RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The impacts of COVID-19 have driven an urgent need for digital transformation across many industries and organizations.
  • Companies built on a cloud infrastructure have been more easily able to scale their businesses without adding proportionate incremental cost.
  • Cloud platform companies help enterprises get up and running quickly, develop new products and services, and enable others to “go digital.”
  • Accenture provides a framework to help cloud platforms enhance their services and accelerate growth.


Backdrop

The pandemic has provided a poignant reminder of the power of cloud technology. When COVID-19 hit suddenly and unexpectedly, systems resilience, agility, adaptability, and scalability were the fundamental capabilities needed by governments, businesses, and other organizations to navigate the crisis. Certain segments needed to scale immediately to meet explosions in demand (e.g., telemedicine, videoconferencing, and eCommerce), while others struggled to right-size their businesses faced with near-overnight elimination of demand (e.g., live events & entertainment, travel, and ridesharing).

Cloud platform companies have been central in helping businesses manage these impacts. Collaboration platforms have allowed workforces to stay connected and operational, even under lockdown. Socially, too, they have provided a crucial bridge between friends and family who would otherwise have been left isolated by social distancing. Cloud infrastructure has enabled businesses to scale without adding proportionate incremental costs.

Amid this rapidly evolving landscape, cloud platforms continue to invest aggressively in capacity and innovation as they jockey for market share and work to accelerate their clients’ digital transformations. While most cloud platforms will likely see revenues grow, there is a race to land large enterprise IT and data estates due to the long-term challenges and costs associated with migration.

The battle for market position

Spend on cloud infrastructure is soaring, reaching $29 billion in the first quarter of 2020. Enterprise leaders are investing heavily in their product catalogs and partner ecosystems. Traditional consumer-facing platforms are looking to capitalize on their size and develop solutions that put them squarely in competition with hyperscalers.

 Graph depicting market share of cloud platforms from Q1 of 2020.

In short, competition is fierce between market-leading cloud platforms and challengers as they jockey for market position within this landscape.

Path forward

In the context of this battle for market position, cloud platforms are working to address a number of key challenges in the near term:

Reduce time to cloud consumption

Cloud platforms are investing in service organization tools and best practices to create more repeatable migration experiences.

Meet industry needs

Cloud platforms are already embedding vertical use cases into the cloud experience.

Scale infrastructure with exploding demand

Cloud platforms must improve data centers, networks and hardware, customer and partner support, and operations to ensure uninterrupted service.

Push engineering to the next level

Cloud platforms should further optimize and take advantage of machine learning, security, and data analytics capabilities.

Build a resilient and scalable back office

Cloud platforms must improve the end-customer experience by transforming manual, inflexible processes into optimized, automated best practices.

View All

Looking ahead

Read Accenture’s report to get the recommended actions and improvements that combine to create a compelling value case for the next wave of cloud platform growth.

Robin Murdoch

Global Industry Lead Software & Platforms


Alok Mirchandani

Managing Director – Accenture Technology


Cullen Ruegemer

Managing Director – Technology, North America

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