alibaba Cloud and Google), it found that almost 90% of Global 2000 enterprises have implemented a hybrid IT environment consisting of public and private cloud elements. The bulk of them manage more than one cloud, with containerization becoming the preferred mode of deployment. The demand for remote working and distributed collaborative workspaces has driven greater investment in cloud platforms than ever before, the report said.
In many cases, the public cloud offers the immediacy of deployment that businesses seek. “Even as IT budgets shrink, share of cloud spend is growing and major cloud platform providers are offering more competitive and bundled solutions to steal market share,” said Anupam Govil, Partner and Digital Practice lead, Avasant.
Further reinforcement of this trend is offered by Gartner’s latest prediction that IT spending will decline by 8% this year. That equates to a drop from $3.7 trillion to $3.4 trillion. Certainly, not catastrophic, but once again investment in cloud services came up as one of the few bright spots where spending continues to rise.
Also read: COVID-19 is Changing IT Spending Patterns
Cloud Service Providers Thrive
The bottom line of all this is that it isn’t just Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Costco that benefited from the lockdowns. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, AWS, and other cloud vendors such as Alibaba, Rackspace, IBM, Oracle, CenturyLink, and DigitalOcean are thriving (at least in their cloud divisions). With in-house IT staffers often unable to get into their offices, the cloud has become the easier option. And with budgets tight, deferring capital investment has become especially appealing. This, in turn, has incentivized the cloud providers to redouble their development efforts to bring yet more features to market.