The adoption of cloud computing has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic. Cloud computing encompasses technologies that provide individuals or businesses access to certain data or services without the need for physical infrastructure. As per a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the cloud market is growing at a rate of about 22 per cent annually. Meanwhile, the Indian public cloud services industry’s revenue reached $3.6 billion in 2020 and is set to reach $9.5 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.5 per cent. The use of cloud technology by enterprises creates new opportunities for businesses to reduce costs while enhancing business resiliency, flexibility and network security.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic altered many paradigms of conducting business, business growth and transformation continue to drive cloud adoption. During the pandemic, most enterprises adopted or migrated to cloud for efficiency and cost.
According to this year’s EY-NASSCOM cloud survey, 67 per cent of the large enterprises have accelerated cloud adoption, while 39 per cent of medium-sized companies and 38 per cent of small companies have embarked on their cloud journey. However, 92 per cent of small enterprises and 80 per cent of medium enterprises are facing gaps in managing security-related risks. To address the acute shortage of digital talent, companies are focusing on new talent acquisition (73 per cent) and automation (66 per cent).
The survey also threw light on the core benefits of cloud adoption such as the level of flexibility it offers when it comes to different aspects of cost, allowing organisations to explore multiple strategic options. The different cloud models and cloud service options are not only offering organisations the option to implement cloud in different ways, but are also enabling them to plan their technology budgets.
A look at some of the use cases of cloud technology for enterprises across sectors…
Cloud solutions enable manufacturers to seize the benefits of cost reduction, flexibility, and new digital and smart capabilities while enabling an agile approach to manufacturing. On-demand availability of data and advanced analytics capabilities allow manufacturers to act on real-time data, enabling them to identify and solve issues more quickly to keep up with the rapidly changing environment. Moreover, the total cost of ownership of cloud-based solutions is typically lower than that of traditional on-premises systems. With cloud collaboration tools, you can access services, applications and data remotely from any device, anywhere, at any time. Those advantages mean manufacturers can create a seamless product development environment, lower the cost of developing a product, and reduce the time it takes to get a product to market, thereby improving the manufacturing companies’ productivity and profits.
Cloud computing in the medical field involves the use of remote servers for the storage, handling and processing of medical data. Cloud storage allows healthcare professionals and medical organisations to securely store massive amounts of data on dedicated web servers. The integration of cloud computing in healthcare has helped ensure smooth operations. Cloud computing is now widely used for e-health, which entails providing healthcare services electronically through the internet. The cloud allows different medical professionals to collaborate and give their inputs on complex medical cases, such as telesurgery and teleradiology. Another cloud computing application in healthcare is managing access to personal health records (PHRs) and electronic health records (EHRs). With cloud-based programs for PHRs, users can easily access and manage the PHR database and share data. These programs have advanced sharing features that give users high control over shared data.
The role of cloud computing in the financial sector is expanding. It is proven to reduce costs, increase storage capabilities, and enable remote work. The flexibility of cloud-based operating models allows financial institutions to experience shorter development cycles for new products. This supports a faster and more efficient response to the needs of banking customers. Further, since the cloud is available on demand, less infrastructure is required, saving initial set-up time. Also, with cloud computing, banking firms get greater levels of fault tolerance, protection of data and disaster recovery. Moreover, cloud computing provides redundancy and backup at low cost. The technology helps banking institutions to future-proof their operations. However, banks in India have been slow in adopting cloud technology as there are apprehensions regarding reliability and regulatory and security risks. That said, cloud computing is gradually finding its way into the industry and is changing the way consumers interact with banks.
Over the years, the education industry has transformed significantly by leveraging new-age technologies. Cloud technology too has found a scalable reach in the industry. With cloud-based software, it becomes possible for educational organisations to have virtual classrooms for students. The concept reduces infrastructural costs to a considerable extent. Cloud computing technologies allow higher education institutes or universities to effectively upgrade communication and learning systems without large-scale capital investments in infrastructure. Further, the potential of the cloud is unmatched when it comes to accessibility. Users can easily access the course content, applications and data any time and anywhere. The barriers of place and time no longer exist. Cloud ensures seamless delivery of content at all times. The ability to collaborate effectively with others is imperative for students and teachers. To this end, cloud allows all users to have easy access to resources across multiple platforms, creating a strong foundation for developing collaboration skills.
Automotive is another sector that is being transformed with the help of cloud computing. The adoption of cloud in the automotive sector creates efficiencies, delivers powerful insights, and enables new, agile business models across the entire value chain. Autonomous cars need sensors, radars and cameras, which control and steer the vehicle automatically without a driver. Automotive cloud solutions assist the constant data flow of self-driving cars. It also provides uninterrupted network service. Therefore, cloud platforms enhance the safety, efficiency and security of self-driving cars. Automotive manufacturers around the world are now investing in cloud technology to improve the driving experience.
Cloud computing can benefit retail enterprises in various dimensions, reforming the way they operate in terms of inventory management, data security and customer experience. Cloud adoption in retail is boosting the growth of the global retail industry with a record-high CAGR of 16.3 per cent. With the use of cloud, the inventory can be at the customer’s fingertips, irrespective of geographies. It offers an efficient way to manage stocks for big retail conglomerates by offering crucial data insights and analytics, real-time data, and cloud architecture, which allows for better decision-making when it comes to business operations and merchandise. Moreover, cloud data platforms provide marketers with a single source of data compiled from multiple sources, allowing retailers to plan targeted marketing campaigns and generate customised offerings, which will improve customer experience, and deliver value and help achieve business goals.
The way forward
Businesses are seeking innovative ways to grow and accomplish their business goals. To this end, the adoption of cloud technology has proven to be crucial to drive innovation and profitability by leveraging the scalability and agility benefits of the technology. Cloud is driving business-led innovation by bringing together ecosystem forces, new technologies like artificial intelligence, analytics, edge, internet of things and 5G, providing scalable computing power and opening new horizons for business growth. Going forward, as more and more enterprises jump on to the digitisation bandwagon, the adoption of cloud is poised to gain further momentum. Cloud is projected to make up 14.2 per cent of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1 per cent in 2020. In fact, almost 70 per cent of the organisations using cloud services plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of disruptions caused by the pandemic.