Survey finds cloud to replace on-prem as the top operational platform

Indian enterprises will significantly increase cloud adoption as they look to transform their operations and focus on business expansion in 2022 and beyond. The pandemic triggered a shift to the digital and remote working ecosystem that will continue to influence this growth. According to a survey commissioned by EY and NASSCOM, over the next 12 months, four in every five enterprises are set to increase their cloud budgets.

The survey was conducted among 504 C-suite executives who cite remote working, changes in product/service delivery, new channels for connecting/reaching customers, changes in organizational processes and maintaining a competitive edge as the top reasons for increased cloud adoption.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic altered many new business paradigms, most respondents ranked business growth and transformation as the top drivers for cloud adoption. ?Cloud also played an integral role in helping enterprises to sustain despite lockdown scenarios and IT infrastructure inconsistencies, enabling them to innovate faster thereby enhancing speed to market, agility, and responsiveness,? the survey notes.

As per the survey, while 67% of the large enterprises accelerated cloud adoption, 39% of medium-sized companies and 38% of small companies embarked on their cloud journey. However, 92% of small enterprises and 80% of medium enterprises faced gaps in managing security-related risks. To address the acute shortage of digital talent, organizations focused on new talent acquisition efforts (73%) and embarked on automation initiatives (66%) to augment the skill gap.

Commenting on the survey results, Nitin Bhatt, Technology Sector Leader, EY India, said, ?Boards and CEOs are increasingly viewing cloud as a strategic imperative for growth and business transformation. They have realized that simply lifting and shifting workloads for cost reduction and resilience will not automatically transform their businesses and are therefore adopting cloud for benefits such as flexibility, agility, and innovation. They value leveraging data and AI on the cloud, enabling richer insights and real-time decisions that improve performance and facilitate market differentiation in a secure and trusted environment. To realize transformational value from cloud investments, CEOs must ensure that their cloud strategy is embedded in their larger business strategy.?

Some of the other key survey findings include:

  • While the private cloud is the most preferred option, there is an increased openness to adopt hybrid and public cloud models, with 68% of the small enterprises preferring public cloud owing to its cost advantages
  • Owing to the pandemic and rising dependencies on remote working, healthcare, and digital payments, 78% ITes companies and 53% of healthcare and BFSI companies reported a steep spike in cloud adoption
  • 84% of large enterprises report adopting Software-as-a-service (SAAS)

 ?With increasing investments in building cloud infrastructure across industries, demand for a digitally skilled ecosystem has emerged as top CEO priority. India today has the potential to become the leading hub for cloud-based talent globally. For this, we would need to balance the right cloud skillsets coupled with collaborative ecosystem enablement to encourage industry-wide reskilling across the country,? says Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice President, and Chief Strategy Officer, NASSCOM.

The survey results are not surprising as the lockdown and remote working during the pandemic underlined the importance of the cloud for seamless collaboration and business continuity. Many businesses that relied on conventional processes for long failed to shut their shop during the health crisis. Enterprises of all scales across industries must move to digital and adopt innovative solutions to survive and increase resiliency. The socially-distanced era necessitated businesses to embrace emerging cloud-enabled technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, and augmented reality (AR).  

During the pandemic, larger organizations were the most impacted as they could not reach customers via physical channels. To protect the customer base, they had to invest rapidly in new digital channels and improve customer understanding through better analytics and improved operational efficiencies. This trend is going to drive additional investments in cloud technologies.

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