It is impossible to overstate how significantly the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted companies of all sizes, and across all industries. However, not all impact has been negative.
The unanticipated challenges of distributed remote workforces, supply chain disruptions, and reduced face-to-face business interactions have accelerated the digital transformation and cloud adoption initiatives for many organizations. As indicated in a worldwide IDC Spotlight Survey on the pace of digital transformation (DX) during COVID-19, 54.9% of organizations have sped up the pace of their digital transformation efforts.
Digital transformation and cloud adoption are interrelated in many ways. According to a Gartner® forecast, “end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $396 billion in 2021 and grow 21.7% to reach $482 billion in 2022. Additionally, by 2026, Gartner predicts public cloud spending will exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending, up from less than 17% in 2021.
Why is the pandemic accelerating cloud adoption to drive digital transformation? There are several contributing factors. For instance:
IT and business resilience
According to IDC, “traditional work models do not provide the agility, scalability, and resilience required by the future enterprise – as was highlighted by the ongoing health crisis”.
Legacy environments consisting of fixed hardware assets and services are simply not well suited to quickly adjust to the volatility that many businesses were subjected to from the macro impacts of the pandemic. Whereas cloud-centric platforms and technologies, can provide the ability to scale up or down in a quick and seamless manner.
Furthermore, through cloud-enabled IT environments, companies can more easily automate their infrastructure, applications, and IT services to meet entirely unpredictable changes to their business.
Remote or hybrid working models
When your IT team can’t work onsite to perform even simple break-fix tasks due to government enforced restrictions, a managed private or public cloud environment becomes a very attractive consideration.
Stay competitive and be customer-centric
The pandemic not only pushed companies to be ‘more digital’, but also their customers and whole ecosystems. More transactions and interactions were conducted online or through digital means.
Hence, organizations needed to evolve their customer and partner engagement strategies on top of their existing business models.
It’s been close to 3 years with this pandemic, still, without a foreseeable end in sight. However, this unwelcomed but disruptive accelerator, has provided an opportunity for IT leaders and teams. By presenting them with opportunity to rethink and redesign their IT environments, they can become more agile and resilient.
In truth, digital transformation and cloud adoption is probably no longer a choice, but a necessity for enterprises that wish to remain competitive in today’s digital landscape.
In fact, I’m reminded of a song I really like from Elvis Presley: ”Now or Never”. While any hesitations or concerns you may have with cloud adoption are understandable; challenges such as shortages of skilled talent are a common impact from the pandemic’s travel restrictions.
In addition, having a lean IT team due to budget reductions or limited familiarly with emerging cybersecurity regulations can be easily addressed and should not stop you from embarking on cloud adoption.
To illustrate, I encourage you to read the story of how Lumen helped YMCA of Singapore progressed their IT resilience and digital transformation journey through cloud adoption.
IDC Spotlight Survey, Pacing Digital Transformation During the Pandemic: Speed Up, Stay the Course, or Take a Pause? Doc # US46778918, Aug 2020
 Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Says Four Trends Are Shaping the Future of Public Cloud”, 2 August 2021. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
 IDC Press Release, Organizations Are Forecast to Spend Nearly $656 Billion on Future of Work Technologies in 2021, According to New IDC Spending Guide, June 2021 https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS48040921