This is because the cloud delivers greater value. We have seen customers adopt one of two approaches to their enterprise IT systems: 1) accelerating into the cloud or 2) focusing on their data centres. The cloud-first businesses that chose option one have seen far more agility and flexibility than those that selected option two.
COVID-19 has done much to accelerate the move to cloud-based capabilities, especially when it comes to collaboration and digital routes to market. The move to working from home in response to the crisis highlighted both the flexibility of cloud applications – most notably through collaboration tools like Google Meet – and the limitations of traditional data centres.
Cloud-first businesses that moved to the cloud early found it much easier at the beginning of the crisis to shift workloads and scale resources to respond to unprecedented fluctuations in demand. They also found it easier to manage costs.
When people moved to working from home, two things happened. First, systems used for in-person operations were running with lower usage while, concurrently, engagement over digital channels accelerated. Companies that operated these digital channels in the cloud were able to manage this growth, leveraging the ability to ‘burst’ traffic between private and public clouds. Flexibility and scalability is built into the DNA of the cloud and is what makes it so well suited to volatile times.
In this dynamic world, routes to market are constantly changing and placing a stress on systems. Businesses that are stuck with legacy systems, or which are weighed down by technical debt, will struggle. Those that use agile, flexible, scalable and cost-effective cloud alternatives will be much better placed to succeed.
Greening the data centre
It’s clear that cloud-based services provide the flexibility and agility needed today. With the cloud, businesses can ‘pay as they scale’ or ‘save while they scale down’ systems, an important feature at a time when budgets are tight. Perhaps more importantly, the cloud provides for flexibility in delivering business value without the constraints associated with legacy technologies.
But if further reason was needed for organisations to move to the cloud, the green agenda provides it. Sustainability is now central to the corporate values of a fast-growing number of businesses. Moving workloads to the cloud is a greener option than on-premise data centres.
Part of this comes from the fact that businesses share hardware and energy consumption, but it also has a lot to do with the cloud operators themselves. To run data centres at scale, cloud providers have to focus on energy efficiency to keep costs low. Additionally, cloud providers have their own ambitious green agendas, which means they’re increasingly focused on using renewable energy sources.