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Cloud adoption – Has it peaked, or are we just scratching the surface?

I still vividly remember a few years back when I was making a presentation to some senior folks in US about the benefits of a cloud-based platform that we were developing straight out of the oven. Sensing their body language, I could fathom that they were not very comfortable with my presentation. With a background of doing decent presentations in the past I was uncomfortable too, wondering if I had made any big blunder in my talk track. My meandering chain of thoughts were broken by one of the leaders, who instead of asking a question as the archetypical presentation ethos made a startling comment. He said while he really enjoyed the presentation, he found the platform ahead of its time (bit esoteric) and did not think that his organization was prepared for the adoption of any such platform at that moment.

Fast forward today, the technology research firm, Gartner forecasts a global public cloud services market of USD 332.3 billion in 2021 poised to grow at 23 percent over last year. Closer to home, the Indian market is showing even more promising signs of a whopping 31 percent growth to USD 4.4 billion (`321 billion). More importantly, the vanilla resource on cloud popularly known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is forecasted to grow at unprecedented 52 percent. So, should these astonishing numbers startle us, since its now close to one-and-a-half decade since cloud has been around? Let’s try to decipher this conundrum.

My take is that a relentless quest for creating enterprise wide agile infrastructure is propelling this growth. Cloud adoption is no longer an IT-only decision, as it used to be few years and back and it is becoming more of a board room discussion and decision. In today’s era, there is no way a true digital transformation of an organization can be envisaged without a formidable cloud adoption strategy. With large enterprises propagating an urgency to adopt cloud in order to become agile, like Digitally Native (born in and out of cloud) Organizations, finally we are seeing that elephants are indeed learning to dance.

The ongoing pandemic caused by COVID-19 has also made the cloud adoption strategy as the top agenda item of C-suite executives. With Work from Home (WFH) slowly transitioning into Work from Anywhere (WFA) culture almost poised to become permanent normal for most of the organizations, their appetite to experiment with Software as a Service (SaaS) based models is at a boom. This has now become inevitable to ensure business continuity across the spectrum and around the year.

However, its also extremely important for the organi­zations to create a blueprint for their cloud adoption strategy, which is tailormade for their organizations’ need along with a digital architecture to ensure that maximum benefits can be derived from their cloud invest­ments. Typically, a phase-wise strategy spread across a requisite time period fortified with definition of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring success is strongly advisable.

This exponential growth would not have been possible without huge investments in cutting edge emerging technologies by market leaders like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). These players and many more niche players are continuously introducing innovative services increasing the agility of cloud itself. Whether it’s about churning AI/ML workloads, creating a data lake or developing and deploying highly complex applications without worrying about underlying infrastructure with services like serverless computing, businesses are finally able to focus on their core, which is to innovate value creation models for their customers. With the battle to become a numero uno in the cloud service provider ecosystem, I expect these innovations to just keep increasing by the day.

This brings me to a conclusion, that when it comes to cloud adoption, we as an industry globally are just scratching the surface. With the advent of new technology adoption like quantum computing and complex big data, powered decision making is becoming more and more a necessity, rather than an exploratory topic. Let’s not be surprised if we see this kind of high double-digit adoption growth in the coming years.

The views expressed are personal.

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