In only a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every industry globally. At Aptum, we have kept in close contact with our customers throughout this time, as they adapt their processes to meet new business needs and have seen first-hand, how cloud is critical to long-term sustainability and profitability. Today, we are excited to release the results of our COVID-19 Cloud Impact study*, which demonstrates the impact cloud technologies have had on businesses throughout lockdown (May-June).
The results revealed 38 percent of businesses have scaled infrastructure to meet new levels of demand, and demonstrate that organizations that adopted cloud technologies prior to the pandemic have been best positioned to deal with the unprecedented crisis to meet demand and deliver critical services to their customers (48 percent).
The financial sector in particular had a cloud boom. The industry embraced hybrid cloud management during this time, and it is becoming a game-changer for how financial service organizations operate. Hybrid cloud environments have helped financial institutions take digital banking to the future by reducing cost through scaling data needs in real-time; driving efficiency by allowing banks to move digital sources where they are needed, enabling quicker response to customer demands; and providing security, as hybrid cloud gives banks access to tools like AI (Artificial Intelligence) that have been critical to identifying and addressing the increase in cyberthreats during this time.
Further findings from the results found 76 percent of organizations are utilising cloud services to facilitate remote working, in response to COVID-19. Very early on during the pandemic, we saw the immediate impact of the shift to remote work with global networks seeing demand spikes of 800 percent, and reports of major jumps in daytime internet traffic as students shifted to online learning and workforces set up home offices. The demand for cloud-based solutions like Microsoft O365 and Teams were already growing in popularity prior to lockdown, but the sudden necessity of remote work has grown demand for them significantly. This is representative of larger work from home trends we will continue to see for the future.
Our study underlined cloud technologies have been fundamental to business resilience over the last few months, as business leaders were confident in their continuity throughout the COVID-19 crisis (92 percent). A big challenge at the start of lockdown to achieve this was increasing bandwidth. Working from home was not foreign for many organizations; it was the acceleration and scaling of their ability to work remotely that they had to undertake. Many of our customers during this time asked us to boost their bandwidth between different environments, and our customers in the cloud have seen traffic volumes increase. We have had to make sure those customers have flexible capacity that can meet their needs.
As we slowly come out of lockdown, businesses will shift their enterprise IT strategies to assure business continuity and we anticipate hyperscale cloud will continue to grow. It provides organizations with the ability to quickly scale up or down depending on demand. Companies not on a scalable cloud solution have been hit the hardest by capacity and latency due to the shift in working remotely. They should learn from their experiences in the last few months and adjust their infrastructure for the future. Businesses will need to alter their strategies and focus on adopting appropriate cloud technologies, especially non-cloud enabled companies that struggled during this time.
*Aptum partnered with Vanson Bourne between May-June 2020 to survey 400 Senior IT decision makers or those with cloud decision making responsibility from the US, UK and Canada. Respondents were from a range of private and public sectors, and from companies ranging from 500 to more than 3,000 employees.