Business users moving workflows to the cloud is a well-established and continuing trend. Statista reports that public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will grow at a 20.32 percent CAGR from $15.35 billion in 2018 to $56.02 billion in 2025. Statista also expects 6 percent growth in public cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), with the market poised to reach $50.8 billion this year. In addition, Gartner research shows that public cloud services will be essential for 90 percent of data and analytics innovation. Moreover, cloud migration has picked up steam since the pandemic began and remote work became more widespread.
Ray Nelson, Senior Vice President, Technical Sales and Services at ScanSource, shares his insights as businesses adopt cloud solutions and services and explore options on the way to finding the best strategies for their businesses.
What cloud adoption trends are you seeing in 2020?
Nelson: While ScanSource and Intelisys have seen growth in cloud adoption for the past 10 years, we have seen an extensive uptick since COVID-19. Our traditional agent partners have seen their number of deals increasing and getting larger, and our VAR/MSP partners have seen many customers shifting from on-premises products to cloud-based products. Although ScanSource had not focused on on-premises-based compute environments, we have seen the adoption of cloud compute solutions grow. Customers are shifting to the public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, as well as moving their private clouds to colocation facilities where they can be better managed.
Has one type of cloud solution or service been in greatest demand?
Nelson: We have seen an increase across the board. Customers want to get their platforms into an environment that can easily be managed. These environments also have ubiquitous access and tremendous resiliency. One area we have seen a very large uptick has been in our Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) providers. Companies sent their people home and need to enable them to communicate. These providers give them tremendous flexibility and ubiquitous access.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the driving factor was “quickly facilitate work,” but now I think many businesses realize that there will be more and more people working from home or remotely. Many businesses have realized that they don’t need everyone in the office. Now they are shifting their mindset to “What solutions do I need to support this hybrid model?” The question is, “How do I architect for business continuity, remote work and scalability?” They are now architecting for the new environment and have not even bought the solutions. Many businesses are still in the early stages of moving many of their systems to the cloud.
Where do businesses need the most help from ISVs and software developers’ channels?
Nelson: Many businesses are very self-sufficient and only need a platform. Others are just wrapping their heads around the shift, and some need help in certain areas where they traditionally don’t play. They are looking at every area of their businesses, and your value-added resellers (VARs) have the opportunity to help them everywhere.
Do you see cloud adoption continuing or leveling off?
Nelson: I see cloud adoption continuing to grow. Many customers rushed to the cloud and now realize it’s their future. They may have moved only one aspect of their IT needs to the cloud, and now they are looking at everything. With each move, businesses need to begin with planning and design – at ScanSource, we have a ten-step process for helping our partners define their IT needs. Many current projects are still below the fifth stage.
The future of cloud adoption will still trend up for many years to come.