Cloud Computing is an essential technology in companies’ business continuity plans, and this has been made very clear in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is said that in the last year we have seen a growth in the Cloud market equivalent to that expected in five years. So, although it is sad to admit it, we can say that the coronavirus has had more influence on the expansion of the Cloud than the work carried out by the industry over the years.
In this increasingly digital and globalised world, the shift to the Cloud is no longer an option but a necessity and practically an imperative for the survival of companies, whatever their sector and size. It might seem that Cloud Computing is a complex and costly technology, destined for large companies, but nothing could be further from the truth. SMEs are generally lagging technologically because until now they have had to invest heavily in digitalisation, and that is exactly what the Cloud has come to solve. Using Cloud Computing, services are normally billed on a monthly fee model and you only pay for the resources you actually use, so it can be said that the Cloud democratises access to technology, bringing it closer to SMEs and turning costly traditional investments in IT equipment into a periodical and affordable expense for companies of any size.
This is far from being a science fiction scenario that we expect in several years’ time, but a current reality as reflected in the latest Eurostat report, which states that 26% of Spanish companies with more than 10 employees are already using cloud services for the development of their activity. What the pandemic has brought about is an increase in the speed at which companies have become involved in digitalisation. The same report states that the penetration rate of Cloud Services will exceed 80% by 2035. The benefits that cloud technology brings to companies (tools for working remotely, flexibility to adapt to peaks and valleys in demand, cost efficiency, optimised internet presence…) have been key tools for survival not only in times of pandemic, but will also be so in the coming years, because what is clear is that Cloud Computing is here to stay. There is no doubt that everything that is IT (Information Technology) is moving to the Cloud, which means that IT assets are disappearing.
COVID-19 has had a very negative impact on the business of practically all companies, which is a financial barrier to any investment or expenditure in IT, especially among small and medium-sized companies. However, the crisis has accelerated the adoption of Cloud Computing in Spain because companies are realising that mature cloud companies are those that have been able to turn the crisis into an opportunity and become different from the rest. According to a study by the National Telecommunications and Information Society Observatory (ONTSI), the use of the Cloud for online storage allows savings of up to 80% in the energy consumption of equipment and 40% in hardware and software.
Cloud computing is also a catalyst of opportunities for SMEs because, in addition to the aforementioned democratisation of access to technology, it offers two other key elements to help them grow.
- Firstly, savings and cost control, as large investments in equipment are replaced by an operating expense that can also be modulated according to the needs at any given time.
- Secondly, it provides agility and flexibility in the consumption of technological services and in the creation of highly configurable environments, tailor-made for each SME, which translates into better response times in the event of unforeseen events or changes in business volume.
Each and every step companies take on the path to the Cloud means moving out of the comfort zone of a closed, on-premises infrastructure and into a more flexible environment, which brings with it a number of additional IT security risks. It is therefore very important for businesses in general and SMEs in particular to choose a partner with experience in Cloud and security services to help them manage these risks and make the move to the Cloud a smooth and seamless process.