The adoption of Cloud technologies has seen stupendous growth since 2019 and only accelerated through the present unprecedented economic scenario. Businesses that have not kept pace with investing in cloud-adoption strategies are now struggling to maintain business continuity amidst the global disruption caused by the pandemic, instead of looking at ways to capitalise on growth during this period. The aggregate Hybrid cloud market represents a gigantic $1.2 trillion opportunity, which is an economy in itself and now an engine of growth for well-prepared businesses. SA's focus on cloud technology finds that it is undeniable that Cloud Technologies will continue to play a crucial role in Digital Transformation in 2020 and beyond. To implement and apply advanced technologies like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Technologies is the foundation that provides a common platform and simplified service delivery and support.
The combination of advanced technology ecosystems and rapid innovation in Cloud Technologies has created a great opportunity for Cloud specialists to act quickly to develop products and services based on the changing needs organically or through a range of partnerships to offer these new products and services.
While enterprises are deploying more multicloud arrangements, the IT budgets are increasingly moving to cloud giants. According to a recent survey from Flexera on IT budgets for 2021, money is flowing toward Microsoft Azure and its SaaS offerings, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform(GCP). The COVID-19 pandemic has provided rocket fuel to the already rising top three cloud providers- Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft's Azure and GCP. All of these players are launching new services at a breakneck pace and are creating their own compute stack to bring in greater cost efficiencies and pass some of those savings to their customers to further fuel adoption.
The already large and growing demand for capabilities across the three cloud ecosystems, is driving many mid-sized Global IT and Cloud solutions players to take the “buy” vs. “build” approach to expand their AWS, Azure and GCP capabilities by investing in specialised Cloud partners. . The following are a few recent strategic investments, highlighting the increased investment interest in specialised Cloud partners:
- Through Accenture’s acquisition of Gekko, it gained access to a specialised AWS partner and expanded its AWS team resources in France to address the growth of its enterprise migrations and development business in the region.. The deal also strengthened Accenture’s partnerships with major cloud and AI providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft and enhanced its Intelligent Cloud & Infrastructure portfolio. Through the deal, Accenture enhanced the capabilities and strategic objectives of Accenture AWS Business Group within Accenture Technology offices in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
- Cognizant’s acquisition of 10th Magnitude, a Microsoft Gold Partner, aimed to deepen Microsoft Azure expertise and expand Cognizant's New Microsoft Business Group in the U.S., adding development and managed services hubs in major cities. 10th Magnitude’s increased focus on application modernization and data intelligence with AI-driven analytics and insights will be a good contribution to Cognizant’s acquisition strategy. Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, acquired Maven Wave, a U.S.-based leading Google Cloud Premier Partner with eight Cloud Partner Specializations. With this acquisition, Atos reinforces its global leadership in cloud solutions for applications, data analytics and machine learning in hybrid and multi-cloud platforms.
Increased interest and opportunities for strategic and targeted investment in the Cloud sector have opened exciting possibilities for cloud specialists to scale revenues and deliver ready-to-market cloud service portfolios to existing and emerging customers.
An example is the acquisition of Coda Global by Presidio Inc. The acquirer, in this case, is a leading North American IT solutions company looking to grow its services portfolio in Cloud Technologies. Global Coda was the right partner for them as the firm enables businesses to modernize their existing applications, migrate legacy applications, and develop custom applications. Presidio will now leverage Global Coda's comprehensive suite of cloud consulting services with expertise in cloud migration, cloud-native application development, DevOps, big data enablement, and machine learning with advanced analytics. Their unique DevOptimized™ approach makes their suite affordable and competitive for enterprises of all sizes. It is clear that a wide range of services based on a cloud foundation, accelerate cloud-enabled digital transformation for companies.
There have been several other vital factors that have boosted the adoption of cloud technologies. Apart from increased awareness of cloud technologies' advantages, there is a consumerization trend that makes cloud adoption affordable according to enterprise needs. An increasing global cloud market has also induced innovation and the emergence of new technologies and as-a-service portfolio within the cloud ecosystem. Numerous startups provide an 'as-a-service' model based on the rapidly changing needs of enterprises. It has been possible due to the high availability of cloud-skilled human resources.
To lead the market and build a sustainable business model, Enterprise should mind these key trends and their underlying drivers when designing a cloud adoption strategy:
Trend 1: Omnicloud approach makes more sense to businesses to hyperscale
Businesses are forgoing the traditional method of sticking to a specific cloud solution that becomes cumbersome and complex to utilize in changing business scenarios. Hence, enterprises are open to implementing more than one cloud solution getting the best out of each of them. Gartner estimates 75 percent of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud or a hybrid strategy by 2021. This tendency in the market will lead to cloud service providers form alliances and provide cross-platform differentiated capabilities to deliver omnicloud strategy.
Trend 2: As-a-service has to be intelligent and should be specific solution-focused
Enterprises collaborate with Cloud partners who provide the best solutions for specific organizational needs on cloud solutions, apart from infrastructure services. They are evaluated based on their proficiency in AI, IoT, and Data Security, and problem-solving prowess. Thus 'as-a-service' models are evolving with automation and insight solutions driven by AI.
LTI invested in PowerupCloud Technologies as they were AWS partners to have Data & Analytics and Machine Learning competency across Migration, DevOps, Financial Services, and Security & Compliance. They built CloudEnsure.io, an autonomous and intelligent Cloud Governance Platform that continuously monitors an enterprise's cloud services, detects, recommends, or executes appropriate fixes for any security and compliance violations in real-time. Botzer.io is the other Enterprise AI Platform that enables organizations to adopt Artificial Intelligence faster in services like Natural Language Processing, Image Recognition, Deep Learning use-cases, etc.
Trend 3: Dominance of containerization
Containerization through Kubernetes orchestrates the deployment of applications across multiple cloud platforms and dissolves the disparate cloud barriers through prescriptive platforms, open-source platforms, or native providers, thus creating market dynamics for the aforementioned omnicloud approach. Thus the market upended with Kubernetes consolidation through M&A moves. IBM acquired Redhat for Kubernetes play with OpenShift. VMware strategically invested in Heptio, who built a foundation for the development of Tanzu meant for Dell Technologies' cross-cloud vision. Startups are following these leads and building container-focused services to be M&A-ready for cloud vendors.
With Digital Transformation being proven as a must-have strategy, Enterprises will move fast to adopt cloud ecosystems. To meet the shift in business demand due to the new-normal and reaffirm cloud benefits, cloud organizations will have to be ready with smart, targeted solutions, and a range of technology expertise.