Accelerated cloud adoption will persist even after COVID-19 pandemic subsides

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to constraints around enterprise IT budgets, but the emergence of a digital workforce resulted in accelerated adoption of cloud applications, particularly those related to productivity and customer-facing suites in the front office. Enterprises needed to rapidly shift operations to the cloud to support remote workforces, increasing the value of service arms and IT services partners to mitigate client risk in the form of cloud road-mapping, migration and implementation services.

In the long term, internal service capabilities and IT services partners will become critical to enabling enterprises’ digital transformations, particularly as front-office cloud deployments mature and as clients explore migrating more customized environments like ERP to cloud or pursue industry-based solution deployments in highly regulated industries like healthcare and the public sector.

The bulk of enterprises are employing a best-of-breed approach to the development of their cloud IT architectures, evidenced by 42% of respondents stating that they currently use three or more SaaS vendors. As a result, application vendors have been driving alliance activity with infrastructure providers to give clients more flexibility around how they consume cloud, evidenced by SAP’s decision to offer SAP Business Suite 4 HANA with leading infrastructure players like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. While best-of-breed IT will remain prevalent, cloud players have increasingly driven investments to tighten the integrations of complementary suites to expand share of client wallet by enabling multiproduct deals, a tactic that has been effectively employed by Salesforce and Microsoft in 2020.

Cloud players aim to accelerate the proliferation of their IP by employing industry-based go-to-market capabilities to provide clients with prebuilt data models that alleviate concerns around data compliance and governance. This tactic aligns with clients’ needs, as 51% of respondents who deployed industry solutions cited compliance and regulatory standards as a key benefit. To strengthen the value of industry clouds to clients, vendors are offering prebuilt integrations with leading data providers, such as Microsoft’s integrations with electronic health record providers through Cloud for Healthcare. These types of integrations will be critical to accelerating client time to value, while ensuring the integrity of data by meeting industry-specific regulations.

TBR’s Cloud Applications Customer Research tracks how customers are modernizing application environments and choosing between different cloud delivery methods. Leveraging in-depth conversations between TBR and enterprise customers, the Cloud Infrastructure & Platforms Customer Research provides subscribers with actionable insight that they can use to better understand their customers’ behavior and win cloud infrastructure deals. Topics covered for both reports include public, private and hybrid delivery options; decision-making involvement and criteria; leading vendor perception; field positioning and competition guides; and the impact of emerging trends (e.g., containers, security, platforms).

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