If you’re wondering what the appetite for Software as a Service (SaaS) and other cloud solutions and services since the pandemic and its impact on the economy began, Scott Drossos, COO and John Gray, CTO at InterVision, have good news for you.
“Our cloud services pipeline as a company has never been stronger, and our support from AWS in particular in terms of leads and migration development funds is also unprecedented. AWS’s overall commitment to utilizing this moment in history to accelerate its cloud business is palpable,” says Drossos.
He says businesses from all verticals have adopted cloud solutions and services this year, but the demand has been more significant in some sectors. “An easy way to think of where cloud adoption has occurred more quickly is to think of which market segments have been most significantly altered but remain still viable,” Drossos says. “For instance, look at the operational shift impact on public sector and companies providing services that are still essential, such as healthcare, education, pharma, financial services, high-tech, and food distribution.”
Drossos says the primary goal of these businesses is to get their applications and datacenter into the cloud. “More specifically, the highest in-demand cloud services that we’re seeing are those that support remote working and learning, as well as those that support virtual collaboration and communication,” he says. Drossos adds that AWS has shared that interest and sale of AppStream, WorkSpaces and Connect have exploded since the coronavirus pandemic.
Overcoming Objections to Cloud Solutions and Services
Drossos comments that although the demand for cloud solutions and services is high, there are still objections that providers must overcome, generally in three areas:
- Cost: The cost of shifting to cloud solutions and services can involve significant capital or adjusting operational budgets to achieve the move. It may be necessary to run parallel operations for some time to manage the shift, which can actually increase costs in the short term. Getting the migration done as quickly and successfully as possible is important.
- Control: Allowing a large cloud services provider (CSP) to provide and manage infrastructure and trust the CSP with data is a difficult hurdle for many businesses to cross. It’s vital for organizations to architect and manage a cloud environment to ensure data is accessible and highly secure.
- Operational Complexity: The shift to the cloud involves new technologies, terminologies and a paradigm shift in operations. Organizations that lack sufficient skilled personnel to manage their cloud migration and post-migration cloud operation are often concerned about the impact on their in-house expertise to ensure continued quality performance of their operations.
Provide a Permanent Cloud Solution, Not Just a Temporary Fix
Drossos says that once a business has migrated to the cloud, “There is no practical reason to go back once migrated, but there are some use cases like streaming apps and virtual desktop infrastructure that may be temporary expansions and effectively be reduced once work-from-home shifts back to commercial office-based work.”
“We shouldn’t expect the concept of the remote worker and remote learner to disappear after a vaccine is introduced because the experience of successfully working remotely is causing many companies to rethink their fixed real estate strategies,” he comments.
Gray adds, however, “The challenge I see lately is an authentic commitment of legacy product companies to run their products or services in the cloud. Many software application companies, for example, are trying to build their own SaaS solutions and get their clients to migrate into their SaaS. These companies are seeing mixed success, though, since the problem with these SaaS solutions is that they are essentially siloed applications in the cloud.”
He says this scenario works if the business needs out-of-the-box functionality for a specific use case, but if that business needs to integrate the app with other applications or systems, it may not be the optimal solution.
“The alternative is for software companies to allow their apps to be implemented in customers’ environments in the cloud that will allow customization and integration,” Gray says. “Furthermore, some companies with significant legacy on-premises business have a true conflict of what to do, because they’re faced with a practical business dilemma — and costs — of supporting a declining business, while also considering the cannibalization of their legacy on-premise products.”
“I suspect that many product developers with long term on-premises technologies will be significantly diminished or eliminated over the next five years,” Gray concludes.